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HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Affordable Housing, Obscuring the Truth, Innovations in Housing, and Manufactured Homes

June 4th, 2019 No comments

 

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Hold the headline for 125 words. Poisoning the well. Salting the fields. Those are but two of several ancient methods some enemies used to harm their opponents. The notion behind those vile tactics was if you could kill off their drinkable water or their food supply, someone could effectively destroy their enemy.

 

Other devious, ancient tactics are:

  • scapegoating,
  • tapping into prejudice(s),
  • obscuring the truth,
  • the big lie,
  • making numbers of people fear doing or saying something that is normally quite natural.
  • Still other tactics are buying or enticing someone to become effectively a ‘Quisling’ or ‘Benedict Arnold.’

 

 

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All those are tools of manipulation or coercion, but they could in theory begin subtly. “Political correctness” might be viewed as an example of the deployment of a way to delicately influence millions.

 

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Before proceeding, let me stress that this writer is a political independent. Affordable housing ideally ought to be a non-partisan or bi-partisan issue. My friends and family include Democrats, Republicans, libertarians, other minor parties, and the droves that could care less about politics. While I hold personal views on matters of faith, my friends and colleagues include self-professed atheists, agnostics, Buddhist, Bahai, Muslims, Jews, New Age, and oh yes, one of several branches of Christianity.

That said, the truth, evidence, reason, experience, logic, and history are among the intellectual drivers for this writer and our LLCs digital publications. Earning and keeping the biggest professional audience of its kind in our industry didn’t happen by accident. Or as a top man of a publicly traded firm said during the Tunica Show, he’s happy his company isn’t one of those we’re investigating, a back handed compliment. He went on to say that we lay out a case step-by-step in an evidence-based fashion that makes sense once an article is digested.

That corporate leader isn’t alone. Professionals from firms of all sizes have made this the number one digital platform of its kind in our industry’s history. Not bragging, just the facts made possible by the various tips, sources, and contributions of so many others.

 

 

HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s Affordable Housing Educational Offensive

First, let’s acknowledge that a genius in one field doesn’t make someone all-knowing about other subjects. All truth is learned from another in some form or fashion. Before one knows the truth about any given subject, one is by definition ‘ignorant.’

That’s reality, not a slur.

Before becoming a political candidate for the White House as a Republican in the 2016 election cycle, the current Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – Ben Carson, MD – was a world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon. This writer was among those who grew up hearing amazing-but-true stories of the accomplishments of Dr. Carson. Carson in several ways epitomized the American Dream of going from rags to riches.

His is a story of discipline, endurance to overcome the odds, and the rewards that can come in a free market society that rewards honest accomplishments. So, of course Dr. Carson opposes socialism, and celebrates the American Way.

In an era when being a black man was considered to be automatically a Democrat, Carson – not unlike Justice Clarence Thomas, Alan Keyes, Thomas Sowell, Alveda King, Carol Swain, Walter Williams or scores of others – came to believe that what modern Democrats embraced ran counter to many of the values that made America great. That’s not a slam on Democrats as individuals, but it is to question a party leaders that drifted from Democratic President John F. Kennedy’s professed anti-communism and tax cutting to one that increasingly embraces socialism and redistribution of wealth schemes.

Let’s note there have been GOP party issues I won’t go into now that kept me from embracing their views in toto as well. Each party – in some form or fashion – has something worthy of consideration. This writer, therefor, strives to support those who line up with proven historic principles.

 

Mocked!

There are times when we all say or do something inadvertently that if magnified and mocked, can be weaponized to create an illusion of ineptitude. Mocking someone can seemingly soil even the most gifted. Do that on national TV, social media, or cable news, and you can turn a truly wise or intelligent person into someone that can be made to appear clumsy. The “OREO” vs. “REO” item that made headlines about Secretary Carson a few weeks ago is an example of that in action.

Secretary Carson profoundly identified that mockery tactic on national TV spot posted below as borrowed from the pages of Saul Alinsky, author of Rules for Radicals. Alinsky and Hillary Rodham – the future Mrs. Clinton – were pen pals, and Hillary did a college paper on Alinsky and his methods. To dot the i on slips of the lip or honest mistakes, it’s as wrong to mock former President Barack Hussein Obama for saying 57 instead of 50 states, as it is to mock Secretary Carson for not hearing REO correctly during a somewhat raucous congressional hearing.

 

 

Stuff happens, but mature or fair-mined people don’t mock another for a simple misunderstanding.

Cheap shots at such slips are the tools of those with a weak argument. Which brings us to a reality that Secretary Carson well knows. The truth can be obscured or even turned on its head by a variety of means.

Before turning to affordable housing, let’s give but one more example of obscuring the truth. Prior to launching the campaign that led him to becoming the 45th president, try to find someone of stature who accused Donald J. Trump of racism or misogyny. The Trump Organization famously promoted women as easily as a man. There are scores of people like Tiger Woods, Kanye West, or Secretary Carson, that have or would attest to the fact that President Trump is no racist. Trump appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s program several times. Did she think him a racist then? If so, why did Oprah have him on…was she promoting racism or a racist? Of course not. But repeat a lie often enough, and a certain number will believe it.

Repeat a lie with millions hearing or reading it often enough, and millions will believe that lie.

With those useful analogies and examples, now let’s turn to Secretary Carson’s lessons on affordable housing.  Note that in the video below, as Secretary Carson speaks about manufactured homes and windstorm resistance, Maria Bartiromo makes a sound, as if his statement caught her by surprise.  One might think that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) might want this video on their website.  More on that later.

 

 

Secretary Carson and Affordable Housing

First, Secretary Carson begins with a free enterprise mindset. As a scientist – because that’s what a physician is – Dr. Carson is by training evidence, reason, goal, and solution oriented.

Reverend Donald Tye, Jr. told me something profoundly insightful, which we’ve held until now. Tye said that when he spent time working in social programs to help the disadvantaged, an odd shift can occur among those serving the needy. A job exists in government or a nonprofit in part because there are poor or other circumstantially disadvantaged individuals. Solving the underlying problem would eliminate jobs. Ouch, but that’s a deeply insightful point.

Rephrased, Rev. Tye was telling me that solving poverty was not the goal for many in a nonprofit or governmental role.  Ouch, that’s painful to ponder, but it’s a notion that at a minimum merits consideration.

 

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Carson has been asked to shrink the budget at HUD, as have others in various federal agencies in the Trump Administration. Shrinking HUD’s budget creates political enemies among those who benefit from the existence of programs and poverty. It should be common sense – besides being federal law – that illegal aliens don’t qualify for housing assistance, a topic mentioned in the first right-of-center Fox Business video above. That’s but one of many issues that some on the left have attempted to manipulate facts that creates a narrative that they can weaponize against Secretary Carson.

Carson, by a variety of means, has learned several things about manufactured housing. That’s come in part from trade associations, but also from HUD internal, and other sources.

Carson is not necessarily an expert, but he is intelligent. It is common sense that a home built in a factory is less costly than one built more slowly outdoors. Traditional ‘site building’ is subject to the weather, theft, subcontractors that don’t always show up when expected, inspections that get delayed, permitting, and a raft of issues that cost time and money. Build a single car in a driveway and see how much more expensive that one car is than one essentially identical that’s built on a factory assembly line.

Factory-building is common sense.

Secretary Carson doesn’t have to be a gifted genius to get that reality. Common sense ought to be enough.

In fairness, there is no doubt that Secretary Carson has learned some valuable insights from members of several different associations. I’d like to contemplate the good doctor as thinking for himself – as a scientist would – and not as a puppet for Berkshire Hathaway or their de facto association mouthpiece, based in Arlington, VA. Carson surely knows who Warren Buffett is better than most, because – as noted – he knows who Saul Alinsky is, of whom most Americans know nothing.

Carson, once he begins to learn the truth about manufactured homes, does what many do. He and others get excited about it. Carson seems to sincerely want to tell others, the best way his time and other demands allows him to do. That desire to share good news is common, until it is beat out of someone.

Now, sharing good news about manufactured homes as a tool in the chest for solving the affordable housing crisis may seem to fit what a manufactured housing trade association would – or should – want.

 

 

But what Secretary Carson – perhaps inadvertently, perhaps by intent – has done is reveal the utter purported hypocrisy of the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). How so?

Manufactured housing is now in its 8th month of year-over-year declining production. When one grasps the reality of what Secretary Carson says, it begs the question the Urban Institute asked in January 2018. Manufactured homes could help solve the affordable housing crisis, so why aren’t more HUD Code manufactured homes being sold?

There are over two decades of third-party research that tells the story of HUD Code manufactured homes. That research is largely absent from the MHI website. Why?  Why doesn’t MHI have a page on their website with tons of third party research, as we have established on MHLivingNews?

 

 

Last year, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Certified Business Economist (CBE) Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton wrote a fascinating research report that debunks large swaths of the misinformation that exists about manufactured homes. At least one MHI vice president took part in that research process, because she, I, and Mark Weiss from the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform are among those that NAR’s Cororaton cited in her first footnote on page 48. That highly useful NAR research by Cororaton isn’t found on MHI’s website. Why not? Wouldn’t third-party evidence which debunks outdated or errant notions help convince more Americans hungry for affordable housing to buy a manufactured home?

Of course, it would. Third-party endorsement, by whatever terminology or nomenclature one may use, has been powerful method for convincing skeptics for ages. A genuine third-party research that debunks fallacies goes to the heart of the quotes below, from a former MHI chairman, and a controversial but savvy MHI member.

 

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Then, MHI Chairman when this comment was made. So why doesn’t MHI follow this prudent advice? Why as MHI chair, did Williams mandate doing what he said was a good argument? MHI has a full time PR person. What is that PR person doing, if not refuting incorrect reports, and promoting good news?

 

 

There are reams of quotes similar to those we could cite, but let’s just use one more quote for the moment.

 

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The Decio family had Art – Terry’s father – on the cover of Time Magazine decades ago, what happened to the MH Industry since then?

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Decio’s question begs the question. Why is manufactured housing a secret at all? What is the job of MHI? Don’t they claim in writing and in videos to be promoting the manufactured home industry?  Isn’t that part of what MHI’s President and CEO, Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, swears to under penalty of perjury when he signs the annual IRS form 990?

 

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20 years ago, manufactured homes outsold RVs by about 3 to 2. Today, RVs outsell manufactured homes by some 5 to 1. Manufactured homes are normally purchased for full time living, many RVs are for recreational or part time living. Many RVs – which are towable as well as motorized – can be higher than a manufactured home. The cost per square foot for a manufactured home is routinely lower, as Secretary Carson has stressed.  So why is the industry underperforming?

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Since Berkshire bought Clayton after the third year, the industry has overall performed at a lower level than they year that Buffett made the deal to buy Clayton homes in 2003. Coincidence, or under-performance by design? See the smoking gun documents that purportedly demonstrate monopolistic behavior, linked here.

 

I’ve not spoken to Secretary Carson. So, there is a bit of supposition here, based upon years of my reading and listening to the famous gentleman. At some point, Carson surely must wonder – why aren’t more manufactured homes being sold?  Why didn’t his predecessor at HUD, who likewise praised manufactured homes, actively promote manufactured housing as I’m trying to do?

 

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Seek first understanding. Don’t skim. Don’t jump to conclusions.

 

Secretary Carson is Exposing MHI and Berkshire Hathaway MH Brands

Secretary Carson has exposed MHI and Berkshire Hathaway in this fashion.  A normal trade group would be celebrating what he said to them on May 7, 2019. There are numerous, powerful, pull quotes from his speech.

But no, now almost a month after the address by Carson, that speech is still not found on MHI’s website.

 

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After weeks of our hammering that point, last Thursday, MHI finally posted a brief notice on an interior page about the Innovation in Housing event that Secretary Carson, HUD and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) are promoting. They sent out a message to their members via email with a few pull quotes from Dr. Carson’s 5.7.2019 address, to let their members know how great MHI is. That’s become MHI’s photo op campaign.

But after bragging to their members about ‘getting’ Carson two years in a row, they failed to promote his fine address this year or last on their own website.  Where is the logic there?  Doesn’t that make the point that Frank Rolfe and others have raised about failing to properly promote the industry?

 

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MHI also apparently failed to use their media contacts to promote the good insights Carson has been making in mainstream news appearance exemplified by some videos shown on this page. The same was true in the run-up to the Innovation in Housing showcase that has 3 HUD Code manufactured homes on display.

It’s not the first such failure by MHI. Rather, it is only the most recent, as other examples posted above reflect.

Restated, there is a pattern of behavior that MHI has exhibited for years. It comes down to only a few logical possibilities. Pardon what will seem blunt, but let’s just state them. Among the logical possibilities:

  • MHI – their staff – are inept.
  • MHI – their staff – are incompetent.
  • MHI – their staff – posture intelligent behavior to their members, but fail to effectively do so with the general public.

 

Let’s bear in mind that the association’s staff are intelligent people.

 

 

Let’s further keep in mind that the association’s staff do what the MHI Executive Committee tells them to do. Put 3 stars next to that point.

MHI’s staff have been paid bonuses, if the IRS form 990s filings are to be believed.

 

Bonuses, Bonuses! Manufactured Housing Struggles During Affordable Housing Crisis, While Top MHI Staffers Get Bonuses

 

MHI staff have been praised by Tim Williams and other MHI Executive Committee leaders.  Given the opportunity to respond to concerns raised here or on MHLivingNews, they’ve ducked time and again for the last 2 years.

 

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Declining to take questions in front of dozens of industry professionals was Rick Robinson, MHI’s SVP and General Counsel. MHI’s president has similarly ducked publicly questions by this pro-industry trade media platform. Why begs the question, why?

 

Rearticulated, the staff must be doing what the MHI Executive Committee desires.  That doesn’t absolve them of moral or perhaps some legal responsibilities. But it causes one to look beyond MHI staff to those who pull the strings.

 

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Who helped promote those federal legislation efforts that harmed manufactured housing? Start with a presidential candidate supported by Warren Buffett.

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UMH President Sam Landy 

Sam Landy, JD, UMH Properties President and CEO, said at an MHI meeting to a half-dozen or so listening to him a few years ago words to the effect that ‘there seems to be a lot of meetings, but that not much actually gets accomplished.’

Some MHI corporate members stopped going to many of their meetings, and send a delegate instead, for the same reason Landy stated.

Note that MHI’s 990s make it clear that events and meetings are a profit center for the organization. That’s fine, so long as the organization is doing something worthwhile to promote their stated mission.

There are some who do benefit from MHI, but not in the normal association manner. The evidence suggests that MHI as it has operated in the Berkshire Hathaway era (since 2003) as a tool for corporate consolidation. By appearing to industry members to do what a normal national association should do, they can effectively collect dues and PAC contributions from independents. That also provides opportunities for larger companies to acquire smaller ones.

 

Reading, viewing, asking the right questions, observing, and listening. These are keys to adaptive success.

 

How Industry Underperformance Benefits Berkshire and “The Big Boys” in Manufactured Housing

Because the industry is de facto underperforming, based upon historic data and the potential demand, it means that those who have sold out in the last 15 years have done so at a discounted value. Doesn’t that nicely fit what Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger want? Isn’t that what investors who follow Buffett call an undervalued acquisition?

 

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By suppressing the positive truth about manufactured housing, in direct and indirect ways, the powers that be in MHVille – exemplified, but not limited to, Omaha and Knoxville metro based firms – have turned the Arlington based MHI into a tool for consolidation that can readily escape normal regulatory scrutiny. It’s a slow-motion scheme. MHI appears to do what associations do.  But they don’t make significant progress. It is a model predicated on the industry underperforming.

Does anyone but this author think so? Yes, and we’ve cited examples. Recent ones are Frank Rolfe and Dave Reynolds, who de facto doubled down on Frank Rolfe’s quote above. See the new report, linked below.

 

Frank Rolfe, Dave Reynolds, Both Finger Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Failures, in Writing, Again

 

Or Neal Haney, who as previously was noted, led numbers of this colleagues out of MHI, saying that they failed to represent their interests.

Or Bob Crawford, who on stage and in an entirely unplanned, explained to dozens of industry professionals why MHI was at best a 5 out of 10 in performance. Where so come from, that earns you an “F,” a failing grade.  Keep in mind, this is a flashback to near the end of the Obama administration era.

 

 

Mark Weiss, JD, is the President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR). He aptly called what MHI does the “Illusion of Motion.”

 

Former MHI member and award winner Marty Lavin, JD, may have shrewdly understood this well before others did. For years, he said in writing or in meetings, the following.

 

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More recently, the observant Lavin said the next potent quote.

 

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Does Secretary Carson get all of this? I can’t say, because I don’t know him personally. I do know that HUD’s press office has arguably done all that they can to keep me and our publication away from Secretary Carson. Specifically, let me point the finger at HUD’s Brian Sullivan, who is either de facto working for MHI, or for some other reason fails to do what is in HUD’s – and Dr. Carson’s – and the Trump Administration’s goals of saving taxpayer dollars best interests.  There is no logical reason that Sullivan would have, since we have be consistent public supporters of Secretary Carson since he was first nominated.

No one in MHVille could give Secretary Carson a better chance to talk directly to the largest audience of industry’s professionals of all sizes than this author and our digital trade media platforms. Furthermore, on MHLivingNews, Carson could be reaching current and potential manufactured home owners. That’s what Carson says he wants.  So, if Sullivan is smart, he knows these things.

So why has Sullivan foiled every effort to date to make that happen? We’ll let that question hang, perhaps Mr. Sullivan will tell us, but what he’s said to date is intellectual mush.

One doesn’t have to believe in a grand conspiracy to recognize that people in the public sector may someday want to work in the private sector. Who better to work for later in life than a Berkshire Hathaway brand?

Further, former Office of Manufactured Housing Program (OMHP) Pam Danner, JD, was an Obama era appointee, with similar political views as the former 44th president.  Secretary Carson said that the regulations he reviewed were “ridiculous” in Senate testimony in 2018, and praised the evolution of manufactured homes as “amazing.” That was an indirect way of scolding Danner’s leadership.

 

 

 

Danner, per our sources, was inserted into her role at HUD by allies of the Berkshire brands.

What a growing number of professionals and legislators realize is the following.

 

  • The power to tax is the power to destroy. The more complex the tax laws, the better for big businesses. The more complex the tax laws, the harder it is on small businesses.
  • The power to regulate is the power to destroy. It’s another point that controversial MHI members Frank and Dave made just days ago. It’s a point we’ve made for years.
  • Cut businesses of from capital and financing, and you limit or kill businesses off. Combined with the second bullet above, if you get industry members to fight no-win battles like the now dead Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act – which Frank Rolfe said his congressman told him was a waste of time in the Inside MH video posted above – and you will over time cause some to quit, sell out, or close up entirely. All of those are useful for a stealth monopolist. This writer recently referred to that tactic as the classic boxer’s “Rope-a-Dope” tactic, and I confess that I fell for it for a time too.
  • Evidence exists that that Berkshire, Clayton Homes, 21st did cut off lending. Neither of those brands, nor MHI, have yet to debunk – or even try – the documents, direct quotes, video and related evidence that in 2009 a blatant ‘smoking gun’ style antitrust action occurred during the aftermath of the financial crisis. We use the word alleged, because that’s what’s proper. But antitrust attorneys we’ve shown this to that’s looked carefully has said there looks to be a reasonable case, learn that at the link here.
  • Last for now, but not least, Buffett’s money has been used to fund both sides of several fights, and it has routinely been MHI that ‘loses’ in the battles. We’ve followed the ‘dark money’ trail, see that linked below.

 

Prosperity Now, Nonprofits Sustain John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” Video in Their Reports

 

So with that series of examples of how to weaponize an industry, why would it be a surprise if the revolving door between government and the private sector – as well documented as that is – has also been used by the big boys of MHVille? Again, HUD’s Sullivan will be invited to reply.

But he – and perhaps HUD’s Teresa Payne, both of whom are nice people – are arguably sandbagging Secretary Carson from achieving what he claims to want to do.  The arguable alternative is that Carson is doing an elaborate head fake, and Sullivan and Payne are covering for their boss.  I’m not buying that, but time will tell.

Manufactured housing is underperforming. That harms most, save a few consolidators.

Let me hit one more note we’ve not hit before.  There are companies that may disagree with Berkshire, with Warren Buffett, or with their politics. They may go along out of fear of retaliation, because our industry readers know the purported attempts by those in league with the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis to punish those who would publicly oppose them.

But some could stand up and fight, but don’t. They currently have enough capital, enough power to resist. But they don’t. Why?

Because they are willing to allow the Berkshire brands to consolidate the industry, thinking that it helps them in an indirect fashion. Ouch, but I’ve heard that with my own ears from sources who know and are doing that very thing.

And Buffet and Munger don’t even need to know the vast majority of the people being impacted, so long as their minions in Knoxville and beyond are putting the principles of their strategic Moat is being put to work.

 

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Why We Believe Carson’s at Least Partially in the Dark…

Enhanced Preemption is a provision of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000. As the name implies, it gives HUD Code manufactured homes preemption from a host of local or state regulatory mandates. It is in principle part of how the HUD Code saves a builder money, which in turn saves a home buyer money.

MHI mentions “enhanced preemption” not at all in their website. Why not?

 

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By contrast, you’d find over a dozen articles on MHARR’s website about enhanced preemption.  MHI has been online about 10x longer than MHARR.  How to explain this disparity?  Note that MHI rebuilt its website about 3 years ago, and topics that may have existed before, could have been purged at that time.

 

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What we’ve not seen any evidence that Secretary Carson is aware of the notion of “Enhanced Preemption.”

 

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On MHProNews and MHLivingNews, we’ve spotlighted “enhanced preemption” for years. We put it into our federal comments letters too. It is my understanding that MHARR has done so too.  Videos like the one below touches on the topic.

 

 

So when MHI shows all of these photo ops with HUD’s Brian Montgomery, HUD Secretary Carson, or others, do their meeting minutes reflect that they’ve raised the issue with HUD?  Because if so, in a snap, perhaps the single biggest challenge to sales growth would be remedied.

There is no need to pass a new law, when good existing laws are going unfulfilled.  The same is true on the Duty to Serve. MHI has promoted the Clayton-backed ‘new class’ of homes, but has not pushed for full implementation of the Duty to Serve (DTS) by the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) on all HUD Code manufactured homes.

There is no longer any rationale that the GSEs can use to avoid the implementation of DTS.  Why?  Because Triad Financial, Credit Human, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF) have proven for years that they can do substantiable lending. Furthermore, the FHFA and NAR research that both say that manufactured homes can and do appreciate should be all the reasons needed for the GSEs to do what the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA 2008) requires.

But that would cost Berkshire Hathaway profits. Who says?  Then MHI Chairman and 21st Mortgage Corp – a Berkshire brand – Tim Williams did, in a meeting in San Antonio Texas to a few dozen people, with me in the room.

Not all, but many roads that explain MHI’s odd behavior go back to Omaha and Knoxville.  But what seems ever more apparent is that MHI is – as Marty Lavin said – there for the big boys.  By keeping the industry small now, once the big boys consolidated as much as they think they can get away with, watch as they magically take their foot off an invisible brake pedal.  Berkshire’s coffers will open.  A real marketing and educational campaign will suddenly come to life.  Berkshire Hathaway’s “BH Media Group” will likely suddenly start educating the public.

There is no way that Berkshire can logically argue that they are doing their best to grow the industry.  The evidence to the contrary is stark, and growing.

In the Inside MH video above, Dye specifically says that Secretary Carson should enforce enhanced preemption. The award-winning Dye does more, like explain that there are entry level manufactured homes, and residential style manufactured homes. Both types must meet all HUD Code standards, and thus both serve consumers in very necessary and valuable ways. Dye also says that over half his customers previously owned a conventional site-built house, before buying a manufactured home.

President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have both said they want to enforce the law. Secretary Carson has said similarly.

But Carson if doesn’t know the law on enhanced preemption exists, how can they enforce it?  I don’t think Brian Montgomery – an establishment guy that MHI touted and was there at HUD previously for years – can make the same claim, but let’s hold that issue for another time.

The beauty of enhanced preemption is that all those local zoning and placement barriers that Secretary Carson has spoken of at times would vaporize if federal enhanced preemption were enforced.

The affordable housing crisis could be largely solved within a decade, perhaps less, largely be free enterprise. HUD’s budget could be cut without harming people, because the need for subsidized housing would shrink naturally.

That might upset for a time the apple carts of thousands of investors in rentals. But it would balance out and could bring ‘the rent is too damn high’ complaints to a halt. Because Secretary Carson is correct, the problem is one of supply and demand.  Insufficient supply is fueling ever higher housing costs. The solution is more supply, which factory-building alone can rapidly meet.

Manufactured housing is valuable to individuals, to investors, and to society. It should be respected and encouraged as Secretary Carson is trying to do.

 

 

But wittingly or not, Dr. Carson has unmasked the most logical explanations for why the industry is underperforming. MHI are not doing their claimed job.  That opens up several legal issues, which is explored in part in the linked report above.

 

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Secretary Carson’s full address in New Orleans on May 7, 2019, and other bi-partisan praise for the industry, are found at the link here.  If you’ve not already done so, why not read it.  Then ask yourself, why wouldn’t MHI want this full speech on their website? https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/hud-secretary-ben-carson-speech-on-manufactured-homes-manufactured-housingactive-ingredientmedicationfor-a-stronger-america/

 

Carson Opportunity Zones and Affordable Housing

Secretary Carson is also the head of the president’s “Opportunity Zones” initiative. A proper implementation of existing laws, noted herein above, combined with the opportunity zones, could fuel a growth of trillions of dollars in GDP, per third-party research.

 

 

That kind of economic growth would raise wages even more than they’ve been doing in the last 2 years.  More home ownership would ease income inequality, which is a hot-button issue.

 

 

Secretary Carson – if he properly and fully implements the law – may hold the keys to a Trump Administration second term, or not.

Finally, he’s made a good start by just striving to educate the public.  But the next step is to enforce the law, and to ask DOJ and others to investigate MHI, the Berkshire brands and others who purportedly have violated several laws in the scheme outlined above.

Unlike UFOs, the truth here isn’t elusive.  The truth is hiding in plain sight. One must peel back years of BS to get to it, but Terry Decio’s and thousands of other industry professionals frustrations are solved by simply telling the truth and enforcing existing laws.

As a multiple year MHI former member, I watched from the inside how smoothly common sense was sidelined in favor of esoteric and ineffective often efforts. This writer was praised for years, until we raised too many questions, like about Pam Danner. It was after that San Antonio meeting, after asking about Pam Danner, and questions like those noted herein, that the powers that be that once praised us, turned on us, and booted me out.  Fine.

After some 7 years of slow progress I saw all I needed to, thank you very much.  We still have sources that tell us much of what is necessary to out what is either incompetence, or a hidden agenda.

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoNewClassofHomesMHIMediaClaimsMastheadMHProNews

 

Oddly, instead of MHI hiring an outside attorney:

  • to push cities and local jurisdictions to fully implement enhanced preemption,
  • or hire a lobbyist that does nothing more than get FHFA, the GSEs to do the Duty to Serve properly,
  • or have that same lobbyist do nothing more push HUD to enforce “enhanced preemption,”
  • MHI instead hired an attorney to threaten this writer and our publication, apparently unhappy with our fact checks and related – and they specifically mentioned an earlier graphic like the one immediately above, that they complained about our using properly cited under fair use guidelines for media.

We called their outside counsel’s bluff.  It’s just one of several such messages from MHI over the years.  But that’s just one of other such items that MHI has arguably been involved with aimed at a pro-growth trade media.  Where is the logic?  Why not use that money instead for doing the job they claim to do?

 

Lanham Act, Monopolistic Housing Institute, err, Manufactured Housing Institute, Legal Bullies, and You

 

And our agenda at MHI was simple.  Ethical, sustainable growth, that is good for consumers, independents, and all.

 

TimWilliams21stMortgagePublicationDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNews1

 

They praised that, until they didn’t.

 

AnnParmanVPManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoLATonyKovachMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMastheadblogMHProNews800

 

Interesting isn’t it? That’s the rest of the story.

See prior Masthead’s related to Buffett, Clayton, and the related reports below the bylines and notices for more details. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Industry news, commentary, fact-checks, and analysis.) ##

(See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

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

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

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Related References:

The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which an be accessed by clicking on them.

Prosperity Now, Nonprofits Sustain John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” Video in Their Reports

 

Ross Kinzler Confirms Allegations, MHEC Peer Claims “Association Malpractice;” Member Backstab, MHI Failure Concerns

https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/lead-follow-or-get-out-of-the-way/

https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/hud-code-manufactured-home-production-decline-continues-may-updates/

 

https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/hud-study-analysis-of-zoning-discrimination-against-manufactured-housing-sought/

 

https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/mharr-releases-study-recommending-independent-collective-representation-for-post-production-sector/

https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/independent-national-manufactured-housing-post-production-association-takes-major-step/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Want of a Nail – Manufactured Housing

April 12th, 2019 No comments

 

ForWantofaNailManufacturedHousingMastheadMHProNews

For Want of a Nail
For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

 

In older English, the word “want” could mean “for lack of.” Viewing the above proverbial wisdom through that lens is understood as follows, according to Wikipedia. The Masthead will further unpack this for those professionals and aficionados who are keen on our segment of the factory-built housing industry after the Wiki quotes.

The proverb has come down in many variations over the centuries. It describes a situation in which a failure to anticipate or correct some initially small dysfunction leads by successively more critical stages to an egregious outcome. The rhyme’s implied small difference in initial conditions is the lack of a spare horseshoe nail, relative to a condition of its availability.[1] At a more literal level, it expresses the importance of military logistics in warfare.

Such chains of causality are perceived only in hindsight. No one ever lamented, upon seeing his unshod horse, that the kingdom would eventually fall because of it.[1]

Related sayings are “A stitch, in time, saves nine” and “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure“. A somewhat similar idea is referred to in the metaphor known as the camel’s nose.” said Wikipedia.

 

 

For Lack of a Nail, Manufactured Home Independents Were Lost

Manufactured housing has lost many a message. That is proven by the troubling instances like the bullet’s below will note

 

  • The Bryan City Council, which is just one of a growing number of cities, towns, or counties that have taken steps to limit or ban manufactured homes.
  • HBO’s viral This Week Last Night with John Oliver video on “Mobile Homes.”
  • Declining shipments of manufactured homes during an affordable housing crisis. Unbelievable, given that the Urban Institute and others have cited the improved quality of manufactured homes, but facts are what they are.

Each of those bullet’s reflect this vexing point. The powers that be either can’t or won’t stop/and or address these trends.  That much ought to be obvious, and while debatable, those who would opt to defend the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis’ perspective on the controversy would easily lose.  The 3 bullets above are just recent examples of why.  Others examples are found in the related reports, further below the bylines, offers, and notices.

So that means, alternative approaches – not including the current methods being used – must be developed.

 

Parallel Paths

The independents and investors in our industry must not place every bet on one thing. There is an array of possible alternative strategies that have proven useful and must be adapted to or applied to this industry’s circumstances.

One point is simple. Make officials of the federal government do their jobs.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has primary jurisdiction under current federal law over manufactured housing. Under the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, there is enhanced federal preemption for manufactured homes. HUD is the enforcement agency for that aspect of the law.

Some are talking about suing the City of Bryan, TX. The Masthead favors that option, on several different grounds, that could represent the interests (and thus separate causes of action) for individual groups.

But the Masthead also favor’s pressing the Feds into doing their jobs. One need not look beyond the border battle to realize that manufactured housing isn’t alone when it comes to the notion of enforcing existing laws.  The border issues has festered for decades, under Democratic and Republican administrations. The same can be said about the proper implementation of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.

 

“Time to Enforce the Law on Federal Preemption”

 

It was 2017 when the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform wrote the report linked via the text image box above. It is time to enforce the law on preemption. The linked report below reflects MHARR’s most recent step, in calling on HUD to do a formal study of the issue noted.

 

HUD Study, Analysis of Zoning Discrimination Against Manufactured Housing Sought

 

 

The first step with HUD – or anyone else – ought to be the direct ask to HUD.  But other steps can be included.

  • Elected congressional representatives and Senators can be asked to intervene.
  • But also there is the Writ of Mandamus.

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) knows about this option, because their general counsel, Rick Robinson, wrote a book the included that as the title and a subplot. Rephrased, MHI knows they could fight this in several levels, but for whatever reason(s) one cares to float, they have obviously not chosen to do so.

We have a source on the ground in Bryan, TX that told MHProNews that “To answer your question without commentary, no one employed by MHI was present.”

Meanwhile, manufactured home industry consolidation continues. It is the larger MHI members who are most often the beneficiaries of that consolidation. Coincidence?  Is that a hidden benefit or motivation for those big boys who dominate the association to allow such headwinds – for now – so that they can further consolidate the industry? Later, once they’ve consolidated all that they think they can, will the powers that be magically dust off issues like enhanced preemption, and put them to work for their own enhanced profits?

Don’t forget the investigators question. Cui Bono? Who benefits? Who has the motivation to do – or not to do – x?

We think satirically of MHI as Buffett’s and the Big Boys Buffet.  MHI is short for the Machiavellian Housing Institute. Day by day, they build the case against themselves, don’t they?

Meanwhile, the Buffett Moat and that of his de facto allies purportedly grows as an outcome of alleged market manipulation and association malfeasance. Or as one executive with long ties to MHI told MHProNews this past week, it is “association malpractice.” That source alleged to MHProNews that MHI had some 4 million dollars in reserves.  Why aren’t they using some of those reserves to fight issues like the John Oliver viral video, or zoning issues, like Bryan, TX?

As one more example of purported “association malpractice.”  Why is it that MHI creates supposedly useful research and hides it behind a login?  Why does MHAction seem able to get more bad headlines than MHI can stir up good headlines?  Why doesn’t MHI and do what MHAction and other who have created useful research have done? Namely, take that information, and beat the drums to make it know widely throughout the land?

Are they incompetent in Arlington? Or rather are cagily in pursuit of consolidation? Doesn’t either one leave us where the industry is right now? Let those queries hang and sink in, as we turn back to the main point.

 

The Writ – and Order

A Writ of Mandamus. Ask HUD politely, but if they don’t respond, then Make the Feds do their jobs via a writ of mandamus. Arguably, less costly than many others suits might be. That must be one of the parallels paths.

WritOfMandamusJudicialOrderRemedyDoSpecificActObligedToDoByLawMastheadMHProNews

For want of a nail, the shoe was lost.  Let’s not lose the nail that causes more manufactured home independents and prospective home owners to lose their part of the American Dream.

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

(See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

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

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

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

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Related References:

The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which an be accessed by clicking on them.

New Manufactured Home Production, Shipment Data-February 2019

MHI’s Growth Agenda? Rick Robinson, JD, SVP Manufactured Housing Institute, Preemption Evidence, Writ of Mandamus, and Addressing HUD Code Manufactured Home Shipment Woes

“Billion Dollar Empire Made From Mobile Homes,” What Washington Post’s Peter Whoriskey Didn’t Report

Money, Minorities, Manufactured Homes – Foiling the American Dream of Affordable Housing

 

Good News With Harmful Twist, Anti-Community Owners MHAction Activist Grabs Headlines

Frank Rolfe, MHU/RV Horizons Protest by MHAction; Nathan Smith/SSK/MHI Flashbacks?

Manufactured Home Owners – Satisfaction Survey Redux

 

 

Urban Institute Ask for Correction in Analysis of their Manufactured Housing Research, “Follow the Facts,” “Follow the Money”

 

“No Other Options” – Frank Rolfe’s Pad, MH “Parks” Tug-of-War, Good, Bad or Meh for Manufactured Home Communities, MH Industry?

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

Positive, Uplifting Third-Party Reports Favor Modern Manufactured Housing, So What’s Going Wrong?

 

Lanham Act, Monopolistic Housing Institute, err, Manufactured Housing Institute, Legal Bullies, and You

Independent Businesses, Affordable Manufactured Housing, Open Markets, & Robust MH Sales Growth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cui Bono? “Killing Me Softly,” Manufactured Housing’s New Theme Song?

April 4th, 2019 No comments

 

CuiBonoKillingMeSoftlyManufacturedHousingNewThemeSongClaytonHomesBerkshireHathaway#MHIUpdateMastheadMHProNews

Whitney Houston died a tragic death. She began her career in Gospel. It was Roberta Flack’s, not Houston’s song, but one might suspect that near the end of her dramatic life, the lyrics “killing me softly with his song” were perhaps filled with deep meaning for Whitney.

 

11,582,041 YouTube views – published Mar 16, 2016.

When a company is a subsidiary of the Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate, there is not much they are unable to afford, so long as it makes good business sense.

Need great marketing? Berkshire can provide the capital needed. Research? Warren Buffett led Berkshire has personal connections with the Urban Institute, along with other nonprofits. What they may not want to pay for directly – for whatever reason – they can hire done in the way of consumer or other research.

One could go on, but the point is simple.

 

During well-documented affordable housing crisis in the U.S., how is it possible that the most proven solution known in the U.S. is languishing? How is it that Buffett and Berkshire would allow Clayton Homes to be in the manufactured home industry that 2 decades ago was doing 4 times the level of sales that it is today?  How is it possible that once more, for the last 6 months, the industry’s sales are shrinking during an affordable housing crisis?

 

 

The Investigators Question – Cui Bono?

The Latin phrase ‘cui bono‘ is a question that means, ‘who stands or stood to benefit?’ If one is looking for a criminal or a motive for an action, the question cui bono – who benefited – helps narrow down the suspects.

Clayton Homes and their allies demonstrably dominate the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). They and a handful are what MHI award winner Marty Lavin, JD, called big boy” firms that arguably rule the Arlington, VA based MHI roost.

The latest new manufactured home production and shipments data is out for February 2019. It’s sobering. Yet, when MHI put out its latest missive to their members yesterday, there was no mention of the roughly half-year downturn in production and shipments of new HUD Code manufactured homes.

Instead, in an “MHI Update” there is blather about other topics, including the theme for their upcoming Congress and Expo, “Let’s Keep Building.”

The irony and hypocrisy are so thick, a good steak knife and fork are needed. But it’s part of their purported M.O., to borrow from the song lyrics, of “killing me [or thee] softly.” Happy. Upbeat. All is well. New research…

If MHI is doing it, then the big boys must want it done that way, right?

Please try to explain the logic of allowing federally regulated HUD Code manufactured homes to languish during an affordable housing crisis? Who benefits? How did or do they benefit?

The answer we’ve logically deduced at MHProNews is as sobering as the latest shrinking production data.

For newcomers, Berkshire is based in Omaha, Clayton and their affiliated lenders are in metro Knoxville, and we’ve noted earlier that MHI’s office is in Arlington, VA.

 

That said, as was noted in Soheyla’s market report feature on 4.3.2019, the question was asked. How does one of explain the manufactured home industry’s poor performance since 2003?

 

SoheylaKovachMD-MHProNewsMHLivingNews“There are only a few possible logical options.

 

  • The Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington (OKA) axis and their allies are incompetent. They don’t know how to sell affordable manufactured homes during an affordable housing crisis.
  • The OKA axis are posturing efforts to address concerns that for whatever reasons are not working. This is what MHARR called the “Illusion of Motion.”
  • The Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis have a plan, and they are acting upon it. That plan does not short term include short term steps that will fix the headwinds that are buffeting manufactured housing.”

  

We respect the intelligence of Kevin Clayton, Tim Williams, Tom Hodges, Rick Robinson, and others in the mix noted above. They are smart, successful professionals. So, one may logically deduce that the OKA axis must for some reason want or accepts these historically low levels of production and sales.

If so, why? Cui bono? Who benefits from it?

The logical answer is stark. Let’s sum up to this point. If one agrees that these are intelligent, capable people, here’s what one comes to conclude. There is some arguable benefit to those who want to consolidate pieces of the industry slowly at a bargain price. Whenever the powers that be are ready to take the foot off the brake pedal, the manufactured home industry will roar back to life. The value of their assets’ that were acquired at a bargain rate will then soar.

We’ve provided several opportunities for Kevin, Tim, Tom, Rick, Lesli, Dick, and others to publicly refute these contentions and concerns. We did so as recently as last week in Tunica, where they and/or their attorneys could have attempted to explain away the following. We invited them to give their version of the impact of what Berkshire Hathaway brand records and video linked below described.  Click on the linked text-image box for the details and ‘smoking gun’ evidence.

 

Bridging Gap$, Affordable Housing Solution Yields Higher Pay, More Wealth, But Corrupt, Rigged Billionaire’s Moat is Barrier

 

The reply from the fine folks in Knoxville and Arlington was silence.

Let me confess that some of what we do is arguably unorthodox. For instance, I documented those outreaches to Kevin and his crew with bcc’s to individuals who are in the industry, to federal or other legal officials, and to MHI members and non-members. We’ve advised MHI’s outside counsel, who had previously informed us that he is assigned to monitor moi and our publications.

Put differently, they can’t deny that we’ve given them every opportunity to clear up any misunderstandings. If there is an alternative reading of these linked facts, or others like it, they remain mute. Keep in mind, until 2 years ago, they routinely replied promptly. But now, they rest instead on their 5th Amendment protected right to remain silent.

We respect that right, along with the others protected by the U. S. Constitution.

They’ve made the claim for years that MHI represents ‘all segments of factory-built housing.’ If so, they are failing. If they don’t change behavior, it implies they are either insane – or they must want this outcome of declining sales –  for whatever reasons.  The opportunities for HUD Code manufactured homes are amazing, but the performance doesn’t rise to the level of tepid, based on current and historic trends.  In a U.S. market that did $1.6 trillion dollars in new and existing housing sales in 2018, manufactured housing couldn’t crack $8 billion?  Consider the facts and pull quotes.

 

2018DataShareofHousingMarketManufacturedHousingInfographicDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews612

 

Meanwhile, as the industry sags, the routine of pleasant MHI and other meetings goes on. The steady drone of MHI happy talk and happy music strums on.  Cui bono?  Why not take Warren Buffett at his own words?

 

WarrenBuffettAZQuoteCriticalFactorDetermineValuePayFairBargainPriceMastheadTonyKovachMHProNews

GoodBusinessIsLikeAStrongCastleWithaDeepMoatAroundItSharksIntheMoatIwantItUntouchableWarrenBuffettQuoteMHProNews

 

If you listen to Amazon’s Alexa Fund estimate in 2018 for the potential for prefabricated housing sales in the U.S., they estimated that at some $330 billion annually.  There are several kinds of prefab housing, but manufactured homes are outselling the others.  So let’s cut that Alexa Fund estimate in half, or $165 billion.  That suggests the industry could be doing some 20x the sales volume it is currently achieving. Is that sufficient motive to manipulate a marketplace?

 

 

Whitney, you were a superstar. Will you warn the advocates for affordable housing that the powers that be, like with thee, are killing the pain of independents softly, with their song…?  “We Provide, You Decide.” © (News, analysis, and commentary.)

(See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

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

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

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

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

 

Related References:

The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which an be accessed by clicking on them.

New Manufactured Home Production, Shipment Data-February 2019

 

Surprising Discovery on Manufactured Housing’s Enhanced Preemption, Hidden Gem$

MHI CEO Dick Jennison’s Pledge – 500,000 New Manufactured Home Shipments

Positive, Uplifting Third-Party Reports Favor Modern Manufactured Housing, So What’s Going Wrong?

 

“Democrats Are Sinful Hypocrites. Just Like All of Us.” Weaponizing Information, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and MHVille

Profiting & Correcting – Manufactured Housing Traps, Pitfalls and Swindles

Conquest Capitalism – Thoughts of Chairman Warren Buffett – Billionaires Campaign to Control Trillion Dollar Affordable Housing Market

 

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Persists – Time For Action Not Excuses

MHARR Urges Congress to Preserve DTS In GSE Reform Legislation DBN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Profiting & Correcting – Manufactured Housing Traps, Pitfalls and Swindles

March 23rd, 2019 No comments


ProfitingCorrectingManufacturedHousingTrapsPitfallsSwindlesMastheadBlogManufacturedHomeIndustryLATonyKovachMHPronNews

Think triple damages potentially worth millions to some pros that you know, and billions collectively as you read this. You, a friend or colleague may be entitled to it, and you may not even know it. It may be easier than you think. That will be explained further below.

 

I can picture in my minds eye a couple I met at an Illinois Manufactured Housing Association meeting some time back. They were seniors. They were pleasant, well spoken, and successful for decades in the manufactured home community ownership arena.

But at the time we met, they were facing a crisis with their community. For years, occupancy had trended down. Their business model, as was true if thousands of other community owners for decades, depended upon so-called ‘street retailers’ to sell homes into their community.

When thousands of street retailers vanished in a matter of years, land-lease community owners like them lost a leg in their business model’s 3 or four legged chair. A series of other events in the late 1990s into the 2000s hurt them as it did others.

With dwindling occupancy, deferred maintenance became critical. Those often turn into headlines that for some years now are among those that has haunted land-lease communities – and by extension, the rest of the industry – in news stories and headlines like those shown below.

Mainstream media reporters may or may not be aware of those background dynamics. All they know is that sewer lines that once worked fine, are now a problem. Or water systems may need updating, but haven’t been properly care for due to such economic challenges.

Rephrased, take out retailers, and a series of other events created a cascade effect that continues years after those ‘street dealers’ vanished. Factories that supplied those retailers were shuttered. Lenders and financial services firms lost a once steady and dependable stream of business. Suppliers, transporters, installation, workers of all kinds are harmed.

Nor can manufactured home resident impact be overlooked. Resale values, the entire normal supply and demand chain equilibrium is disturbed.

All of that occurs by removing thousands of independent manufactured home retailers.

Much of the industry and its home owners has yet to recover. Headlines like the ones below hit mainstream news. Of course, it’s a turn-off to prospective manufactured home buyers.  

ManufacturedHomeCommunityMobileHomeParkNewsMHProNEws

Then, ponder the effect of a vertically integrated firm like Clayton Homes and their Berkshire Hathaway sister companies. When you have essentially an unlimited pool of capital, you can afford to lose money at dozens of locations. Never forget that Kevin Clayton said on camera that it would be okay with “Warren” if he lost money for five years, as long as Clayton was widening its “Moat.”

It is simply impossible to fully grasp the impact that kind of strategy has on the industry, until it is carefully understood.

The problems mentioned above then create “value acquisitions” for consolidators. So while Berkshire Hathaway benefited, because Clayton Homes expanded its Moat from some 13 percent to about 50 percent of the market in just 15 years, it also made it easier for several larger community operators to buy distressed communities. Those distressed communities may have operated just fine for years.

The residents in those once properly operated, but years later turned into distressed neighborhoods were suffering the impacts too.

A few “won.” Thousands of independent businesses lost. Millions of Americans were impacted.  But even big boy companies are harmed today, because the image of living in a manufactured home community was shifted over time from happy to problematic.

That’s just one part of the cause and effect of the traps, pitfalls, and swindles that have cost Americans tens of billions of dollars. A few benefited, but at what harm and cost?

This is a topic worthy of debate. Kevin Clayton, Tim Williams, their attorneys ought to explain or refute the evidence, if they can. Joe Stegmayer, MHI Chairman, a former president at Clayton Homes ought to stand before their industry peers and explain the documents, direct quotes, and video recorded statements if they can.

They and their purported puppet association in Arlington, VA have the right to remain silent. Never forget that for years, they each promptly responded to questions from MHProNews. It was about two years ago that all that publicly changed. But what they can’t erase are the impacts on the industry. Nor can they erase the times they publicly praised MHProNews in writing, verbally, or even on video.

These problems are opportunities in disguise. Time will tell if Clayton et al will appear before their industry colleagues next Thursday afternoon and explain the documents, quotes, money trail, trend lines, and evidence compiled here or on MHLivingNews over the years.  

But if they come or not, be one of those who see, listen and learn how the pains of the past and present can become a silver lining to a dark cloud.

How so?

Several ways. We will mention only one today, but more ground will be covered next week, in person and live. The opportunity for class action lawsuit that are handled by plaintiffs attorneys who will sue those responsible on contingency.

That harm artificially caused could logically extend to millions of manufactured home owners, because their resale values have been impacted by such purported market manipulation.

That harm also extends to those whose businesses were sold at a discount or failed all together.

Manufactured housing has seen several large class action lawsuits over the years. It remains to be seen if the SEC, which won’t confirm or deny that they are studying market manipulation in the Cavco Industries case, will dig into such matters. It remains to be seen if shareholders attorneys are going to look into these issues. Why should they? Because if Stegmayer as a former Clayton executive understood all this, and did it didn’t do certain things at Cavco, it obviously impacts business performance and share holders stock value.

It may not pay independents and others on the spot to be at the Tunica next Thursday, March 28, starting just after 12 noon. But it could be worth millions to some businesses, thousands to millions of home owners.

On my personal library’s bookshelf is a chess book. It’s title includes the phrase, Chess Traps, Pitfalls, and Swindles. It never dawned upon me just how much that title may apply to our industry. “Manufactured Housing Traps, Pitfalls, and Swindles.

 

Profiting & Correcting – Manufactured Housing Traps, Pitfalls and Swindles
You or a Colleague’s Opportunity to Collect 3 Times What You Lost

Plaintiffs’ attorneys inform MHProNews that such cases can bring triple damages.  As most readers will know, a contingency lawsuit means that the attorney bears the brunt of the costs and risks. The only reason they take on such a case is because of their confidence in winning it.  You or other victims don’t even have to know how it happened to you.  You only have to have been a victim in order to participate in such a potential landmark case.

 

Speak No Evil, Only Evidence. Tunica Show, Feds, Clayton, 21st, MHI, MHARR, Public Debate, and You

 

Please RSVP for Tunica next week for session 1. It’s open to legitimate industry members who are coming to participate or learn. We are seeking to expand the meeting room space from what was originally reserved. Details will be updated via our emailed headline news, so make sure you are signed up. 

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ManufacturedHomeIndustry1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

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

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

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
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The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which an be accessed by clicking on them.

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