Posts Tagged ‘ross kinzler’

‘Over Target’ Reactions, WHA Exec (ret) Ross Kinzler, Won’t Defend MHI Policies & Points to Prior MHI Failure

March 4th, 2018 No comments


I have no comment on MHI’s legislative agenda.”
Ross Kinzler.


The [MHI] Urban Design Project didn’t have any lasting market effects.”
Ross Kinzler


Priceless, direct quotes.


Why Priceless?

They are significant observations – and de facto admissions – by someone ‘defending’ MHI, and their ‘new class’ of manufactured homes.

The rest that follows are details, context, and commentary.

Briefly consider the point Ross Kinzler made about a prior MHI project that he used as an analogy to the MHI-backed ‘new class of homes’ concept.


Kinzler raises the interesting comparison between MHI’s previous ‘Urban Design Project,’ which didn’t perform as planned, and the MHI proposed “new class of manufactured homes.”

It is Ross who said the Urban Design Project had no lasting market effect, a nice way of saying MHI didn’t move the needle.

Aren’t those polite phrases for failed?

Keep in mind that Kinzler has reportedly done some consulting for MHI.  Yet, Ross won’t defend MHI’s legislative agenda.

That speaks volumes.

The rest are useful details and commentary, but if a reader stopped right here, the take way is that MHI’s prior ‘similar’ project failed, and MHI’s legislative agenda won’t be defended even by those who have been or are paid by MHI, or whom MHI staff has called ‘affiliates.’

Kinzler, has reportedly done consulting for MHI, and yet he still won’t defend their legislative agenda?

Why not?

Aren’t those two directly quoted sentences by Kinzler at the top warnings for every independent community, retailer, producer, service provider, and lender?


CityScapes at the Mills of Carthage; Boston and other cities, are you Listening?

(MHLivingNews has spotlighted one of the HUD Code
manufactured home projects dubbed
the Urban Design Project that Ross Kinzler’s
comments referenced.)


To Be Fair and Accurate, There are Many Possibilities

There are several possible reasons why Kinzler, or others in the MHI camp, don’t want to defend MHI’s legislative agenda.  We are not casting any dispersions on Ross, Amy or any others.

People can make good faith errors, and good faith mistakes in reasoning.

That, by the way, is one of the reasons why public debate can be healthy!  If there is an honest fact or analysis error, let that be logically aired out in public.

Which begs the question, why then does MHI and their surrogates often duck such debate? When key questions are asked about MHI, Berkshire Hathaway, et al, why do they all go quiet?

But as the CSUN – California State University – says in a report on logical fallacies, one of the reasons to know and spot errors in reasoning, is that once an error is spotted, that error can be removed from the discussion.

Doing that saves time in the long run.  Such honest, intellectual analysis dates back over 2,000 years.

Why keep repeating some variation on a logical error?  We’re doing MHI members and non-members alike a favor by spotlighting what look to be logical, legal or other errors.


What Sparked the Flak

ICYMI, the email in the article linked below is part of what sparked all of this flak this past week.

Keith Anderson, CEO Champion Homes, MHI ‘New Class’ Monopoly Concerns Memo, ‘Harms Owners, Independents’


Nathan Smith on the MHI Agenda and Track Record

I credit former MHI Chairman Nathan Smith for admitting during the video below that MHI needed to admit the associations prior mistakes, and make an effort to learn to avoid them.  Smith’s admission was an important step. But have MHI’s leaders in fact learned from prior errors? Is there any consequence for MHI leaders from failures?  In the private sector, a mistake costs jobs or money or both.  What happens when MHI errors?  Where are the consequences?



One possible reason why Kinzler won’t comment is MHI’s legislative agenda and history is simple.  The MHI track record and agenda are not an easy to logically defend or explain.

MHI’s Rick Robinson, an attorney trained in debate and objective analysis, won’t defend MHI’s position either, nor will he or anyone else at MHI do so.

Why not?

Ross_Kinzler_credit_Community_Connections_posted_on_MHProNewsSo Kinzler’s in plenty of company when it comes to not defending MHI’s agenda or track record.

Another reason, as this writer replied to Kinzler is that the logic, history, ethics, and theories behind the MHI agenda are dubious at best.  It’s a relevant point.  In fact, Kinzler was the one that pointed out the steep decline in manufactured housing production, and noted the harmful ripple effects throughout the industry.

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

There are tons of negative impacts for low volumes of new MH sales. One is that there are fewer used homes on the market. Image credit: Ross Kinzler – Wisconsin Housing Alliance.


Perhaps that explains in part why after years and millions of dollars in efforts, MHI key agenda items have not passed. Positions like the arguably contradictory position on the DOE Rule led to a flip flop that MHI leaders don’t want to admit.  Their flip flop on Clinton/Trump, their flip-flop on Pam Danner/HUD, etc. all can reasonably be seen as falling into that category.


But once more, in fairness, there are other possibilities. What we know is that Kinzler won’t defend MHI’s agenda, and neither will MHI publicly defend their agenda; why not?

Those who seek the truth on any subject want solid answers to reasonable questions. Curious minds want to know…


The “Straw Man” argument is one of the common fallacies that are used – intentionally or inadvertently – that can misrepresent the facts. The chart above shows some of the more common logical errors, but another not shown, that is used when George Allen enters a discussion is the red herring.’ Allen also likes ad hominem attacks. By intent or by mistake, the fallacies in reason lead people to wrong conclusions.


Kinzler Defended Bliss, A Deeper Look

Kinzler indicated he was defended his colleague Amy Bliss. But Amy was not attacked.  Ross ‘defended’ Bliss by what’s known as “straw man” arguments. He said things neither MHProNews, nor this writer have said.

Perhaps Kinzler misread?

Then, Ross ducked the same questions and opportunities to discuss by phone to clarify possible misunderstandings that was offered to Bliss, why?

Keep in mind, I personally like and respect Amy and Ross — so this isn’t personal, from our side of the fence, this is a purely professional disagreement.

Think of it as a clinical doctor’s analysis — what do the tests and the facts reveal?


Wittingly nor not, George Allen often falls into red herring and ad hominem tactics. When those are used intentionally, they are designed to distract or belittle, without actually answering the questions under debate or discussion.  For someone trained in debate, their use signals the weakness of the argument of those who use such methods


George Allen, a Bit Different?

Neither Kinzler nor Bliss accepted the offer to discuss items by phone, to clarify understanding. While written words are useful, they can be misunderstood. The combination of written and spoken words can thus become one way to avoid misunderstandings.

Allen’s situation is perhaps different.

He made an interesting revelation, saying he has quit MHI.  He’s not alone.

State Associations, Companies Quit Membership in Manufactured Housing Institute, (MHI), One Explains in Writing, ‘Why?’

Then, Allen says he hasno dog in the hunt,’  but begins blasting away furiously with attacks on the person (= ad hominem fallacy) or red herring tactics.  Those have been an Allen-isms traits for some years.

But what’s revealing is the fury of the defenders of MHI, without actually addressing the specific points made or concerns raised.

Why weren’t specific questions, being directly answered?


Don’t Bother Me With Evidence or Third Party Report’s…?

There’s an old saying, ‘don’t bother me with facts, my mind is made up.’

  • Rick Robinson
  • Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison,
  • Lesli Gooch,
  • Amy Bliss,
  • Ross Kinzler,
  • George Allen and others have ducked out on dealing with specific concerns raised by voices inside the industry and those outside of the industry.

For Allen, that’s perhaps particularly problematic, because he claims the mantle of defending independent communities.  Is he failing them, by not digging into the realities? Why is he now denying concerns on similar issues he himself has previously raised?  Has Allen flip-flopped? Doesn’t he see the contradictions in his reasoning?



Personal Example Makes a Professional Point Useful to Manufactured Housing

My friends, family, and relationships include people of many faiths and backgrounds. Among them are various kinds of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and non-believers. My parents raised us, thank God, with lived examples of how you treated all people with respect, and dignity.

People of good will can have disagreements.

So the response? It ought to be to examine issues, and if someone is mistaken – to show them their error.

But that isn’t done by name calling.  Even when we strongly disagree with Mr. Buffet, Berkshire Hathaway or MHI, we aren’t name calling or mud-slinging. Rather, we provide evidence, quotes and voice concerns in a professional manner.  Let them reply, if they can.  If they can’t perhaps that answers why they began ducking out on engagement, discussion or debate over a year ago.

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

Bliss can speak about conspiracy theories, but when many have provided evidence, how can you call it a conspiracy theory any more?

Wisconsin Housing Alliance – an MHI ‘Affiliate’ – Amy Bliss’ Messages Raise New Anti-Trust Issue

Honest discussion is not accomplished by twisting the other person’s words, or by using false evidence, or misleading arguments.  In fact, manufactured housing advocate, the Rev. Donald Tye Jr. has raised several important points, which will be useful in upcoming articles.

“F-Bombs” Fly – Cursing Manufactured Housing and Tornadoes – Engaging Public, Experts, Officials, and Media

Soheyla had an article this week were we showed some of the vile name calling people post or send on the tornado and manufactured housing topic. It is linked above. The typical response made by this writer begins doesn’t start by cursing them back in return.

Let’s close with a very personal analogy, and I asked permission before sharing this.

My younger brother Tom Kovach holds very different views on a wide range of issues, and leads a life quite different than my own.


While I consider myself a centrist and independent, my brother Tom is pretty far left in many items of Democratic politics. But Tom can be reasoned with, and he and I don’t typically take offense when we disagree in a policy, moral, religious, or other issue. The point is that people can disagree, respectfully.

That said, we are brothers. We love and respect each other. Yes, at times we’ve exchanged thoughts in ways that hurt the other’s feelings, but we get over it, forgive as is needed, and move on.

I don’t have to agree with him, nor he with me, to have a rich intellectual discussion on a topic we disagree about. We don’t call each other some vile name.

tim-williams-CEO-President-21st-mortgage-corporation-daily-business-news-manufactured-housing-mhpronews-21st President and CEO, and prior MHI Chairman Tim Williams said in our exclusive interview with him a number of very important ideas. One of my favorites is Tim’s fraternity example. It’s terrific.

A fraternity is at the root a brotherhood.

Brothers – kinfolk, family – ought to be able to disagree with respect.


MHProNews has focused on facts, concerns, documents, behaviors, trends – which is a kind of history – and evidence. Where does the logic of a position or case take someone?

I strive to hold no personal animus toward anyone in the industry, including those who have demonstrably wronged others or us, or have generally been unjust.  Telling someone to ‘go to hell,’ or worse solves nothing.

If MHProNews is wrong on an interpretation, then that should be thoughtfully refuted, right? George or anyone, where is the need for rude name calling, or manipulative debaters tricks?

If my bride and I were the only two on the planet who believed these concerns, there might be a better cause for others to say ‘conspiracy theory,’ as Bliss said.   If we were the only ones to say, there is a risk from monopolistic behaviors, then mischaracterization by Ross, Bliss, or as Allen did  – 9BTW, I’m well aware of Allen’s nice side, and we respect and value his service to our country0 – could make more sense.

I like Amy and Ross on a personal level. But liking someone doesn’t mean you have to agree.

If MHI, Tim Williams – who can be very charming and likable too – Warren Buffett  – ditto – or anyone else wants to debate the issues, let’s do so publicly, where the industry can tune in, and we should do so with mutual respect.

No cheap shots or debaters dodges, like those in the chart above, are needed.

My sincere belief is that the evidence shows that MHI is being used as a tool by the largest companies in manufactured housing. They are being used to advance an agenda that benefits those larger corporate players, and often hurts millions of home owners and millions of potential home buyers too.

I explained in a recent post how my view about MHI evolved.


What Tim Williams, Dick Jennison, Rick Robinson, Lesli Gooch, et al, Taught Me About the Manufactured Housing Institute

If we at MHProNews know about or suspected a problem, and failed to report it, you could say, shame on me.

If we report concerns, and readers opt to ignore or think differently, that’s a reader’s absolute right as a free person.

But to ignore the growing body of evidence from sources inside the industry and outside the industry, is to do so at one’s own peril.

Now You Will Hear — the Rest of the Story

To paraphrase Jim Ayotte, all of us can only act upon the insights we have available at the time. We then do our best, based upon those insights.

BeatSwordsIntoPlowsharesIs2-4-MastheadblogMHProNewsWe believe the states have done far better on the whole than MHI has. Others in the industry say so too.

We believe that MHI has demonstrably made blunders for years.  Rather than admit them now, as then MHI Chairman Nathan Smith did a few years ago, they and their surrogates are demonstrably using tricks and tactics to duck, dodge, distract, detract, diminish, or defame.

That’s wrong, in my view.

If they were right, they have attorneys who are trained in debate, who could make us look foolish in public, with straight up debate.  No tactics. I have no such advantage, no such formal training in debate.  I think the last formal debate I was in, was high school or maybe even junior high.

So why doesn’t MHI bring out their Ph.D. and attorneys and debate?  Or why doesn’t Clayton Homes, et al, do the same?

Let them try to honestly refute the concerns of voices across the political divide about monopolistic tactics.  Again, see the link above from the recent report by The Nation that cites monopolistic tactics and names Clayton Homes.

Let them explain ethically why they kept others who do publishing as members, and not MHProNews (and our related operations)? No one ever accused me of disrupting an MHI meeting, nor of breaking an MHI rule, did they? All I ever did was ask questions, and offer different views if that seemed wise.  Aren’t they violating what their 990 filings claim? Don’t they want feedback from their members?  Or do they only want yes men and women, who fall in line, as the industry continues to get consolidated by a few?

Why would MHI single us out, ‘marked [us] for elimination’ as sources at or with MHI have said?

These folks are arguably hiding not one thing, but many things.

Those who ignore the evidence do so at their own peril.  On these issues, my conscience is clear.

Beating Swords Into Plowshares

And He [God] shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (Isaiah 2:4, Bible Hub)


The above quote is inspired and well intented. But it misses the key words that proceed the same verse: And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

Dig through the various reports, and ask, if they could refute any of it, why don’t they do so? ##  (News, analysis, and commentary. Note 1: this post will be updated with downloads of statements emailed by Amy Bliss, Ross Kinzler and George Allen, among others. Note 2: where issues have not yet been litigated or determined by legal authorities, the word ‘allege’ should be construed as needed in the above as part of our analysis and statement.)


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

L. A. “Tony” Kovach is an award winning manufactured housing industry veteran, and is the managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC – the parent company to, and professional service provider to the factory-built housing industry.

Connect on LinkedIn:

Celebrating MHPros Careers and Contributions

August 7th, 2016 No comments

One of the great pleasures here is to spotlight the careers and contributions to the industry of notable MH Professionals.


In the recent RV/MH Hall of Fame induction ceremony, a ‘class’ of 10 new inductees into the Hall was the highlight of their gala event.  Every year, the class has 5 from the RV industry, and 5 from the MH Industry.  This year’s class and Spirit Award winner are linked here.


The Class of 2016 includes: James (Jim) Miller, Nationwide Custom Homes; Joseph H. Stegmayer, Cavco Industries, Inc.; Ernie Friesen, All Seasons RV/Redding RV; Gary Bunzer, Bunzer Consulting, Inc. (second row l-r)Thomas R. “Tim” McGuire, The Coast Distribution System, Inc.; Ellen Kietzmann and Michael Hesse, Jay Hesse’s son, accepting for Jay Hesse (deceased) (front row l-r)William (Bill) Overhulser, Del Rey Industries; Robert (Bob) Edward Richardson, Richardson Homes Corp. Not Pictured: Ross Kinzler, Wisconsin Housing Alliance; and Roland Sahm (deceased), Elixir Industries.



Spirit Award Winner, Barry Cole.

We also cherish the opportunity to spotlight the professionals who are featured in our A Cup of Coffee with…series.  This month’s “Cuppa” is with Commodore’s Bob Bender, and it’s no surprise that it’s another read hot read. FYI and ICYMI, each of the linked names on this page will take you to that MH Pro’s Cuppa; get insights that you can enjoy!



WHA’s prior Exec Director, Ross Kinzler.

What we’ve learned over the years is that ‘people’ focused stories are one of those magnets for readers.  Readers love the photos of people they know, or are interested in following.  They love to read about certain personalities, or about anyone else in the industry to see what insights that success story may provide for them.


We may well pivot mid-week or this upcoming weekend to a pair of news tips that we’ve been given, each one on a hot topic that is bound to attract thousands of pairs of eyeballs.  One – finance related, the other is from a well-placed source who shared documents that connect certain feds with certain pros in MHVille…


…but today, our focus is celebrating the good news of careers that have moved the needle in MH.  It’s always a pleasure to spotlight something positive.  That combination of spotlighting the positive, and showing what holds us back and what are our opportunities in MH are how you and your colleagues can improve your roadmap for advancement. For a nice write-up on the RV MH Hall of Fame’s 2016 gala and their big announcement, please click here.  ##


l-a-tony-kovach-mhlivingnews-mhpronews-latonykovach-com-By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

Red Hot Hill on Expanding Manufactured Home Lending

July 24th, 2015 No comments

Let’s take 5 to thank the manufactured housing association leaders who have already sounded off in public on The Hill’s Congressional blog’s “read hotmanufactured home lending expose of the harmful reality of CFPB regs and the holes in CFED’s policy positions.

The list of public comments from others in MH also are coming in too.   As of about 4 PM ET, on Friday here are the execs…

> Ross Kinzler

> Joe Kelley

> Sheila Dey

> Jess Maxcy

> Mark Bruner

> Tyler Craddock

…these above are not in any particular order, and each has a great message to share that was a strong complement to the core commentary.


Candle credit: WikiCommons. Poster credit:

We also see a terrific and growing list of other industry pros:

From the

> MH Communities sector

> Retailers

> a former federal official – who is pro-MH!

And more!

See for yourself, read the column and then scroll down the page and click to see the comments to date.


Let’s unlock the door to more manufactured home lending. MH lenders pose no risk to the financial system. They are a proven, positive option for those seeking to be home owners. Image credit: WikiCommons

Ross shared a thoughtful message with us and with his members in Wisconsin.  We know another fine association exec who has also called on that association’s members to join in on public commenting.

Please take three easy steps.

1) Share a statement or story that makes the case for passing S 682 into law. Just a few minutes, you can logon to their comment system using a social media account in seconds, or directly with The Hill’s comment system.  Your message could be short, long or in between…these are being read.

2) Once you’ve posted, send it to your congressional representative and both Senators. Thank them for supporting this, sharing the link above, encouraging them to read the comments.  It’s powerful! It’s powerful because the facts are on our side.

3) Then please ask another to do the same. Each one, reach one. Pass it on.

There are a few weeks before this comes up for a vote.  This is visible in DC, and beyond.  What I love about the comments is that they build on the fact that this is good for current MH owners, new MH home buyers and for business.

We in MH are the true MH owners and consumers advocates. We are the good business advocates. It’s Your Voice, please make it heard and make it count.  Thank you. ##



By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

America’s and the Manufactured Housing Industry’s Crossroads, July 2015

July 2nd, 2015 No comments

As regular readers know, the first Masthead  blog post of the month is devoted to ‘introducing’ the Featured Articles on our home page. Every month, we list them all, and this month will be no exception.

There are times when a theme emerges or is planned for a given month. Last month, it was the State of the Manufactured Housing Industry. The reports were well read. Our guest columns on terminology and the video interview with Scott Roberts were all highly popular. As with all of our published articles, they are still available online. All of those can still be accessed from the June kickoff Masthead  linked below.

Painful, Inspiring Realities – Summer 2015 State of the Manufactured Housing Industry


In the Jefferson Memorial, Washington DC,. Photo credit, MHProNews.

Learning and advancing due to Past Experience, Using Insights to Advance into the Future

The Fourth of July is America’s birthday party. On the 4th, it is worth recalling that we should not project onto the past our present circumstances. As an analogy, I don’t look at my smart phone and then curse Alexander Graham Bell’s pioneering work in creating the original phone. How would we have smart phones without Bell’s original vision?

Similarly, we ought to see leaders like Washington or Jefferson – who freed their own slaves – as men bucking a pattern that dated back to the oldest records known to humanity.  Slavery has existed since the earliest records, and by all accounts, it still exists today.


“God who gave us Life gave us Liberty. Can the Liberties of a Nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these Liberties are the gift of God? …His Justice can’t sleep forever. Commerce between Master and Slave is Despotism….these people are to be free…”

Nor is slavery a black/white issue. Slavery transcends race. For instance, some historians say there were more white indentured servants – a different form of bondage – brought to the U.S. than African slaves. Free blacks owned blacks in the South; free whites had indentured whites in the North.  Tragic that slavery existed, but Americans have advanced a long way from what was then common.  


The evolution of the early stages of the telephone, and over time it lead to the leap on the right to the modern smart phone. Things tend to happen slowly, over time.

Thus properly understood, our nation’s Founders should be praised for their many advances, not mistakenly dismissed as evil racists. The Bell to smart phone analogy, while remote, applies.

Some today want to toss Judeo-Christian values out of the public square and under the proverbial bus.  Really? What happened to the First Amendment? Or what happened to the 10th Amendment? With regards to the slavery issue and the positive impact of the faith-community, wasn’t it the Apostle Paul who plead to the owner of Onesimus, to free him and then treat him as a brother and not as a slave?  Start looking around at Philemon 1:10, see for yourself.


Photo credit: BeckyDanielson.

Wasn’t it the Hebrew “Book of Leviticus” (25:10) that gave us the words for the Liberty Bell?  

Proclaim Liberty throughout all the Land, unto All the Inhabitants thereof.”

People of faith built the American nation. Faith moved people to abolish slavery. Let’s not let the “politically correct” re-write our nation’s history. America wasn’t godless. The First Amendment limits government, not the expression of faith in private or in public.


Tamas (pronounced “TahMash”) Kovach at Jefferson Memorial, summer 2015.

It was people of faith – seeking freedom from oppression – that established our nation. We must understand the past in its own context before we judge, much less condemn. Judeo-Christian values advanced our Western culture. Let’s not let it be tossed lightly aside. Our own freedom – yours and mine – rests upon those hard-fought values.

From the Past to the Present, and Beyond

All human achievement tends to be a rather messy business. For those of you who have started or managed an enterprise – especially those done ‘on a shoestring,’ but including far bigger endeavors too – you KNOW how messy it is.  You try to keep that chaos in the kitchen as far from the eyes of your customers as possible. Yet somehow, businesses, political, social and religious movements manage to:

  • begin with fitful starts,
  • endure the backsliding,
  • lessons are learned and
  • then the advance ahead continues anew.

Original CFPB logo parody credit – Plus1Properties. Cartoon credit – MHProNews.

Manufactured Housing Appraisal Rules will Hit home on July 18, 2015

This month we bring lots of material on the Appraisal issue. You’ll see no less than three articles directly on that topic below.

But as we ponder:

  • implementation of appraisals,
  • pursuit of HR 650/S 682
  • and more that is coming our way out of Washington, DC…

…we need to consider on this Fourth of July the intent of the Founders for our nation. For example, did the Founders have in mind a fourth branch of government – the bureaucracy – that could ignore or suspend the very laws that breathed them into existence? Clearly, no. They declared their independence – among many things – from just that sort of tyranny of minor officials.

A Brief Segue…

I’ve frankly seen many sides of the question of having two national manufactured housing associations. As an MHI board member, let me say that there is value to having MHARR in the mix. There are some things each one needs the other’s perspective on. Could it be done differently? On paper, sure. Could the two work be better than they have? No doubt. But that competition between the two may be healthier than some may at-a-glance think.

Why do I bring this up today? Because there needs to be more resistance to the long march toward centralization of political power in Washington, D.C..

Jefferson – whose monument near the Washington Mall was among the places my family and I visited last month – would be horrified at what is happening today. We can’t give into every regulatory over-reach.  We ought not begin with the idea of compromise, even when compromise may at some point be expedient.  

For example. The MLO rule is a clear violation of free speech.  As a non-attorney, it seems to me that the restriction of the use of someone’s own, private capital – as the regulators are doing today – is de-facto an unwarranted seizure of property without due compensation.  There are levels to the CFPB – and other DC issues – that we have not explored seriously enough.

We must as professionals do what we have to short term on appraisals, etc., without overlooking the over-reach of regulators like the CFPB.  We need parallel paths of action.


Arlington National Cemetary, graphic credit MHProNews.

Businesses need Certainty 

When words at law have lost their plain meaning, as Justice Scalia said last week, we have entered into highly problematic waters.

When an agency goes beyond their natural authority, then we must be concerned and plan mid-to-long term with care, while working with them at the same time in short term ways to right-the-wrongs.  

So I’m not advocating bomb-throwing!  But we must begin with the thought, what are our NATURAL rights? Are we allowing those hard-earned American rights to slip away to unelected regulators? How is that harming our economy? How does that harm millions trapped in poverty?

So we need parallel paths. We can’t focus on one thing, and ignore all the rest that is going on all around us.  MHI has its strengths, MHARR others.  Let’s hope the two work ever better together.  Let’s see state and community associations broaden their appeal to get more good businesses engaged in making America the engine of free enterprise that lifted millions out of poverty before.  With the proper effort, Americans of wisdom and good will can do so again.


We must prepare our children, as well as the current generation, see the third photo and Jefferson quote above.

We must have a long term view of improving our impact on Washington, at the state and local levels. We must roll-back this centralized, top-down command system that has emerged in America. Each of us can play a part, and even if only 5-10% get properly engaged, the impact of regulators on MH and on our society at large can be mitigated or even rolled back.


Photo credit – WikiCommons. Poster credit, MHProNews.


Making that happen is a matter of education, organization and image. It is PROFITABLE.  There are good reasons to do what is suggested. We will add, likely next week, at least one more Featured Article that will relate to this and other topics noted above.

Our industry, our nation, are at a crossroads.  We can’t just sit on our modest 5+ year MH uptick and think the work is done.  We’ve only just begun.  We can’t just think that what the Founders fought for, what the generations since have worked and bled for is all there is to do.  Each of us – every era – must do our own part.

With no further adieu, please check out this month’s Featured Articles. Also, take a look at a special report – Do De Minimus Exemptions Provide Relief to the Manufactured Housing Industry? More reports and food for thoughts from experts across the specturm to come!

Featured Articles and Reports for Vol. 6, No. 10, 2015

Alphabetically by Category



• Tips for Hiring the Right Contractor for Your Community

by Kathleen M. Bianculli, CIC


Do the steps in your community resemble this photo?

Read more…


Terminology 101 – Transgender – Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Fair Housing Law 

by Nadeen Green, JD


Today there is heightened awareness in our country of issues related to gender identity and gender expression.

Read more…



• New Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Appraisal Rule, Effective July 18, 2015 

21st Mortgage Corporation Update Report



Hopefully all of our retailers have been able to attend one or more of the many trade association seminars and everyone is familiar with the appraisal requirements.

Read more…


• About Appraisals on FHA and VA Land Home Manufactured Housing Loans

by Cody Pierce

CodyPierce-CascadeFinancialPresident-postedMHProNews-com-50x50-Editor’s note: the following below is the verbatim response from the President of Cascade Financial Services to a question from MHProNews to his firm about reports that 1 out of 4 manufactured homes fail to appraise on FHA land/home deals.

Read more…


• Triad Financial Services position regarding 7-18-15 implementation of new ‘appraisal’ rules

by Don Sharp

DonSharpTriadFinancialServices-MHProNews-com50x50-With the above referenced subject being a very hot topic within each Conference/Convention/Annual Meeting this summer, I feel compelled to enlighten all as to my company’s position on this upcoming Dodd-Frank implementation.

Read more…




• Can Your Manufactured Home Business Be Trusted?

by Wayne Coakley

WayneCoakleyGrenadeMarketingGroupReputationMarketing-ManufacturedHousing-55x62 headshot_MHProNews-com-When people do a search for your manufactured home business, what are they seeing about you?

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• The Manufactured Housing Industry Needs to Embrace the Tiny House Movement 

ross-kinzler-wisconsin-housing-alliance-executive-director-posted-industry-voices-manufactured-housing-professional-news-mhpronews-com-50x50by Ross Kinzler

If hindsight is always 20/20, that doesn’t mean it takes 20/20 eyesight to see what’s right in front of us. Across America, the tiny house movement is picking up steam.

Read more…


• Lobbying Your Congressman and Senator

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach

tony- kovachLet’s set aside party distinctions for the next few minutes. 

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• Video – Sam Landy on the value of Trade Shows for UMH Properties Team Members

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach

tony- kovach

Sometimes, less is more.

Read more…


 Ron Thomas, Sr. – to President Barack Obama, on Selling over 500,000 new MHs, Financing and the Greatest Event on the Manufactured Housing Calendar

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach

tony- kovach

Over the years we have done written and video interviews.

Read more…


• Wally Comer – President of Adventure Homes – On the Manufactured Housing Industry’s Evolution, The Louisville Show and how its different than 20 Years Ago

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach

tony- kovach

“It’s an innovative, creative growth oriented” industry now. Who says? High-flying Adventure Homes President Wally Comer.

Read more…


• The Manufactured Home TV-Video Channel – Pathway to Progress and Profits 

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach

tony- kovachAs we did last month with the Scott Roberts video interview, this is a place holder for added content that will be found here on the home page next week.

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• Staggering Along

 by Bob Vahsholtz


Four or five decades ago if someone had been so morose as to forecast a string of years for the MH industry in which unit sales never exceeded 100,000 they’d have been laughed off the stage.

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• Patience

by Tim Connor, CSP

tim-connor-mhmsm-comOne of the major contributors to stress and therefore illness and even death is the lack of patience.

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• ZigOn Doing Well

by Zig Ziglar

zig-ziglarI was in Sacramento, CA, and had an hour’s delay before my flight left. I walked over to the yogurt shop and ordered my favorite concoction, a mixture of the white chocolate mousse and fresh strawberries.

Read more…

Manufactured Home Pros and Community Owners-Management Unite for Better Performance!

January 14th, 2015 No comments

ron-thomas-sr-rv-mh-hall-of-fame-mmhf-chairman-mhpronews-MH Community (MHC) owner, Hall of Famer and MMHF Chairman Ron Thomas Sr. says there is a hunger in the ranks of MHPros for knowledge. We happen to agree. For those in the MHC world who are within a day’s drive or flight of Louisville, KY, if you want great insights from real-world veterans who know how to get the job in MHCs done!

Last year it was Standing Room Only (SRO) at most of our Business Building Seminars at the 2014 Louisville Show. This was one of those packed room sessions!  Ross_Kinzler_credit_Community_Connections_posted_on_MHProNews

So we asked award-winning Ross Kinzler to reprise his role as moderator for a panel that will feature the following MHC  pros, who span the gamut from “mom and pop” to a big publicly traded company and more!

Bob-Van-Shyuver-umhproperties-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-Bob Van Schuyver – UMH Properties. Bob’s experiences in MH include years of successful MH street retailing as well more recent years in management at UMH, which is one of the fastest growing companies in the MHC sector.maria-horton-newport-pacific-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-

Maria Horton Newport Pacific Family of Companies. Newport Pacific owns and fee manages manufactured home communities, has a stand alone company, Cirus Development and does unique near-net-zero super-energy saving factory built homes and more..

mary-o'hara-roc-usa-posted-mashtead-blog-mhpronews-com-Mary O’Hara – ROC USA. ROC USA is a clear leader in the resident owned community space, and had a record year in 2014. A recent ROC conversion story, is linked here.

Tammy Fonk – now with CBRE, but who began her MH career at the family MH retail center tammy-fonk-cbre-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-and well run MHCommunity.

Expect a brief opening statement from each member of this all-star panel, with questions from Ross or audience attendees and discussion by the pros you see here. The audience interaction last year was tremendous, so expect that again next week! See date/time, linked here.


Program Change

Ever want to ask questions or meet with some MH Industry Leaders? The first program on Wednesday has morphed into a series of leader comments to Louisville Show attendees. See the revised first session line up, linked here.

Finance Panels – Communities and Home Lending, including the new 2015 appraisal rule discussion link here!

Growing your Marketing and Sales Results

L A Tony Kovach - Dominate Your Local Market presentation at NYHousing Assoc 2011 Annual Meeting posted MHProNews.comYours truly will be doing presentations on this subject, with a special guest who is flying in from Texas to tell you his experiences. See Dwayne’s story, linked here. The presentations and profitable business building topics, are linked here.  Here’s what others say about what my presentations and handiwork.

Come meet Tamas – Mr Popular! – The Youngest Exhibitor!The youngest exhibitor at the Show was Tamas (pronounced tah-mash) Kovach, right front.  Soheyla Kovach, Jeff Templeton and Matthew Silver (L-R) all with (

Pardon the parental pride, but our little son Tamas (pronounced like “Tah Mash,” Thomas in Magyar) will be back in 2015, along with his lovely mom Soheyla (hey, my better half – we make Louisville an annual family affair! :-) will be at Booth #115. I’ll be there, or at the Seminar Room or walking the exhibits and home show floor with our videographer.

If you want to see growth in 2015, want to compare factories, service providers, etc. then come to Louisville. We hope you’ll stop by next week, drop off your card so we can keep you posted on the news of a new lender entering MH and otherIndustry News, Tips and Views You Can Use.  © ##

(Photo credits: MHProNews)

l-a-tony-kovach-us-supreme-court-washington-dc-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

Will it be a Surprise or a Wave? The Election, Rent Control and Manufactured Housing

October 29th, 2014 No comments

The mid-term elections are a week out. Some predict a wave that will sweep Republicans into control of the Senate, giving new momentum to challenges to Dodd-Frank. Others say some races are so close, the Democrats (or in KS, an “Independent”) could surprise Republicans and keep Harry Reid’s gavel firmly in his hands.

Each side makes it clear that every vote counts in the “ground game.” So will the day come that manufactured housing professionals realizetri-star-estates-bourbonais-masthead-blog-mhpronews- that with proper advanced planning, MH could in become the swing votes election in most districts?

The MH industry could accomplish that goal, if…

…if we had the roughly 20 million home owners and residents living in MH “on our side” at the polls.

Political Victories = Money and Votes

6% of the U.S. population lives in our product. Many electoral races are decided by a far smaller margin. Polls suggest races in GA, KS and NH may have their respective Democratic, Independent and Republican candidates about 2% or less apart.

That means our residents, customers and MH professionals could be a deciding factor in tight races.

Some understandably angst that MH doesn’t have enough lobbying dollars to compete with deeper pocket interest groups. Okay, then why aren’t we collectively more focused on mobilizing MH voters? Either well done or a blended lobbying approach could yield a breakthrough in Washington DC, or at the state level.

Financial Gain from Having Residents on our side

I’ve heard the arguments made by some – for example, from the MH communities sector – that they don’t want to organize residents. It is “too risky.”


All Parks Alliance protesting in MN.

Really? If we don’t organize them, then groups like the National Manufactured Home Owners Association (NMHOA) has proven they will. Ishbel Dicken’s lead NMHOA – via their state affiliates – have time after time, and will continue. Is that what MH Pros want?

Or think about those attorneys who’d love to organize the residents of XYZ MHC for the next class action law suit to hit an MHC owner?

Nature abhors a vacuum – either we organize home owners and residents to fight for what is arguably in their own best interests – for example, on needed Dodd-Frank reforms – or others have and will fill that void. Ignoring the political clout of residents or ceding it to others is not a successful strategy.

Come to think of it…

On the Masthead we believe our MH Industry is the future of quality, appealing, affordable housing in America and beyond! But that doesn’t mean that some of those that you know in our industry won’t suffer catastrophic reversals:

  • in the market place,

  • from regulators and public officials

  • from the courts and legal system

A Better Way to Express This

Come to think of it, the better phrasing is we MHPros want to be on our home owners and residents side.

We can readily make the case that Dicken’s and those like her who:

> want the CFPB to remain as is,

> or who argue for rent control, etc.

are well meaning, but mistaken.

Listening to the concerns of MH home owners/residents and giving them our professional insights must be shared ways in ways that resonates for them.

Rent control and the Dodd-Frank status quo both arguably harming MH residents and home owners. Why don’t industry pros make a video that tells the tale? For now, consider case made in this video by Nicole Gelinas of the Manhattan Institute, and her reasons why rent control harms housing affordability and quality.

Combine the above insight, with this TV news report out of Manitoba and the demonstrated impact of rent control in that market on manufactured housing.

In an interview with Sheila Dey, the industry veteran made the point of how powerful an impact such resident groups can have on elected officials. Of course, she is correct.

But let’s think about that very point in reverse.

Doesn’t it make sense to make to help residents see why rent control harms them, harms housing affordability and thus should be resisted? Can’t we make the case on HR 1779/S 1828 to them as well?

Thinking Win-Win

Win-lose often becomes lose-lose when facts are viewed objectively. When Big Business took advantage of labor at various times/places, unions organized. As some labor unions later became equally abusive, the enterprise (or city…) may have failed, going into bankruptcy.

Without mutual victories – solidarity – there are often only mutual losses.

Take a Bite…

How many of the millions who buy an Apple iPhone complain excessively that they bought the previous ‘new model’ a mere 18-24 month’s ago?

Yet MH has a more compelling story than Apple, so long as we craft and tell it well.

Manufactured housing holds a key to quality affordable homes for millions of Americans. Given the proper win-win perspective, MH businesses, home owners and residents all benefit. That firm foundation could lead businesses, associations and home owners to join hands on issues of common interest.

Such unity could swing elections.

Very little effort is being made to explain – much less engage – manufactured home owners on why legislation like HR 1779/S 1828 is important to them. Nor is much is being done to explain to residents why rent control may sound good but harms them in the long run.


The popular definition of insanity is to keep doing the same things in the same way, hoping for a different result. Hope isn’t a strategy. Let forward thinkers and doers plan ahead for 2016, by crafting an engagement plan with residents and home owners now. ##

(Editor’s Note: A Cup of Coffee with…Ross Kinzler will touch on leardership and other hot issues in manufactured housing. Please watch for it with our rapidly approaching November 2014 issue.)

(Editor’s Note 2: Amy Bliss has written a thoughtful OpEd:

An analysis of The Atlantic’s report on Manufactured Housing, CFPB and MH Financing )

la-tony-kovach-latonykovach-com-by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

Post Crescent – Factory-Built Home Industry Struggles, and National Concerns

September 10th, 2014 No comments

The Appleton, WI Post-Crescent pointed out a state issue with national MH Industry implications. Pittsville Homes shut down operations this summer after 40 years of building modular homes. The steep drop in manufactured and modular home sales in WI was the theme of the Post-Crescent report. The Wisconsin Housing Alliance’s (WHA) Amy Bliss nobly put a better face on it. The WHA’s executive, Ross Kinzler, is among the state execs who candidly point to the fact that roughly 1/2 the states are still losing shipments.


Antonio Barcenas nailing a section for a modular home in the
Pittsville Homes shop.
(Photo credit: Gannett Wisconsin Media)

It is only the greater gains than declines in the other half of the states that keeps MH shipments overall rising nationally. But that national rise doesn’t mean that some builders, retailers and others may see their doors sadly (avoidably?) close.

There is a high cost to low MH sales volume, and a greater risk found in low volume too.

There is a rumor floating about a plan that seeks to address the low sales volume issue may be circulated at the upcoming MHI meeting; if so, let’s hope it’s a good one.

National Concerns – can they impact MH sales?

Seen the latest polls? It seems ISIS’ execution of two reporters may have backfired. Public opinion shifted rapidly in favor of taking military action against the jihadists. The immigration issue has tipped more too. Fears are rising in DC and among citizens of militant Muslims sneaking across the border to take a 9-11 style action. While home grown U.S. passport-carrying terrorists – trained in Syria – cause shudders at Homeland, is that worse than having who-knows-how-many radicals crossing illegally into Texas, NM, AZ or CA?

Think that doesn’t matter to MH? Imagine terrorist activity disrupting the Eagle Ford Shale, or any market where MH sales are actively taking place.

A security expert wrote to say, isn’t it crazy to think the Saudi’s and Israel can build effective border security, and the U.S. can’t? And isn’t is ironic to talk about the territorial sovereignty of Ukraine being violated, when the U.S. border with Mexico is violated thousands of times daily?

Comments flowing from pros like you keep us on our toes; my thanks to all who send news tips and comments, on or off the record. My thanks to the associations who share their news with us, so we can share it with you. FYI – as most of you know, comments on a variety of subjects by pros like you are found on Industry Voices. It’s read hot so far this month.

Growth! It’s happening in half the states, is there a secret to success?

The above are a few of many possible reality checks, but the fact remains that the manufactured home industry is growing.

Sun’s acquisition of American Land Lease‘s portfolio to the tune of 1.32 billion underscores the confidence that Sam Zell also expressed in the manufactured home communities sector, and thus by implication, in the industry itself. UMH is among those who have taken an aggressive growth posture, doubling their footprint in 5 years. These growth-focused firms are far from alone!


Billions of dollars are targeting the manufactured housing sector. Don’t be surprised to see a big spike hit industrialized, including modular, construction in the near horizon. We routinely see international readers – with billions in investment dollars – on our MHProNews pages. An advertiser told me about a multi-billion dollar operation that found them, here.

Investors are researching as well as periodically touching base with us with their questions. We have reason to refer those from time to time.

Looking back a decade from now, the billion dollar China-based LandSea deal that was recently announced is likely to be the tip of the iceberg. Let’s not forget that Canadians with deep pockets are among those looking with investment love at our side of the border.

Other international investors are in the hunt too. So we have domestic cash and international money seeking to find its ways into our part of the trillion dollar a year U.S. housing industry.

Lets suggest the secret for success in our industry this way. As in any profession, success flows from proven, duplicatable processes. Individual, corporate and collaborative efforts are all parallel, important factors.

No one person, no one organization has all the secrets. You know some vital things the fellows across town don’t and vice versa. In modern society, information is critical. As noted in my prior post, readers like Warren Buffett are the leaders. Want to grow more talent within the ranks of your operation? One easy tip is to encourage more reading. Not skimming, reading for understanding! Reading for opportunities…


Let’s close for today with my thanks to Howard Walker, Vice Chairman of ELS, who has thoughtfully shared a note of encouragement marking our rapidly approaching 5th anniversary.

We are getting a steady stream of daily messages – quotable quotes – from state executives, C-Suite level and other corporate leaders along with industry managers, rank and file – many which have an OK for us to quote them. These are names you’ll know, or should!

The closing point is a bold paraphrase of ROC’s tag line, better together. Sure, we may “compete” with others, but we are better off together while remaining friendly competitors. The opportunities are so vast in the U.S. housing business, the real concern is that too many are self-limiting their own potential!

What Joe Kelly calls the “buffett line” found here on MHProNews and our new (1 year old) sister site on Manufactured Home Living News are potent resources that allow you and your team members to grow through useful information. Don’t hoard knowledge, share it with your team and associates. We suggest 15 minutes a day reading on MHProNews, and thousands are doing just that here! We suggest 8 minutes a day on, and thousands are doing that too.


> Personal Development

> Team Development

> Collaborative Efforts, whenever and where ever possible.

These are among the secrets for more MH success. Inquiring minds want to know! Attending good association events and shows like the upcoming Louisville Show are critical too.

Live networking and business deal making opportunities, combined with information and followed up with action; that’s a ticket to success that works.

So let’s not overlook the state or national challenges which are the staple of association work, lobbying and elections. But lets focus an ever greater amount of energy into understanding, applied knowledge and growth. See you in Phoenix this weekend? I’ll be posting as usual, but from near Detroit, come mid-week. ##

(5th Anniversary image credit: fotosearch)

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