Preface. Today’s report will feature several new insights. But it is helpful to understand those new statements published this week in the proper framework. Because it was several state manufactured housing executives who previously informed MHProNews of the strong-arm tactics deployed by Tim Williams of 21st Mortgage, when he purportedly demanded and got his way on a conference call. That prior report is linked here.
It was a state association executive who told MHProNews long before the Ducker research was announced what to expect. Per that MHEC member source, Ducker – as others doing similar work– would find a way to confirm ‘whatever the client wanted.’ The client, in this instance, was the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and their de facto their bosses. MHI is dominated by Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage other Berkshire brands and key ‘big boy’ allies, per various sources, dues structure and via ‘elected’ posts held. That Manufactured Housing Executives Council (MHEC) member source’s tip proved to be correct about the Ducker outcome. See evidence in the report linked here.
Certainly, it isn’t new that the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) publicly exposes – and has for years – the failures on key topics that MHI claims to ‘champion’ for the industry. That steady push-back from MHARR should not be under-estimated. Because finally, NAHMCO came to birth in 2018 – the National Association for Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO).
That brief snapshot above provides this framework for understanding. While there are clearly state association executives that are effectively ‘in the pocket’ of MHI and their big boy backers, there are per sources and evidence MHEC and other execs who by accident or design have made statements and taken steps that reveal to clear-eyed industry professionals precisely how undermined and subservient to the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis and their allies several manufactured housing nonprofits have become.
While MHARR publicly comments on such matters periodically – in manufactured housing trade media – who else continues to cite the sources and facts that gives industry professionals, investors, investigators and public officials the warnings that such “deceptive” practices merit?
Today’s report below will provide a series of direct quotes that will do several things.
- The quotations accurately reflect the statement of the person quoted.
- The quotes just happen to buttress the ‘case’ that manufactured housing has been – and continues to be – undermined from within, often by the very people that claim to be working to ‘save’ the industry.
- Many of these quotes have been publicly stated for the first time on 2.7.2020. These are new.
- But those new quotes will then be juxtaposed with prior pull-quotes, to reflect the evidence that while the warnings are new, there has for some years been warnings by others about the ongoing failures of MHI. And it must be recalled that MHI – by dues and by ‘elected leadership’ – purportedly does the bidding of what MHI award winner Marty Lavin, J.D., called ‘the big boys’ in manufactured housing.
- Finally, some analysis and action steps will be suggested under the MHProNews Analysis and Commentary section.
With that sequential plan and preface in mind, let’s begin.
- Statement in McCalls on 2.7.2020 from Mary Gaiski, Pennsylvania Manufactured Housing Association (PMHA) – an MHI affiliate.
Tom Hardiman – Modular Home Builders Association (MHBA) post on 2.7.2020.
Mark Weiss, J.D., President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) – Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Duty to Serve (DTS) Quote in an in depth interview linked here.
Tom Hardiman – MHBA quote from 2.7.2020.
Amy Bliss, Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA) cited in report linked here said in different words a similar point that Mary Gaiski did above.
Tom Hardiman – MHBA quote from 2.7.2020.
Amy Bliss, WHA, cited in report linked here said the following. Note how her statement, which is in some ways missing the point made in our red textbox commentary nevertheless points to the harm caused by purportedly antitrust violations by Berkshire Hathaway owned Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage et al. Even though MHI has an antitrust statement, there is no known evidence that MHI ever publicly protested – see prima facie evidence of arguably illegal behavior involving MHI and key members linked here.
Neal Haney – why they broke away from the Manufactured Housing Institute to form NAMHCO.
Mark Weiss – on why a new post-production trade association is needed in manufactured housing.
JD Harper, longtime executive director of the Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association, previously said the following, which makes similar points to those highlighted above.
MHProNews Analysis and Commentary
These new statements underscore years of similar statements from an array of manufactured home industry sources. Sometimes those voices are from those currently or previously connected to MHI and/or state associations that are MHEC members. They have for years made the points about zoning and placement barriers or the need to fully enforce HUD’s federal enhanced preemption under the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA). Here are some added examples.
Indeed, as Tim Williams from the Ohio Manufactured Home Association said, the premise of the White House Council on Eliminating Barriers to Affordable Housing specifically named manufactured homes as being discriminated against. HUD Secretary Ben Carson has issued video pleas to local officials to not discriminate. But that begs the question. Given that even MHI has admitted in writing that Secretary Carson has the authority to do something about this, then why hasn’t MHI continuously pressed Dr. Carson, Brian Montgomery, Teresa Payne or others at HUD to actually act on their federal enhanced preemption authority?
The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) can posture, preen or pretend that ‘all is well’ if they want to do so. But the shipment and production data says otherwise.
The statements cited above from an array of industry voices also say otherwise. MHI’s own state affiliates – who sources have said face a carrot and stick scenario with respect to the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis – are at times quietly providing tips to MHProNews or they in some form or fashion make statements that de facto logically undercut MHI’s arguably false and deceptive narrative. Tom Hardiman, not being in manufactured housing, has the luxury of directly publicly saying that MHI is being deceptive. Hardiman has called on MHI to stop this ‘new class’ of “CrossMod™ homes” promotion, and editorially, MHProNews has held that same view from before their announced name.
The entire premise of splitting the HUD Code into two is flawed, for reasons that Hardiman explained quite well. It undermines the values of potentially millions of homes. That could be the basis of several different types of legal action against MHI and those who promote this flawed and failing-in-the-marketplace “CrossModTM homes” concept.
MHI and their big boy leaders can hide behind photo and video opportunities, while Lesli Gooch is outed by an apparent whistleblower for her conflicts of interest.
What did MHI’s elected leadership do after the conflicts of interest were publicly revealed? Stand by Gooch and take her on to photo op with HUD Secretary Carson. There are several possible words that fit, but corruption at MHI involving their key members certainly seems to fit the facts. The alternative to the corruption hypothesis is to believe that MHI is so inept that they rarely seem to get something right. Given often detailed evidence like what is found linked here and here, doesn’t corruption and arguably illegal, ‘deceptive trade practices’ and other problematic activities fit better?
Did MHI, Kevin Clayton, or others discuss enhanced preemption with Secretary Carson? If so, why is there no action or any indication of it in any known published comment? Why did MHI remove from their own website the evidence of precisely what enhanced preemption meant from the outset?
MHBA and Tom Hardiman, to their credit, does what a trade association is supposed to do. They seek to protect, educate and promote their product. How is it that MHI has failed to ask for a full implementation of good existing laws? How can they fail to promote the good third-party research that has existed for some 2+ decades? See the evidence from MHI’s own website. Note to new readers, this type of site search test has been done by MHProNews on MHI’s website for about a year.
MHProNews has stood for the increasingly clear evidence that MHI has been failing the independents of the industry. In doing so, they have arguably harmed the values of millions of HUD Code manufactured homes. Who says? How about the logic of the Urban Institute? Ponder UI’s statement along with what Hardiman, Mark Weiss and others have said.
The logic of MHBA’s Tom Hardiman is directly on point. Why does MHARR, or Hardiman, or NHA’s David Dworkin take up the tasks that MHI should be doing?
David Dworkin, National Housing Conference, Compared and Contrasted with Lesli Gooch, Manufactured Housing Institute on Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Proposed Modifications to FHFA on Duty to Serve Finance Plans
By posturing effort, while arguably failing to actually promote all manufactured homes, and gambling on the promotion of the failing CrossModTM homes scheme, MHI has harmed the bulk of the industry’s independents, suppliers, service providers, lenders, and millions of current and potential home owners.
This deductively also impacts stockholders in companies that are MHI members.
When will the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis address the real failures that even MHI’s own past or current members have often pointed to at various times? When will they do what their own past president urged them to do?
Mark Weiss said it well. The axis can run, they can dance and prance and romance, threatening some, rewarding others. But they can’t hide the stubborn facts that routinely pop up that makes reports like this possible.
There is more than enough evidence that there is corruption, deceptive trade practices and other arguably illegal activities that are benefiting a few to the harm of the many. See the related articles below.
The bad news is that the opposition to ethical ‘white hat’ businesses, investors and other professionals have deep pockets and they are politically connected. But the good news is that Bernie Madoff could have once made that similar claim. Today, Madoff sits in a federal cell. It took persistence on the part of a few professionals with federal officials to finally topple Madoff’s multi-billion dollar empire.
To dig deeper on the issues vexing manufactured housing professionals and consumers, problems arising from inside industry that fuel issues outside MHVille that are harmful too, see the related reports above or further below. That’s all she wrote for this Saturday installment of “News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes and Factory-Built Housing“ © – MHVille’s runaway #1 news source, where “We Provide, You Decide.” © (News, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary.) Notice: all third party images or content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.
Submitted by Soheyla Kovach for MHProNews.com.Soheyla is a co-founder and managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com. Connect with us on LinkedIn here and here.