Posts Tagged ‘Manufactured Housing Institute’

Correcting the Record – MHI, Jennison and Gooch

July 7th, 2016 No comments

There are those who believe that certain MHProNews articles and my editorials or analysis on the “MHI Housing Alert” sent out by MHI’s Lesli Gooch under Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison’s authority are driven by a desire to do a frontal attack on the association or large companies. 

There are those who think that MHI is just shadow dancing in its claims to advance DTS, or to get more lending into the industry, as well as those who doubt that MHI seriously wants to see HR 650/S 682 enacted into law.

Let’s tackle those and other, recently raised and related perceptions.

We’ll start by saying that skimming this article will result in more misunderstandings, rather than clarity. Whatever you skim, might be the key points you need to understand what, in fact, has been and more recently is taking place.

You care enough about this issue to be reading this, so kindly care enough – to Please – Do Not Skim This Article.

Superficiality is the curse of the modern world.
― Matthew Kelly


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.

1) We know from a variety of sources that MHI as an organization – as well as finance-focused operations from across the MH spectrum, which are often members of MHI – are making good faith efforts to get the GSEs to better understand MH and to do chattel (personal property, home only) loans on manufactured homes. For example…

There are

  • detailed disclosures by MH lenders on chattel loan performance, and there are:
  • Trips to communities,
  • Trips to retail centers,
  • Trips to factories,

and other efforts that are all geared toward gaining the buy-in of the GSEs for Duty to Serve (DTS for manufactured housing), and/or to obtain the support of FHFA with the GSEs on DTS, etc.. These facts and insights come from lenders, finance pros, people “in the room,” and others.

  1. Those facts in no way militates the efforts of MHARR or others toward accomplishing the goal of making DTS for MH personal property lending a reality.

2a) So to say that MHI has no serious interest in getting DTS into reality would fly in the face of evidence to the contrary.

2b) That said, is MHI doing the best possible job on that issue?  That’s a different question, and a fair one. For example, why has no one from MHI contacted Titus Dare to see what they might learn from him on DTS?  What causes opportunities by MHI staff to learn from others to be missed?

2c) Mindful of #3 below, why doesn’t MHI ask for transparency in releasing the minutes to its private meetings with the FHFA? That transparency, the Masthead  believes, would be good for all in the industry. Further, FHFA ought to release minutes from other private meetings — for example, those with consumer groups.

2d) The more industry leaders and pros know the full picture, the more likely we are going to come with a happy outcome on DTS. Transparency pays.

2e) That the Masthead  isn’t anti-MHI or anti-large operation ought to be self-evident to someone who actually cares about the facts and are fully informed.  Just this month, support for MHI is suggested by the Jayar Daily Congressional testimony article on the home page this month. More to the point, MHProNews has years of history sharing positive insights on and about MHI, and the same can be said about other associations.  

2f) Properly understood, MHProNews’ calling attention to issues has, as its implied aim, for MH Pros to be goal and solution oriented.  A critical analysis is done to help MHI and all other associations, too, not to harm, and thus to help the industry advance, too.  A close reading – not skimming! – will make that evident.


Image credit, Shutterstock, FreeVector.

3) There are reasons why MHARR and MHI often don’t get along – and we won’t go into detail on that today – we just mention that each organization has their suspicions of the other. That reality is entirely apart from any editorializing we or others may or may not do – that MHI-MHARR tension existed decades before MHProNews published its first edition in October 2009. Our writing about it – or not – makes the tension no more or less real.

  1. We will note for today that it’s in the industry’s best interest when MHI and MHARR are on the same

    Triad Financial Services Chairman, Don Glisson, Jr.  For Another Cup of Coffee with…Don Glisson Jr, click here or the photo above.

    page; we agree on this point with Don Glisson, Jr. Because for over 17 years, the only time the industry gets what it wants in D.C. is when the two associations – plus state associations – are working in concert. We’ve made that point numerous times in the past.

  1. In a perfect world, both national associations and their respective interests would be at the same table. At various times, MHI and MHARR have in fact been at the same table. Yes, it’s idealistic, but it has been done before, so there are good reasons to think it’s achievable now.  Industry pros like Don Glisson, Jr. have at various times tried to bridge that gap.
  1. Further, while it’s idealistic to think that small, medium and large organizations – and consumers, as well as businesses – can and should all come together to work for the common good, that, too, is attainable. The MH Industry will never hit it’s potential until we are seen as being very pro consumer, which the vast majority of MH Pros already are!

Bob Crawford – left. Frank Rolfe, right. Still from MHProNews video on this page.

Fair and Balanced…

  1. This month, we have two articles that present differing viewpoints. One is an interview with Frank Rolfe, that defends MHI. Interestingly, Rolfe doesn’t defend Jennison or Gooch, at least not by name. Let me underscore again:Literally no one has given us a cogent defense for the “Housing Alert” or other items linked above. No one.  By contrast, we’ve had numbers of people who think MHProNews has done the industry a favor by bringing these issues to light. There are also those who have chided, or politely suggested, that our coverage on this topic helps no one. We’ve also had those who have asked us to clarify — are we attacking MHI’s very existence?  Are we attacking big businesses? We strive to keep all of these perspectives in mind, and they are in fact one of several good reasons for this in-depth column.  We want to be responsive to our readers and industry leaders, just as we want MHI to be responsive, too.

7a) Readers should consider the fact that the CSPAN video was first brought to our attention by a highly placed pro at a large industry operation. As in many of the issues we tackle, they arise from input or grow from insights from readers and industry professionals who are in the know.  We don’t just start sounding off on a topic, we seek to understand it first.

7b) For those who mistakenly think we are attacking a large firm by attacking MHI, that too is clearly contradicted by the full context of how this issue has been brought to the industry and public’s attention. The video we produced, linked here, includes an article that very clearly calls on the media to correct the record of their previously errant reporting about MH industry lending and related issues. A close view of the video will reveal that Richard Cordray offers a surprisingly helpful defense for the industry’s lending, which The Seattle Times/Buzz Feed and others grossly misrepresented.

7c) Before we published our critiques of Jennison and Gooch and their now infamous “housing alert,” they had ample opportunity to correct the record themselves. They failed to do so.  We routinely ask for input, prior to publishing; if a source fails to respond, isn’t that on them?  Did they think their controversial alert and apparent errors would be overlooked, forgotten, ignored, what?

  1. We also published an article by Bob Crawford, calling for a new independent post-production association. It includes a video where he talks about that topic. He rates MHI’s effectiveness in their work on behalf of independent retail and community operators, of which he is one.
  1. Those two viewpoints – Crawford or Rolfe’s – don’t exhaust such a topic. We’ll gladly publish others on such issues. Once more, We Provide, You Decide. © Let me observe anew that the best way for MHI – or any association – to avoid such issues about division within a membership is to make sure they are, in fact, listening to and serving the broadest possible interests of the industry.

9a) At the core are issues of credibility and accountability.  Part of the challenge for manufactured housing is that too many outside of our industry don’t believe what the industry says.  That’s an educational issue, but it also means that MHI’s communications should always be unquestionably accurate.  When that fails, then doesn’t that cast a question mark on other things MHI says, or the industry attempts to do, in D.C. and beyond? 


The infamous April MHI Housing Alert isn’t the only such issue, but the housing alert is one that is easy to review and thus easy to see analyze what took place. Its pretty black and white.

10) That, too, is a reason why editorially we believe that both MHARR and MHI serve important and useful purposes. Ideally, they will work together as much as possible. Stating the obvious often brings clarity. Talk of a third or fourth national association would be at zero if there was a wide perception that all needs and perspectives in MH are being addressed.


JD Harper, photo credit, Linkedin.

10a) Some will recall that Arkansas’s JD Harper floated a balloon a few years ago for a bridging voice between MHI and MHARR that could advance the MH cause in D.C.

10b) All such efforts ought to send a message. And that message is? Clearly, not everyone believes their needs or interests are being heard! If they were, there would not be MHI members who verbally and in writing communicate their concerns to MHProNews about how national issues are being (mis)handled.

10c) We don’t take on that role lightly. We ask questions, gain insights, do research before we publish on a sensitive topic. So a careful read, starting from the headline on the MHProNews home page says that it’s Staffers who are questioned, and that’s a clear distinction between staff and the organization as a whole.

  1. Look at Frank Rolfe’s comments, part of which is almost humorous (ironic…). He says that people should join MHI to find out what they are doing. The irony is, until Dick Jennison pulled the plug – first on the Journal, months later with MHProNews – there was a level of MHI addressing the industry in its own voice on the pages of MHProNews.

11a) It was Jennison who ended that communication to the industry, at his request, long before we raised issues about his leadership at MHI.  So for those who allege that Jennison is only reacting to what we’ve published, sorry, but that’s hogwash.  For whatever reason, Jennison cut publishing ties to the Journal first, and later with us.  It’s all on him.

  1. There are some long-term MHI members – some of whom no longer attend meetings – that say, ‘We don’t always know why MHI does 
    MHI's New CEO, Dick Jennison

    This was one of the photos taken by MHProNews, a behind-the-camera, behind-the-scenes effort some years ago to get MHI and MHARR to work more closely together. Richard Dick Jennison, left, M. Mark Weiss, right.

    what it does.’ Isn’t that an obvious internal communications issue? Who besides MHI caused that? It wasn’t the Masthead, so isn’t that clearly an internal issue for MHI to address? Even their so-called Week in Review isn’t actually weekly. WiR is published roughly 20+ times a year, in the last few years that Jennison has taken over the helm at MHI.  Does anyone sense a pattern there in Arlington, where Jennison’s MHI office is?

12a) Among the callers yesterday was an industry voice that said, we (MHProNews) should be encouraging more attendance at MHI meetings. Fair topic, which at times past, we’ve done just that; so once more, a complete and balanced-by-the-facts viewpoint is needed. We often talk about MHI meetings, before during and after an event, as regular readers well know. That said, the other perspective might be: Why don’t more pros want to come to MHI meetings?  Apathy happens for a reason.  Isn’t apathy a kind of vote of disinterest or lack of confidence that the effort is worth the time and cost?

  1. We publish MHARR news unedited, and we did the same for MHI for years. Let me state for the record: I can send a request to MHARR for comments or follow up or to address a concern.  I’ll get a prompt answer from MHARR. As our email records and text messages would show, we can address MHI staff on questions, and they routinely won’t answer. Why not? Jennison? Some other reason?  

13a) That’s the opposite of how it was between MHI and MHProNews in years gone by. We used to get prompt responses from Jennison early in his tenure, and also from Thayer Long before Dick came on board.  It wasn’t MHProNews that changed efforts at good communications to none, so why did someone at MHI change that past dynamic between us, as the leading MH publisher, and staff at the Arlington-based association?  Who was the whiz kid who decided it was smart to ignore the industry’s trade media?

14) We still do articles in the Daily Business News that report on both associations. Then there are editorials, some by myself or others, on issues relating to MHI or MHARR. Again, We Provide, You Decide. ©


Are opportunities to get more lending into MH being missed or slowed by mishandling by key MHI staffers?  These are issues regardless if MHProNews chose to report on them or not. Some are thanking us for covering these matters; others think they should be kept out of the public view.  But when off-the-radar efforts fail, the next step is to go public with industry members. This analysis and those linked provide more insights on finance-related topics.

Bottom Lines?

  1. Calling out realities at MHI ought to be seen as MHProNews doing MHI and its leadership a real, sincere favor. Otherwise, issues will fester until there is a rupture.

    MHI logo is their trademark, and is used here for editorial purposes only. MHProNews Spotlight, credit, MHProNews.

    15a) Some members get great attention, while other members feel ignored. That’s a fact we hear from members often.

  2. Calling on MHI’s top staff to speak to members in a candid, forthright manner is Ethics 101. I make no apology for holding them accountable — that’s a valid role of objective trade media. Before this issue burst on the scenes, MHI Chair Tim Williams defended that value of MHProNews precisely for our independent perspective. 

16a) If we, as an industry, are to showcase our amazing value – if MH, as an industry, is to be seen as the caring professionals most of us strive to be – then collectively, the MH Industry has to be willing to look at allegations like the Jennison/Gooch issue for what they are — more on that, linked here.

  1. That we are pro-MH or pro-association ought not to be doubted. That we are only for small businesses would be a wrong interpretation of reality, as noted above and by the fact that we serve a wide spectrum of MH-related firms and firms in MHI, MHARR, state associations or those in no association, too.  
  1. As further proof of our years of balance on MHProNews, we’ve done interviews with mom-and-pop,
  • consultants,
  • large, medium and small operations,
  • and those in between. We’ve published hundreds and thousands of statements and accounts we don’t necessarily agree with, but it was what the speaker said.  Some industry pros completely get that we are doing what other trade publications in other industries do; some just don’t see that yet. 

Mostly stills from videos in our industry-leading Inside MH Video series, published on MHProNews and/or MHLivingNews, depending on the topic.  This is a cross section of operations from single location operations to the largest in MH. We strive to be balanced in our coverage and in our analysis.  We invite and publish other viewpoints.  What could be more fair than that?  Only those who skim or don’t read would accuse us of being unfair or unbalanced, or of attacking any size organization or association.  Accountability issues ought to be seen as pro-industry, not anti-industry.

Just page through the years of our A Cup of Coffee with…interview series as proof.

  1. As an example that MHProNews isn’t anti-big business (or business or organizations of any size), we’ve defended ELS when they were wrongfully attacked – and ELS, to my recollection, has never been a client of our firm at any time or level. We’ve defended Clayton and MH lending more than any other publisher anywhere in the past 18 months, and that took place prior to their being an advertiser – and it wasn’t the cause of their becoming an advertiser.  Publishing and marketing have an intersection, but they are two different things in trade publishing. We respect that line, and trust that our sponsors understand that point very well.
  1. The record reflects our independence and the record reflects we defend and promote the MH Industry far more than we criticize it.

    Tim Williams, 21st Mortgage CEO and current MHI Chairman. Click his name to see the interview with Tim.

    Again, Tim Williams point above is spot on.

  1. We’ve criticized CFPB or HUD far more than we have George Allen, MHI, MHARR or anyone else.
  1. My 80 percent friend is not our 20 percent enemy. We may bridge the gap by calling people to account when necessary, but isn’t that an important and valid role of good trade media?
  1. So yes, this writer has editorialized why Gooch and Jennison should go, while not harboring any illusions that we can force that issue. Leadership will do what it wants, for whatever reasons they may have.  Nor will MHProNews plan to make this an eternal mission to write about them every day or week. That would get boring pretty quickly.

24) A tiny minority of what we publish has been about those two MH senior staff members, and a tiny minority of our MHI coverage has been a critical analysis. So the fact that it has raised so many eyebrows points to the fact that the issue is real and needs to be addressed, doesn’t it?!


Optics and Perceptions 

  1. Writers are often reminded that numbers of people skim rather than actually read.  As a writer or publisher, we are not responsible for that reality. If someone or a number of others misread what is published, that’s solely on those doing the misreading.
  1. A careful reading of what we’ve published recently – or over the years, as well, plus behind-the-scenes efforts – ought to prove that we try to bridge gaps, not create them.
  1. But when a gap exists, it does no good to ignore or gloss over it. That’s not negative, that’s reality. We do the industry a favor when we spotlight an important issue that is going unaddressed, or when behind-the-scenes efforts have failed to produce a good outcome.

    We will look at the GAPS Method in the near future, as one of the tools to analyze the road blocks to MH advancement.

  1. By analogy, lancing a boil brings out puss and blood. It’s ugly. But once done properly, healing comes in its wake, and the lanced skin grows stronger, not weaker, as a result. Let’s ponder how that analogy applies to MH, or MHI.LancingTheBoil-drawceptioncredit-postedMHProNews-
  1. As a matter of record, we’ve made it clear that calling into question the judgment of Gooch and Jennison on this (or other?!) issues doesn’t represent an assault on MHI.  That’s a bad misread. Please see the linked article, and note the quotes from me. Beginning with the headline, the statements focus on performance by staff members, and how that impacts MHI and thus our industry, too. MHI is not being attacked.  MHI’s effectiveness has been questioned, at the staff and bottom-line-results levels.  Those are two entirely different things!
  1. As a matter of record, we’ve alleged there has been no good rationale to defend the infamous April Housing Alert from Jennison and Gooch, which sparked this recent controversy. It’s not the only reason, but given they had an opportunity to correct the record after we produced the video, and days before we published our first critique on this topic – isn’t it a plenty good reason to see them go? As an executive told MHProNews about the Gooch/Jennison Housing Alert off-the-record, there are no good reasons to deceive or mislead any member, much less in writing in the fashion that Gooch and Jennison advanced.AmericanBankingNews-KEY-MHI-StaffExcoriatedFailingMissionMembers-postedMastheadMHProNews-
  1. I’ve assured colleagues, clients and others who’ve contacted us that the Masthead  doesn’t plan to make a career out of writing or publishing on this one issue, as important as it is. Hindsight is 20/20 for us all. Time will tell if the leadership at MHI was correct in standing by Gooch and Jennison. But I’ll stress again, no one, NO ONE, has yet to offer a good explanation that justifies what that pair did. Isn’t that troubling?  
  1. Don’t shoot the messenger or the analyst – the focus ought to be on what Jennison and Gooch did and/or failed to do.  If someone wants to offer a defense of that memo, please bring it on – we routinely publish perspectives different than our own when they are well reasoned. Isn’t that fair enough?

33) In fact, we demonstrated in, that the comments from Senators Donnelly, Corker and Richard Cordray could have been used by Gooch and Jennison to advance the cause of the pending legislation (HR 650/S 682). Why not let Gooch and Jennison explain why they missed that fact? Aren’t they the paid staffers? And why are they still missing that opportunity?  Ego?  Agenda?  Poor judgment?  What?


Richard Cordray quotes and those from the report and video on this page, linked here. Why didn’t MHI’s Gooch and Jennison do a similar graphic, and use it to advance the MHI bill in Congress?  Or even easier, why didn’t MHI use this information already published, and simply ask us as an MHI member to share it?

  1. I’d further say that MHI – which means staff at MHI – missed an opportunity to draw positive attention to the industry on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of HUD Code Manufactured Housing. Perhaps it’s still not too late? 

35) People make mistakes. I certainly do; all of us do. Do the mistakes made by Jennison and Gooch warrant replacing them? Do missed opportunities by MHI staffers to promote more financing or ease the CFPB rules which harm MH warrant a call for new faces in Arlington? One of our slogans for years has been:

We Provide, You Decide. ©

E Pluribis Unum – From the Many, One

  1. On our recent first-of-the-month Masthead, we published the graphic below/left. We believe in unity, but we see little or no value to a fictional or paper-only unity.

There have for centuries been those who worked for unity, and towards division, in all nations and places.  See that Masthead, linked here.

37) I won’t dive into GAPS Analysis today, but will once more mention that as a pro-industry digital publisher, we can do critiques that are professional, rather than personal attacks in nature. See the last Masthead to better understand the topic.

  1. We hope enough readers of good will can step back and look at ALL the facts objectively, to see clearly anew we that we at MHProNews and on MHLivingNews are what we have always been. We are Pro-the-MH Industry. We are Pro-Associations at all levels; they’re all necessary! And when properly led, they have, and will do much good.


At the end of the day, we publish with the goal of solving or promoting solutions to real issues – to report Industry News, Tips and Views Pros Can Use©

mhpronews-logo-dropshadow-manufactured-home-pro-news-logo (1)

We bring plenty of attention to the good news in MH!

A wise man once said that if you have only positive, or only negative poles – in electricity – then you have no power. It takes reality – both positive and negative poles – to produce useful energy.

So when we spotlight a challenge, we hope, work and pray that through thoughtful consideration and action, that will lead to solving real problems.  Burying heads in the sands solves nothing.


Some don’t want to hear what they might take to be bad news. Image Credits – Dilbert, WikiCommons

Our MH industry has a great story, we strive to tell those stories routinely on MHLivingNews and on MHProNews as well. We plan to stick with that effort until we close more gaps, and until the day comes when we pass on the baton to those who will follow in our wake.

In the meantime, the summary of the above is this.

We can critique MHI’s staff without desiring in any way its destruction.

We can critique MHI without attacking any member company of any size.

We want to see the industry advance, which means that MHI and others must grapple with reality, not sweep it under the rug.  

Our spotlighting issues is doing MHI and the industry a favor, so long as that favor is acted upon in a solution oriented vs. a sweep-it-under-the-rug-fashion. 

We believe the evidence shows that MHI and MHI members are making real efforts to do what they say they are trying to do on DTS.

That said, the questions include, could MHI be more effective at advancing more MH lending?  Are key MHI staff doing all that is possible to advance the association’s agenda? Are opportunities being missed?

Reports from MHI members to MHProNews and the word from others tell us that opportunities are being missed, and that more could have been done.  One example is word from those “in the room” is that the MLO rule change could have already been effected, with a different approach. 

MHI has an opportunity to turn the lemons of these issues into lemonade. The ball is in their court, right where it always has been. We’re bringing reports and analysis, it is up to others to act upon them, or not. We Provide, You Decide. ©  ##


Photo taken during New York Housing Association meeting; L. A. “Tony” Kovach questioning regulators.

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Managing Member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC.
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Inside MH video series.
MHI member, elected MHI Suppliers Division board member.
Consultant and service provider to the MH industry.

Office 863-213-4090.
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Lender Says MH Loan Option Hidden by MHI President, Manufactured Home Sales Lost

June 25th, 2016 No comments

Politics is really about the story you tell and getting the people on your side.”

— Julie Pace – Chief White House Correspondent for the Associated Press


Lesli Gooch, PhD, MHI.

At an MHI meeting in 2015, Lesli Gooch and a room full of industry professionals were introduced to a proposal about how good storytelling could enhance MH lending regulatory relief efforts.

By spotlighting current manufactured homeowners and MH shoppers who have been impacted by the CFPB’s implementation of Dodd-Frank rules, a clearer understanding of the harm caused to real people could be told in a compelling way.  

It’s the “poster child” approach many other industries and businesses use successfully.

Why not have a series of MH “poster child” stories, told through video, pictures, graphics and the written word?

Then allow those real-life experiences of MH shoppers, MH homeowners and MH industry professionals convey the issues in a fashion that helps others connect to an otherwise technical and dry regulatory story.

Gooch’s reaction?

Gooch immediately dismissed and shot the “poster child” concept down at that meeting.

As the initial advocate and others outside that meeting room later discussed, the storytelling approach could be useful in countering a negative media narrative promoted by others opposing the Manufactured Housing Institute’s sponsored legislation — HR 650/S 682 (Preserving Access...).

Decades of lobbying experiences by other industries proved that the poster child method could also help elected or appointed officials, policy advocates and their staffs to connect with those in the stories.

So why would Gooch, with her PhD in hand, nix a widely proven method of political engagement?

More Manufactured Home Lending Opportunities Missed, Lost or Buried by MHI? 


MHI President and CEO, RIchard “Dick” Jennison.

In 2013, the day prior to the opening of the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show, a national lender was a featured speaker at a semi-private industry educational/promotional event attended by Richard J. “Dick” Jennison, the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (MHI) president.

Jennison issued a statement that praised the event and its content.

But that national lender/speaker has told MHProNews that neither MHI’s Dick Jennison, nor the National Community

Jenny Hodge, MHI VP and National Communities Council (NCC)

Council’s (NCC) Jenny Hodge made any effort to advance an untapped option for more MH lending — that a creative and appealing loan program useful in both land lease and in land/home sales already existed, but was grossly overlooked.

Then, as now, MHI officially said that promoting new lending in manufactured housing was a top priority for MHI.

In an opinion column published by AmericanBanker, Gooch wrote:

For the record, the Manufactured Housing Institute has been leading the campaign to bring more lenders into the manufactured housing market for years.”

She went on to say that “MHI wants to expand access to financing for manufactured housing and increase the number of lenders that offer such financing. It is time that we all work collaboratively toward constructive and actionable solutions.”

Those solutions, Gooch’s column noted, should include the FHFA encouraging the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) to do chattel lending.

Gooch is partially correct, in as much as MHProNews confirmed sources closely connected with various non-Berkshire-Hathaway lenders that they were included in Duty to Serve (DTS)-related meetings.

But numerous industry lenders – and lenders not in MHI that sought to advance programs for manufactured housing – have given insights that conflict with the rosy picture Gooch painted in American Banker.

The known facts suggest that for whatever reasons or motives, MHI has missed numerous opportunities to expand manufactured housing home-only and land/home lending.  The impact on the factory built housing industry in terms of lost sales could be in the billions of dollars annually.

The Titus Dare


Titus Dare, Eagle One Financial.

Dare’s first article A Deeper Look at why the GSEs say no to Securitizing Chattel Loans, includes this comment:

It is MHI’s lack of understanding of the function the GSEs have in providing paper to their core secondary lenders, such as Wells Fargo, Bank of America (BOA) and U.S. Bank.

If Gooch and MHI were sincere in their desire to work collaboratively to increase lending, then why have Dare’s insights been ignored?

According to a comment we received on Friday (6/24/16) from Dare:

After my articles in MHProNews were published, I heard from industry and MHI members. But not a word or any follow up from anyone at the Manufactured Housing Institute.”

Other Missed Lending Opportunities? More non-MHI lenders ignored?

This writer has made numerous efforts during the presidency of MHI CEO Jennison to address the need for more lending in manufactured housing.

Meetings open to industry members were held in Tunica and Louisville.

Underused or unused programs were examined that, given the proper attention and effort, could have then – and still today – significantly increase MH sales.


How much does the locked door on more lending options cost manufactured housing industry members every year? Photo credit, FlickrCreativeCommons.

Dozens of industry pros who came to each of those sessions and events, and thousands more who read about them wondered: What happened?

Good questions. Some of those took place prior to Lesli Gooch coming on board, but they were known to Jennison, MHI’s president. Why did he fail to engage on those opportunities?

Looking Back at U.S. Bank

This writer signaled in the summer of 2014 The High Cost of Low Volume MH Sales. Within months of that column, U.S. Bank pulled out of the manufactured housing lending market.

Our high-level contacts at U.S. Bank reported, both off-the-record and in official statements, that low volume and regulatory risks caused them to walk away from a home-only lending program that was profitable, but whose volume was too low to continue to fight the long-term regulatory battles.

So it isn’t just MHARR that suggests that MHI has failed to correct the problems with MH industry home lending. Nor is it just sources inside or close to MHARR that accuse MHI of de facto choking off lending with the goal of causing independent businesses to sell off to MHI member companies, or close shop.

In the light of such facts, do concerns raised by MHARR CEO M. Mark Weiss, JD,


M Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of MHARR.

asking for the minutes of the closed-door MHI meeting with FHFA about getting the GSE’s to do chattel lending on manufactured homes take on a more urgent look?

View from the Masthead

Management from one of the GSEs met privately with me, at their request, in Las Vegas at the MHI Congress and Expo event. As the Masthead  previously reported, we were told, off the record, that there was not much respect at that giant organization for MHI.

MHProNews was also told that the GSEs would not do chattel lending on manufactured housing, unless the FHFA ordered it.

It was that report that caused Titus Dare to reach out and share his insights on how MHI has fumbled this opportunity in recent years.

Dare’s reporting seems balanced, in as much as he reminds the industry that, prior to the current MHI regime, there was progress made with the GSEs, and that some $150 million in lending in land lease manufactured home communities was successfully done.

Dare is currently involved in a non-MH project, so he has no obvious axe to grind, other than his desire to see manufactured housing prosper well beyond its current low levels.

Deliberately Misleading the MH Industry?

MHProNews has shined a spotlight on the fact that Lesli Gooch, with Dick Jennison’s okay, issued a statement to industry members that was technically accurate, but completely missing the fact that Senator Joe Donnelly’s pro-MH statements were strongly resisted by the CFPB’s Richard Cordray (see the MHI Housing alert, CSPAN video and analysis linked here.)

MHProNews provided MHI repeated opportunities to answer questions on these topics; in each case, they declined or opted not to reply.


U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly, (D-IN).

When MHProNews formally requested that MHI permit a video and questions for Sen. Donnelly’s upcoming talk to MHI members in Indianapolis, MHI responded with a strongly worded no.

Gooch claimed in her op-ed to American Banker that now is the time “that we all work collaboratively toward constructive and actionable solutions.

Yet it is Gooch – as noted above – who publicly declined using any supportive video and other poster child -type storytelling efforts by MHLivingNews or MHProNews on behalf of MHI’s bill.

Do they really want it to pass?

It is Gooch and company that have failed to follow up with Titus Dare, to see what they might learn from him on getting the Duty to Serve (DTS) successfully implemented by the GSEs.

Do they really want DTS to become reality? If not, why not?

When Gooch, writing on the association’s behalf, says that MHI “has been leading the campaign to bring more lenders into the manufactured housing market for years — doesn’t the evidence suggest otherwise?


cash-bag-wikicommons--posted-mhpronews- (1)

If you look carefully, the money bag has the top choked off. Choking off manufactured housing lending options harms prospectiveMH  buyers, MH home owners and tens of thousands of manufactured home industry professionals. Indeed, the case can be made that lost MH lending options means lost new home and resales – thus  harming everyone in the industry’s mix. So why allow this pattern of lost lending opportunities to continue at MHI? Photo credit, WikiCommons.

How does one explain the repeated failures by MHI staff to embrace options and opportunities or new lenders into the MHI space that could lead the industry into more competitive lending and more new manufactured home sales?

Respected and High-Profile Members Who Won’t be at the MHI meeting in Indy

There are numerous voices that are telling MHProNews, off the record, that they won’t be in Indianapolis for MHI’s Summer Meeting. Others are saying they will go, but still expect more of the same.

One pro stated they were shocked that MHI was indirectly admitting they were once more being blind-sided on the “anti-MHI rider” that a message from Jennison urgently called on industry professionals to oppose.

As some are quietly asking: Is it all a show?

If the staff was serious about getting more lending and passage of their bill, how to explain the numerous obvious, yet missed, opportunities outlined in this article? Theories and allegations on these issues abound.

In our rapidly approaching July issue, we will feature on the record comments from well-known and respected operations that say:

  • they support MHI, but suggest that nothing much is getting done

  • that MHI may benefit a select few, but has failed the industry at large and are calling for a new association to be formed

  • We may have more details on a source that says he has spoken with industry professionals prepared to put over a million dollars into funding a new post-production association and promotional effort.

The Masthead  has been sounding the klaxon that if MHI is to avoid more embarrassment or further internal divisions, changes — including some level of house cleaning — must take place.

There have been rumors that one or more MHI staff members — seeing the coverage and the growing revelations — are polishing resumes and looking for new opportunities outside of manufactured housing.

Pulling the Threads Together…

The AP’s Julie Pace is correct. “Politics is really about the story you tell and getting the people on your side.”

MHI’s communications to industry, and to those they claim to want to influence, could be termed lackluster, dry and — given that Preserving Access is stalled — ineffective.

They failed to get the GSE’s or FHFA to say yes to chattel lending.

There are many bright spots in MHVille, but how many are directly attributable to MHI?

As a dues-paying, elected MHI board member, this writer has as recently as this week written Congress on behalf of the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act. Not many in the industry could claim to have created more educational storytelling than has, all accomplished with the support and involvement of a range of MH companies and our team members.

We believe in the industry. We believe, too, that the facts show that something dramatic has to happen at MHI, because it clearly is ineffective as it is currently operating.

Gooch wrote about “numerous articles about MHI’s strong support for the inclusion of chattel lending in the rule.” A recent MHI message told their members that MHI “urged” HUD to make changes in their regulatory regimen.

If writing and urging were the only things needed to get implementation or regulations to change, or bills to pass, they would have succeeded long ago.

But the opposite is clearly evidenced by Gooch’s own letters to American Banker, when she says they’ve been working on these issues for years. Isn’t that like saying, they’ve failed to move the ball for years? How long does one keep a coach or player that doesn’t score points for the home team?

Yes, D.C. is in gridlock, as MHI defenders say. But if they can’t get something done, why does the MHI staff continue to grow? What are they all doing now to successfully address issues, rather than “urge” and “strongly support” a change?

It is MHI members who are quietly telling the Masthead that MHI had the opportunity to get the MLO rule changed. Those same voices tell us that achieving that success could have led to others on points and fee thresholds, the twin goals of Preserving Access.

If MHI’s leadership wants to move the ball down the field and score points that sell more homes, a serious series of changes must take place at MHI.

As strong supporters of MH industry professionals and homeowners, only success should be accepted.

We have too good a story to tell! Why isn’t MHI effectively telling it? How many lost sales will we accept before change is demanded, or a new association is formed? ##


1) The following two MHARR Washington Updates each include references to the handling by MHI of the Duty-to-Serve rule, and MHARR’s allegations that this is being done to favor the largest lenders; i.e. the Berkshire-Hathaway owned lenders.

2) For updates on queries and comments regarding this message from industry members, please see below. (6.26 and 6.27.2017)


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

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

Managing Member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC.
Publisher of, and Inside MH storytelling video series.
MHI member, elected MHI Suppliers Division board member.
Consultant and service provider to the MH industry.

Office 863-213-4090.
Connect on LinkedIn –

It’s #1! Get our industry leading, free, Twice Weekly emailed news, tips updates (our emailed Newsletters look like this) – sign up free in seconds at 

(Editor’s notes: we’ve had numerous messages and calls about this column, and previously about others that cited Titus Dare’s writing and work. Among the messages were those who have worked with Dare on these home-only GSE loans in the manufactured home community market, or did committee work with him, etc.  

Among those messages that came in on 6.25.2016, two questioned the total amount of those GSE originated loans.  We’ve therefor asked Titus Dare to double check his records, and we will update that if/as needed for accuracy.  MHProNews has been and will always seek to be for getting the facts correctly.  Dare has texted back saying he’s happy to double check on those figures next week and will advise as needed, so that too suggests a desire for accuracy.

A comment from a high level MHI member used words to the effect that MHI can’t keep a lender out of the manufactured housing market, regardless if such a lender was encouraged or discouraged by MHI. While that’s technically true, it misses two broader realities.

First, The low volume of MH loans – combined with other factors such as the CFPB’s onerous regulatory regime – is what drove US Bank out.  Low volume is a piece of the puzzle for new MH sales growth, which is why that factor was noted in the original column, above.

Opening up new lending, especially on a national scale, requires significant time, talent and financial resources. So anything a prospective lender can do to bring those up-front costs down before going to market will make it easier for a new lender to say – yes, we want to make loans on manufactured housing.  

That also means the reverse is true.  If a prospective lender finds they aren’t getting interest or support from a national association (in this case, MHI) that repeatedly states that new lending is high priority for them, isn’t that a reason to question the wisdom of entering into making loans in MHVille?

So logically – yes, failure for MHI to encourage lenders can be costly to the industry at large.

The second point is that Gooch’s article in American Banker, was it entirely accurate when it says that MHI wants to encourage new lenders, or not?  Doesn’t the evidence indicate otherwise?  Didn’t key MHI staff members – at a minimum – fail to encourage lenders and options that were presented to them in a meeting?  And that meeting had dozens in attendance, including me.

The objective reader can see that Gooch, with Jennison’s okay, sent out a MHI Housing Alert message to members that distorted what acctually took place in the hearing with Senator Joe Donnelly and CFPB’s Richard Cordray. Typos or honest mistakes can happen to anyone, and most people understand those for what they are. But once someone has deliberately decieved, it can be hard to regain trust.

Organizations are obviously made up of people, and an association has staff that does its work.  This pro-Industry trade publication has questioned the allegations, facts and concerns raised about members of the MHI staff.  These concerns are routinely brought to us by third parties. So MHProNews spotlighting staff at an organization isn’t the same as condemning the organization, of which this writer is a member.

So what needs no update is that whatever the precise amount of the loans involved, or how many lenders MHI staff members may have failed to encourage to lend in the MH market, the principles noted above all still apply.  Why did MHI not contact Dare?  Why did Dick Jennison or Jenny Hodge not encourage other lending in the MH space when, they met personally with a lender interested in doing work in the manufactured housing market?  Was Lesli Gooch incorrect in saying that MHI encourages more lenders?

MH has a good story to tell, and we are busy telling it.  

MH should be doing far better than it is, and part of the puzzle requires that collectively we must identify the roadblocks inside and outside of our industry that keep manufactured housing from advancing to its true potential, which Dick Jennison suggested in Louisville in 2015 should be 500,000 new homes per year. Are you for 600% growth for your business, anyone?) 

America and Manufactured Housing – Lessons from Hold that Tucker Tiger!

June 17th, 2016 No comments

Recall or view the movie, Tucker. If you do, you’ll get a good sense of how government and big business can often collude to the detriment of all involved. 


“Hold that Tiger!” Tucker Movie poster, credit LucasFilms and BGAutoBlog.

To be sure, big government and big business can and often are allies. After all, how can small businesses best both big brother and any given monopolist? 

Can it be done?

Yes, but no less an MH Industry figure than Jim Clayton lamented in interviews with MHProNews the negative impact of big federal regulations birthed by big government that harms small and start-up businesses.

Jim was spot on.  

The Tucker auto pioneered a number of features in American cars. The beauty of free enterprise is precisely that it keeps innovation and the American Dream alive.  The big Detroit automakers conspired with government officials to destroy Tucker, the man and his machine.

The more a government regulates and the more it taxes – the more it distorts and destroys the free market – it’s killing inspiration, jobs and innovation in its wake.

Because humanity is imperfect, there are needs for some level of law, regulation, etc.  But unchecked, government oppresses rather than protects or liberates people.

The Masthead  wants independent retailers, communities, producers and others in MH to prosper and thrive. When smaller businesses thrive, so will mid to large or big businesses. When firms of all sizes thrive, the coffers of the tax man fill in a natural rather than confiscatory or damaging ways. 

The legacy of the Obama years, properly understood, is the failure of big government. ObamaCare harmed the health care system. It was based on lies. It drove costs up, not down. It reduced access to quality healthcare. State ObamaCare Exchanges and independent businesses have suffered or have closed.  The misnamed ACA is dying of its own dead weight.

Ditto Homeland Insecurity. Open borders means more crime and more terrorism. These are facts. 


IDontThinkThereWasEverMuchHighCostLendingInTheManufacturedHousingMarket-stillcreditCSPAN2-RichardCordrayCFPBdirector-Posted-MHLivingNews-com--310x165The CFPB is spending millions in ads to propagandize the American people into thinking it’s helping, when in fact it harms millions and is choking off business in its regulatory wake. They’re building their own palace in DC, creating thousands of federal jobs that destroy millions of private sector jobs.  We’ve documented that the CFPB’s director know what they’re doing to MH home owners and businesses, the logical takeaway is that they either don’t care or they have an agenda.

HUD is likewise harming MH consumers and businesses.

The Obama-Clinton foreign policy is a history of disasters. The latest revelation seems to be that ISIS was not just given space to grow, but also American support and arms to grow.  POTUS Bush no doubt had his problems. We shouldn’t have gone into Iraq. But compared to the hellish Clinton/Obama foreign policy, Bush’s policy looks almost saintly…

Big Government was what Americans rebelled against in 1776. 



Credits WikiCommons and MHProNews.


Big business is fine, so long as it doesn’t get in bed with big government, and acts in ways that are detrimental to all.

Look at the revelations from Clinton Cash, their global pay-to-play influence peddling scam. Do you think that when the Obama’s leave 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, that there will be something similar awaiting them?  

Is there any good way to explain the long series of foreign and domestic policy failures for the working class, for minorities, for the middle class, our armed forces, our men in blue and first responders – anyone that isn’t at the top of their private pyramid?

The Donald is new to being in politics, as opposed to his playing politics to make his businesses work. Are there things that could be better? Yes. As an independent, I concur with RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, who correctly said, the voters are asking for a political earthquake. 

The day may come when MHI, if it fails to altar its sad course, will see the rise of its own Trump-like political earthquake.  Just as Ds and Rs gave rise to Donald Trump, so too MHI may awaken some day to see that it’s been sowing the seeds of its own destruction




I say this as a member, as one who has been thanked for our many contributions to their legislative efforts. I could link up the words of Tim Williams here, and many others prior to or since him. The Masthead cares enough to say, let’s change course.

Let’s address and solve the association’s problems, not sweep them under the rug.  That pile of dirt is growing, and costly.



A leading MH state association exec’s mantra we love to share.

Because like it or not, when MHI fails to properly PEP, it has a harmful impact on way too many others in our industry.



Most Industry members who have contacted MHProNews concur with the above. See for yourself. Click the link here or click image above to learn more. We Provide, You Decide ©.


The bottom line is that MHI needs to see that its path is harmful to itself and to others in MH. If the leadership is wise, they’ll politely exit those who have made a mess, AND bring in people who will bring in a new, better and more inclusive perspective.

Otherwise, the responsibilities of a new association rising, or MHI breaking apart grows. Because so long as MHI’s leaders are locked on this path, they’ll continue to get no results worth bragging about.

In fact, they’ll harm the industry. The only way the industry gains or regains the respect of those they deal with in DC is by cleaning their own house first.

In the mean time, we’ll cheer those who are part of the MH solution. To learn more about common sense progress being made, click here.


The 4th of July is racing upon us. Somehow the whiz kids in Arlington VA failed to tap into the opportunity that the 40th Anniversary of MH provided. But its not too late. They can still do something…

…or not. Be it late or never, each path speaks volumes about the national MH association.

Are they part of the solution or part of the problem?  

MH is the Tucker of housing.  We ought to be thriving, and we can in positive, sustainable ways.  As we clean out a few internal issues and spotlight more of the great things we do, the more we’ll mine the gold that belongs to each true professional in the business. Hold that Tiger! ##


Among the fun items found at C&E this year was lifesize cutouts of the 5 remaining D and R contenders for the Oval Office. By Tuesday night, that number had dropped to 3, with Cruz and Kasich bowing out after Donald Trump’s big win in Indiana that day.  Now its down to Hillary, The Donald and a pot smoking Libertarian…God Bless America!  The pick between those three is EASY. America First! MAGA!

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Managing Member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC.
Publisher of Industry leading,
and Inside MH video series.
MHI member, elected MHI Suppliers Division board member.
Consultant and service provider to the MH industry.

Office 863-213-4090.
Connect on LinkedIn –

Publisher – and

It’s #1! Get our industry leading, free, Twice Weekly emailed news, tips updates (our emailed Newsletters look like this) – sign up free in seconds at 

Video Viewpoints-Bob Crawford + Frank Rolfe on New, Existing MH Associations

June 10th, 2016 No comments

Sometimes, less is more. We’ll take that path today with this video of Frank Rolfe and Bob Crawford, who share their views about:

  • Dodd-Frank
  • CFPB
  • Manufactured Housing Finance Regulations
  • Impact on MH owners and buyers – consumers
  • Impact on MH business
  • A new post-production association for retailers, communities and others
  • MHI
  • State MH Associations
  • What it will take to get change in DC
  • How effective are manufactured housing associations

and other topics, with the video shot before a live audience of MHPros, whom you’ll see responding.

FrankRolfe-MobileHomeUniversity-postedmastheadblogMHProNews-For those who don’t already know Frank Rolfe, he’s a partner in Mobile Home University, RV Horizons and MHP Funds. He and his partner Dave Reynolds are about #6 in the top total MH sites nationally.

Bob Crawford is the right hand man for industry legend Dick Moore, who has two retail centers and four communities. Their operation has reportedly sold some 27,000 homes over the years, both pre-code mobile homes and post HUD Code Manufactured Homes. 


Bob Crawford – left. Frank Rolfe, right. Still from MHProNews video on this page.

For more related details on these two and others, please click here

The Masthead advised readers that this post would be different. These are not unnamed sources, these are widely respected and successful professionals who have publicly sounded off, knowing they were on camera.  A look back at what we published that others are saying off the record is linked here.

After watching this video, and reading other commentary, how important do you think all is this? Please, you tell me. ##


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

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Managing Member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC.
Publisher of, and Inside MH video series.
MHI member, MHI Suppliers Division board member.
Consultant and service provider to the MH industry.

Office 863-213-4090.
Connect on LinkedIn –

Publisher – and

It’s #1! Get our industry leading, free, Twice Weekly emailed news, tips updates (our emailed Newsletters look like this) – sign up free in seconds at 

MHI’s Richard “Dick” Jennison – 700% growth – selling 500,000 new Manufactured Homes annually – “We Can Get There”

March 13th, 2016 No comments

We’ve told you about this upcoming video. Its about ready to release. This episode of Inside MH features an array of Washington DC metro personas, as well as U.S. based MH Industry home owners and pros from border-to-border. Each says in their own words elements that need to be addressed to get us to the goal – which could yield, according to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) CEO, Richard “Dick” Jennison, a 700% increase in business.


Still from Inside MH Road Show, a link to the video will be here – or by clicking on the image above – once the article and its video goes live. UPDATE: This video is now live, click here.

The affordable housing crisis, MH financing and CFPB regulations – their impact on sales, home buyers and home owners – are the focus of this video.

This new video will be live in about 24 hours on the website. 

This video will directly challenge false and misleading claims made by Doug Ryan/CFED, Seattle Times/BuzzFeed, PBS NewsHour, OZY Media or others who have tried to stop the financing reforms that would boost manufactured home owners resale values and the sales of MH industry pros. 


Inside MH The Road Show still from video where elements needed to achieve 500,000 new manufactured home sales, starting with financing changes, are found. This will be a useful video with regulators, policy makers, Congressional staffers and others in or out of MH. The new video will go live in about 24 hours. UPDATE.  This video is now live, at this link here.

What 500,000 annual new Manufactured Home sales means

First, no one – Dick Jennison included – is saying that this will happen overnight. Logistics alone would require that there be a ramp up period to achieve these kinds of sales levels.

Next, among the things the industry has painfully learned from the go-go 90s is that we can’t expect lenders to lend good money on poor or bad credit risks. Our MH industry’s lenders implemented safeguards too, making a repeat of the past unlikely.

knowledgesharedknowledgemultiplied-15minutesdaily-mhpronews-com-postedMHVillageBlog- (1)

Our prior finance related video is linked here. That video and the new one to be posted soon will compliment each other.

What That Kind of New Home Sales Growth Could Mean to You and Your Operation

MH Communities. The estimated 400,000 vacant MHC homesites would rapidly dwindle, and the demand for new development of MHCs – or expansions of current ones where possible – would continue increase.

Retailers and selling MHCs. Imagine 700% growth over say a 3 to 4 year period of time. That could widely and dramatically boost the sales of retailers and those MHCs that sell homes. That boost would naturally flow to manufacturers, warranty, financial services, service, suppliers and associations.

Watch for the Update

Once the new video is live, we will update this post with a hot link to it. The image of Dick Jennison above will become a hot link.

What will make this video powerful is the wide cross section of people and pros, who are all saying common sense things that fit nicely together. This makes for a visually, emotionally and logically compelling case.


Image credit, WikiCommons.

Your Cherished Civic Right

If you are in one of the primary states or areas coming up – such as Chicagoland (where we used to live, as the locals would say tongue in cheek)Vote Early, Vote Often.

If you aren’t one of the thousands who have already checked out this article on your other powerful vote, click here.


This is why we sometimes call these ‘Standing Room Only’ or SRO seminars, panel discussions and workshops. Learn more about this year’s popular Tunica Show finance, marketing, sales and lessons learned from MHC and MH Retail pros, by clicking here. To see the line up of some of the speakers, click here.

Tunica Talks

Let’s close today on a programming note. The line up for the Tunica Seminars are taking shape. They boast some very well known and successful pros and companies. To learn more, click here.

We’ll be at the Tunica Show at Booth #74, and yours truly is presenting and moderating seminars on March 22nd. To learn more about the Tunica Show, click on Dennis Hill’s brochure and updates article here, or the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show website, linked here.

See you in Tunica? Those who seriously want to grow, will go. ##


L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach will be moderating and presenting at the 2016 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show. To see website, click here or the image above. For details on business building finance, marketing, sales and practical tips seminar, panels and workshop, click here. Seminars are on March 22nd, the afternoon before the main show opens! Be there, we’ll be a booth #74 as well.

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

2 Hats, 2 Phones, 2 Faces, 2 Standards, 2 Words and 2 Threats

January 29th, 2016 No comments

If you are one of those who have not had your email, text, voicemail of other outreach replied to, my apologies.

As the photo below suggests, there are dozens of voice messages – plus the others – that are yet to be addressed. If you are in that group of as yet unreturned calls, kindly understand.

There were calls into the night. Some came from voices I’ve never heard on the phone before, or from names who I might know, but who would not ordinarily call.


21 voice messages on the land line, 13 more on the cell, awaiting follow up. That doesn’t include unanswered texts, emails, missed calls with no voice messages, etc. One LinkedIn message came from as far away as China. If you are in the group not yet responded to, please be patient.

While some called or messaged to tweak this or that fact unrelated to the meat of the core topic, or to try to get me to reveal a source (sorry, when you have on a journalistic hat, we don’t do that), one – only one so far – has said something like the following message.

Defending MHI CEO Dick Jennison, and taking out parts that might reveal the source, one person emailed to say that Jennison in that writer’s option “is MHI’s best President ever...

Others see it differently. The two words most commonly used from most every caller or message so far? “Thank you...”

If you’ve missed the article/OpEds that sparked this outpouring of commentary, here they are in reverse order of the time they were published:

The balance of this post you are reading now is already drafted. Each one of the headlined topics will be covered.

But for fairness, we are awaiting a formal clarification on something that was attributed to MHI – which by way of disclosure, came to me indirectly, not directly from them – regarding alleged steps they propose to take on the light of the above articles. One might politely call those, threats. 

Depending on their reply, or lack of a reply, we will tackle updates to the above in 2 Hats, 2 Phones, 2 Faces, 2 Standards, 2 Words and 2 Threats. But again, we want to be fair, so we’re going to give them an opportunity to confirm or deny what others say came from them to me.

New Revelations…

Beyond 2 Threats, what we will say for now is that there have been numerous other revelations and allegations that came in as a result of the calls and messages to the Masthead blog on MHProNews.  The response has strongly underscored the validity of the concerns spotlighted in the 3 links above.

So the plan is to update this post, likely this evening. Please check back for the added details then, thank you…

And as a programming note, the new Featured Articles on MHProNews will be going live Monday evening or Tuesday by noon. New newsmakers, pros, mover and shaker interviews and videos plus other articles as the beat goes on.

Here is the promised, evening update.

Where The Buck Stops…

Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.”

― Theodore Roosevelt

Let’s apply Teddy Roosevelt’s principle from former U.S. president Teddy Roosevelt, to MHI.  Instead of country, read association.

First, it was President Harry Truman who famously said, “the buck stops here.”  So doesn’t Dick Jennison bear any responsibility for missteps, and missed opportunities?

If he is truly MHI’s best president ever, why are we constantly coming up short in DC?

We are not going to say that Dick Jennison is lacking in skills, and he has his supporters.  But we are told of presidents past who are said to have commanded different skills; who pulled more pros together, who worked with staff better, etc..  

At a MHEC meeting a few years ago, a state executive director in an opening meeting turned to then president Thayer Long, and softely said, “Thayer, with all due respect, you are not getting the job done.”  It was not long afterwards, that Thayer left, apparently on his own accord.  

Let’s be candid.  MH is a tough gig, and MHI has had its challenges.  There is nothing personal or no unjust slam in reviewing elements of a person’s performance, and seeing if it measures up to the needs, is there? 

Two hats, two standards, one Denial

After a number of callers and messages spoke of a plan within MHI to allegedly retailiate for publishing the three stories above, we were told by MHI that no plan exists to do so.  That’s as it should be, as members must have the right to question and challenge if need be leadership, for the good of the organization and it’s goals.  That’s a takeaway from Teddy Roosevelt’s quote.

There is more to say, but we have raised the warning flags about what’s happening inside MHI enough for now.  Let people watch, observe and see where the current paths lead us; or let us encourage leaders to re-evaluate what has happened and why.  We’ll hold our peace on other revelations, as needed, for a later date.  

Hopefully, corrections will come and publishing more on this topic won’t be necessary. Once more, the initial report which we stand by, and others are confirming, is linked here.

Let’s push forward to the pressing items, and navigate the challenges – internal and external – that keep us from achieving success for industry pros and for millions of negatively impacted MH home owners.

The new February issue of all new featured articles, videos and interviews will be live Monday night, or by noon Tuesday.  Stay tuned. ##  


Standing Room Only seminars are scheduled for the 2016 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, including SuperCharged Marketing and Sales, Financing and MHC/Retail Lessons Learned. More details, linked here.

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

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.