Berkshire Hathaway Reality Check – Manufactured Housing Institute – Friend or Foe to Manufactured Homeowners, Affordable Housing Seekers, and Manufactured Housing Independents?


We study history in order to understand the present and to prepare for the future. Because anything thats happened before can happen again.”

– House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (SC-D) on 2.29.2020.

There are millions who rent who pay more than 30 percent of their income on housing. “A new report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University calculates that 10.9 million renters spent more than 50% of their income on housing in 2018. That equates to one in four renters. Moreover, there were 6 million more cost-burdened renters in 2018 than in 2001,” said MarketWatch on February 5, 2020, so that number is likely to rise in the age of COVID-19. That problem of a lack of affordable housing spans and has overall grown under Democratic and Republican administrations, as the graphic below illustrates. What that reality tells us is that the issue has not been properly addressed.

Decades of third-party research studies have demonstrated that manufactured homes are the most-proven form of affordable housing. That’s a useful point, because understanding should precede plans, proposals, and actual steps toward a solution. Or as widely-acclaimed genius Albert Einstein put it, if he had only an hour to solve a problem, he would invest 55 minutes on understanding the issues, and only 5 minutes in solving a dilemma.

To understand manufactured housing today it only makes sense to look at the largest company in manufactured home construction, retail, and financing. That would be firms owned by the Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate. It would include, but not be limited to, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corporation, and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF).

Additionally, one should then look at the national trade association that they reportedly dominate. First, a good look at Clayton Homes and their affiliated Berkshire Hathaway owned lending is warranted.


During both Democratic and Republican administrations, despite claims by both that they desire to see more home ownership, the overall rate in the U.S. is lower today than in 2000. This is but one of several possible examples of why failure to implement the 2000 Reform law matters.


In a video interview, Kevin Clayton made the following statements.

As you’ve heard, Warren [Buffett] keeps up with almost every publicly traded company out there and all the connections and contacts he has, it didn’t take him long to size our company up.”

Clayton explained during that interview what had changed for Clayton Homes after they made the decision to sell out to Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway.

Of course, my life is much more fun now to not be begging for capital. We were needing over $1.2 billion in capital for mortgages each year.”

The cost of capital had continued to rise and rise. Not be doing that and not having the public company pressures has given us all more time to spend on the business. The best thing, of course, is that having capital in an industry has opened up many more opportunities for us.

I love to tell this story, and people dont believe it, but weve made a lot of acquisitions over the last 24-36 months. Literally every time when I would talk to Warren he would say, Kevin, you and the team need to make that decision. Just rest assured you have plenty of capital to do so. It doesnt get much better than that.” While the pace of acquisitions in manufactured housing slowed for reasons that will be explored further later, since he made that statement, Clayton began buying up conventional housing construction builders instead.

In describing Warren Buffett’s understanding of manufactured housing, Kevin Clayton said this. “For instance, he [Buffett] sized up our industry problems that you could write a book about easily, he sized it all up in one sentence. He says, Kevin, it seems like the problem with your industry is resale. Every part of our problem at that time in the industry stems right back to that. Were doing a lot of things to address that now.”




That should have sparked a follow up questions. For example:

  • Who was the “we” that are doing a lot of things to address that issue of resale?
  • Was that “we” a reference for the entire industry’s benefit?
  • Or was that “we” meant to imply benefit potential for Clayton and Berkshire Hathaway?

But interviewer Robert Miles, a pro-Berkshire man by reputation, raised none of those possible follow up inquiries.

That noted, Kevin stressed that Buffett had confidence in both Clayton Homes, their lending, and the industry. “The confidence and faith he [Buffett] has in our team and the faith he has in this industry is so obvious from that.”

Miles asked Clayton, about the then $2-3  billion a year that was being invested by Berkshire into their business, “That money is being used for you to buy up other peoples mortgages?”

Kevin responded, “Thats correct. The majority of that capital was used to buy Weve literally bought most manufactured housing loans out there at nice discounts. We have such a fine team of people that service those loans well. Were great collectors of the mortgages and then we have the ability to bring the homes back in the event of a foreclosure. Order the materials from our plants at wholesale, recondition the home, and resell it, and have the refinancing to resell the home. In addition to that, weve got a great team that we purchase the Oakwood, Fleetwood Retail, Karsten Manufacturing recently.”

That was said in 2011. But bear in mind the importance of understanding history, because Buffett and his allies understand the historic insights as well as the merits of long-term thinking, planning, and execution.






Clayton explained to Miles the value proposition of HUD-Code manufactured housing which can be 50% less costly (+/-) than conventional site-built housing – depending on the geographic market. Kevin then said the following.

Were also in the fast-housing business, particularly in parts of the country where weather is an issue. Many developers are using factory-built housing now to do more homes, tie their cash up for less time, and now that the homes are on par with site-built housing aesthetically, and theyve always been built very well. Most people dont realize this, but since 1994 when we made the wind zone standard changes, there literally has not been one home found that has been severely hurt after all the hurricanes that have happened. Thats a message that weve got to do a better job as an industry getting out there.”


The pull-quotes from the Robert Miles Kevin Clayton interview are from the video above.
A full transcript and more related information are found at this link here.


There were several important takeaways in that paragraph from Kevin. A review is in order, as they will be important later.

> “Were also in the fast-housing business,“

>  “the homes are on par with site-built housing aesthetically, and theyve always been built very well. Most people dont realize this, but since 1994 when we made the wind zone standard changes, there literally has not been one home found that has been severely hurt after all the hurricanes that have happened.”

> Quality, appeal (“aesthetically”), durability even in windstorms, said Clayton – “Thats a message that we’ve got to do a better job as an industry getting out there.”


That latter point begs the question.

A decade later, why has that message not been effectively delivered to the general public? Especially when third-party research makes it clear that on those factual points, Kevin was correct? For instance, after researching manufactured housing for a report published in Realtor University’s Journal of Real Estate in 2018, Certified Businesses Economist Scholastica “Gay” Cororaton said the following.


See the video interview and related report linked here.


That series of statements also begs other questions. Why did MHI, which Clayton and other Berkshire brands arguably dominate, decide in 2018 to launch a campaign for “a new class of manufactured homes,” hybrids that were eventually branded as “CrossModTM homes,” after Kevin flatly stated as a factual reality that HUD Code manufactured homes already had the quality, durability, and value proposition that he emphasized in 2011?

After all, Kevin said one year at an MHI meeting that the industry should not abandon that segment of the industry that had metaphorically brought us to the dance” in the housing industry. Meaning, affordable HUD Code manufactured homes made the industry historically great.

Indeed, as if to emphasize the point that it was the affordable side of the industry that drove sales, each of the tests that Clayton had performed in trying to sell a significantly more expensive manufactured home arguably failed in the marketplace.

While Clayton corporate has not provided hard numbers, sources that claim knowledge say that the categories of manufactured homes in the screen capture below each sold only a few dozen sales nationally. For a giant company producing tens of thousands of homes annually, a few dozen housing units would be next to nothing.


 To see this illustration in a larger size, click here


The 3D-printed housing test is a separate case, unrelated to manufactured housing, but to dot that i – so far – Clayton has not pursued that either.

Summing up to this point, a few takeaways are worth considering. Kevin stated and agreed that:


  • Access to capital is critical for manufactured housing.” That is not questioned. Eric Belsky, when he was still with the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies said that “Credit is the lifeblood of housing.” It is also a point that the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has repeatedly made over the years, a point that will be returned to later.
  • Access to capital made expansion of Clayton and their acquisition of large pools of profitable loans possible. When someone examines Berkshire Hathaway’s annual statement about Clayton and the related business units, it is financing that drives not only sales, but also yields the most profits.
  • Despite Clayton saying that manufactured homes already offered a great, but misunderstood value proposition in 2011, a decade later, what is it that Berkshire-dominated MHI was pushing? Not what MHARR calls “mainstream” manufactured homes, but rather, the Clayton-backed new class of manufactured homes that MHI branded “CrossModTM homes.”
  • What was the result of this move? For those with a serious grasp of marketing and manufactured housing, it was predictable. Despite claiming “momentum” in late 2018 due that they wanted to build on with their more costly class of manufactured housing, for 2 years, the overall trends of the industry have


To see this in a larger size, click here. To se the full size report, click here.
Zillow’s data reflected that while MHI was “promoting” manufactured housing, interest in manufactured homes declined. See that report, linked here.

Questions are what investigators and journalists use as tools to probe and discover information. Despite inviting question, MHI will not directly answer questions from MHProNews. Why is that when several MHI personalities praised this platform for years on end?

My good, dear friend [L.A.] Tony [Kovach] with Great publication.” – Richard “Dick” Jennison, prior president and CEO of MHI.





In the same address that Jennison praised MHProNews on stage and on camera, he also said that the industry should and could achieve 500,000 new HUD-Code manufactured home sales a year. That begs the question.


  • Why is it that some 6 years later, was that 500,000 new homes annually target expressed by Jennison is still so widely missed?
  • Why instead is manufactured housing yet to break 100,000 new manufactured homes a year?
  • Indeed, why is it that over 17 years since Berkshire bought Clayton and began buying up other pieces of the industry, is manufactured housing as an industry selling fewer homes now than then?




Back to the interview with Miles, Kevin seemed to make a reference to modular homes before pivoting back to HUD Code manufactured homes. He made that clear from these words about what he saw the future of the ‘factory built housing’ industry. The underscoring is added by MHProNews to emphasize that Kevin was speaking about federally regulated HUD Code manufactured homes. Modular homes are not federally regulated.

The potential is enormous and with the capital that Warren provides, we should be able to do on par financing. I think we’ll excel site-built housing from a quality standpoint. Every one of our homes is inspected by federal inspection through HUD all throughout the building process. That’s not done with site-built housing. Particularly, material costs have gone up and land costs. It really makes us even much more compelling.”

Once more, why did Clayton make this odd push for what is now called “CrossModTM homes,” given his repeatedly-stated belief that the quality and value proposition already existed in manufactured homes? Keep in mind, this was years before the “new class” and “CrossModTM homes” were even mentioned, much less launched. Indeed, for those who are new to the industry, it is useful to recall that the industry has been building more ‘residential style’ manufactured homes decades before the first “CrossModTM home” was built.


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Every one of the homes above is a HUD Code manufactured home. Each of them were built years before the words “new class of manufactured home” or “CrossModTM” were publicly uttered. To see this full size, click here. One takeaway is that manufactured homes have long had residential style homes that could blend into any neighborhood. Which begs the question. Why was the CrossModTM homes project launched at all? As more than one MHI builder pointed out to MHProNews, the scheme made no sense. HUD Code builders had long built modular homes too, not just manufactured housing.

In that video interview, Miles asked Kevin: “It seems to me that it’s not an industry where you have to worry about outsourcing where some other country might be able to manufacture homes cheaper and then ship them.”

Kevin responded, “That’s very accurate. We’re very fortunate. Of course, Warren looks for companies that have that enduring competitive advantage. That’s part of our moat, and we intend to deepen and widen that part of our moat. We’ve shipped units overseas before, we continue to look at opportunities overseas, but it would be very difficult for someone to compete. People don’t realize in America with the availability of lumber and raw materials is terrific here compared to most places overseas.”

Clayton elaborated on the “moat” by saying “Warren likes to say that there’s two kinds of competition that he doesn’t like, foreign and domestic.”

Miles asked: “What about your domestic competitors? How are they holding up?”

Clayton responded by saying: “We have some good competitors. I mean, everybody’s trying to carve out their niche, and Warren is very competitive. It’s just amazing, his personality, to be such a genius. He’s also the greatest leader I have ever worked for, the greatest people skills, but again, he paints such an image in each of our manager’s minds about this moat, this competitive moat, and our job is very simple and we share this. It’s so fun sharing some of the things that he passes along throughout our organization, and we challenge every one of our team members, every department. Who is your customer? Deepen and widen your moat to keep out the competition, whether it’s the next department over. How can you serve them better?

But some of our competitors do a good job, but our plans are to make that difficult for them.”

MHLivingNews and MHProNews have both shown the research by financial pros peering into Buffett, Berkshire, and often specifically Clayton Homes. They often speak about the “castle and moat.”  Why? Because Buffett has spoken about it, as Kevin and others have said.




Beside Kevin Clayton’s insight, Bill Gates himself accused his now-buddy Buffett of manipulating markets.




Clayton said in 2011 that they were closing in on 25 percent market share. A brief look at the evolution of that market share is warranted.


Why keep the industry at low ebb? Follow the money, the acquisitions, and the growing market share of Clayton Homes.



By 2020, Clayton’s market share rose to some 50 (+?) percent. Oddly, that figure is contradicted by sources that, in some cases, claimed to have been sold a smaller market share percentage by Clayton Homes.  Additionally, even the other two larger MHI-member firms seemed to offer cover for Clayton in their actual market share vs. a modestly lower share that they published. Was this to mask the trend toward monopolization?  A third-party legal research study linked further below concluded, yes.








Once more, let’s sum up to this point for clarity.

Despite talk of growing the manufactured home industry in 2011, by 2018, the already-modest industry growth had halted and began to slide backward. This occurred during a widely-acknowledged affordable housing crisis.  Arguably by keeping the industry underperforming, several things occur. Among them, in no specific order of importance:

  • The interest of other potential companies that might consider entering a seemingly small industry that is underperforming would be a deterrent.
  • The existing independent companies in the industry would be underperforming. As such, when they sell, they would do so at a discounted valuation from their true potential.
  • Clayton/Berkshire market share would steadily grow. It might look to regulators as a natural evolution as opposed to market manipulation.

MHI member Andy Gedo, one of the rare voices who has attempted to publicly debate MHI’s failure to perform at their stated function and Berkshire’s role in that process, said the following.




At this point it is useful to mention the notion of paltering. To palter is to mix some true statements with some misleading or deceptive ones. While he did not call it paltering, that was described by Michael Lebowitz in the quote below.


See CFA Lebowitz’s analysis at the link here: and see how we’ve applied that in our inquiry to Berkshire board member and attorney Ronald Olson at the link found further below.


Rupert Hargreaves for Buffett-admiring Guru Focus also ripped Buffett and Clayton for their moat.





Donna Feir, Ph.D., said the following in a formal report to the Minneapolis Federal Reserve. She specifically cited the Seattle Times reports on Buffett, Clayton Homes, and Berkshire Hathaway-owned lending units. Note that BuzzFeed news and the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) were also involved in some of those reports on Clayton and their lending.


Dr. Donna Feir specifically cited the reports by the Seattle Times that slam Clayton Homes and their associated lenders, i.e. 21st Mortgage Corp and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance. Note that BuzzFeed News also covered that same concern. 


Kori Hale, for CultureBanx writing in Forbes ripped the unethical tactics that Buffett’s Clayton used.




In response to the Seattle Times and a wave of other allegations against his Berkshire owned Clayton and their affiliated lending, Buffett said the following.



With that background then note that Kevin Clayton claimed that “we rely so much on repetitive business and reputation. Reputation, to my father and this company, was always number one. Warren Buffett, of course, takes it to a whole ‘nother level, and taking again some of what he continues … There’s not a lot of things that Warren is constantly communicating to us managers, but there are a couple. The moat and the competitiveness, but reputation. I honestly believe what he says is true. We could lose hundreds of millions of dollars tomorrow and that would be fine. Don’t lose a shred of reputation. Never contemplate any act, and we share this, have so much fun with our team members because it … Again, protect our reputation every day. Never even contemplate an act unless you’re totally comfortable with it appearing on the front page of the paper written by an informed reporter.”

While Clayton is right to say that Buffett has made such a claim, the question if it is accurate or not is an entirely different matter.


How has the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis lived up to these words from Warren Buffett? Isn’t it clear from even the brief survey above that Clayton has years of problematic media coverage?



The case can be made that while Buffett has said as much, that despite his words, Buffett and Clayton have used ‘bad news as part of their moat. The rips by mainstream media are in this view one more shark in the water to keep potential competitors out. Bad news keeps people from buying a manufactured home.


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It is in that context that John Oliver’s video hit linked below, or Laticia Miranda for NBC linked above, respective reports prove useful to Clayton and thus to Berkshire.




Bad news keeps many from seriously considering manufactured homes.

One of the ‘masters’ of making bad news pay off is the 45th American President, Donald J. Trump.


There is a constant push-pull going on with the news media. It spans the left-right political divide. The distinction between facts and mere opinion is just one of the important ways of maintaining clarity on what the truth is on often important subjects.


Despite 5 years of relentlessly-negative media, President Trump managed to get over ten million more votes in 2020 than in 2016. It is but an example that bad news can pay off.

More specifically in manufactured homes, Frank Rolfe and Dave Reynolds have made bad news generation an advertising tool for their classes and investors.


You don’t get more in your face than this statement by MHI member Frank Rolfe. The firm he and his partner operate have several ties to Berkshire Hathaway brands. Rolfe and his partner Dave Reynolds have several ties to Berkshire brands.


Back to pull quotes from Kevin Clayton on synergy at Berkshire.

The synergies that are there, of course, is that each of the managers, all things being equal, we would rather sell to a sister Berkshire company, and we look for those.”

Miles, in exploring synergy, mentioned that Berkshire has the “Second largest home brokerage company in the United States.”

Clayton chimed in, by agreeing that real estate services “…In the country. You can certainly paint a picture how five years from now these subdivisions that we’re building with beautiful factory-built housing could be part of their supply of housing ultimately and handling of the remarketing of some of those. There’s things like that that will certainly come to fruition.”

They pivoted back to financial services, and Clayton said that when “Warren purchased us, I think financial services was north of 60% of our income. Today it’s 70%, total income, having purchased those portfolios.”

It is useful, at times, to pivot to a different part of the same video interview to grasp how Clayton said things that are demonstrably self-contradictory. Miles never questioned him on these apparent ‘disconnects.’  Having admitted that 70 percent of Clayton’s revenue is from financial services, consider that in the light of what he said in a different part of the same video interview.

Having described the various interconnected business units of the business, Clayton stated that “we always said we would never allow one part of the company to prop up another one, which would make ultimately that entity weak. So we’re never going to give away financing to sell more homes at retail. We’re never going to make our [retail] store managers buy Clayton [Homes, CMH] products. See, those store managers can buy from lots of other manufacturers, and they do, and that keeps our plant managers, and if they’re not the best on value, cost quality, and style, then our stores and certainly those independents will buy from other people.

So, having that discipline, which is really what led to a lot of the failures of the other companies in our industry, we’ll never compromise that, and I think that will continue to make us a stronger company. Make sure every one of those have to compete independently.”

Given that some 70 percent of the profits came from just one part of the business, per Clayton himself, it makes it difficult to assert that each part of the business was completely standing on its own.

Additionally, let’s pivot back to Clayton’s statement “We could lose hundreds of millions of dollars tomorrow and that would be fine [with Warren Buffett].” The obvious qualifier for that statement? So long as their moat was getting bigger, deeper, and wider.

Indeed, in 2011, Clayton said they had 450 retail centers. More recently, Clayton’s website indicates that they have some 360 retail centers.  That reflects a net closures of around 90 locations of their own sales centers. Perhaps more ominous for the industry’s independents is that their website indicates that hundreds of more independents were lost since Clayton’s statement cited above.

See the legal research brief by Sam Strommen of Knudson law, linked below.

Furthermore, as another apparent example of paltering, Clayton stressed that Berkshire Hathaway’s real estate Home Services brokerage could be a source of synergy. Quite so. Then why has that synergy not occurred as Clayton had mused?  Could it once more point to the notion that by obscuring the value of manufactured homes, it kept the industry underperforming?

To illustrate that later notion, MHLivingNews interviewed a Berkshire broker who was selling a significant number of manufactured homes every year. Linda Hazelhoff husband was a custom builder. Yet, Hazelhoff praised the value of manufactured homes.



Again, for clarity and emphasis, that interview with Linda was years before the “CrossModTM home” campaign began. 3 years ago, MHProNews projected that this scheme would be a Trojan Horse for the industry.  To anyone that understands manufactured housing and marketing, it was obvious. Which begs the question. Did Clayton and their MHI allies want that outcome?


This report was posted Feb 21, 2018. It predicted that the so-called ‘new class of homes’ could be a ‘Trojan Horse’ for manufactured housing. If one measures performance by new homes shipped, that concern has proven to be true. How could we know 3 years in advance where the industry might be today? Because we know the industry from the inside, not just as publishers – but as performance based professional service providers. The MHI plan – supported by Clayton Homes, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – was arguably flawed from the outset.


Stating the Obvious Can Bring Clarity

It should be blindingly obvious that if Berkshire Hathaway wanted to make the value of “mainstream” manufactured homes widely understood, that they had the media connections and the financial clout to do so. Buffett himself told Clayton, said Kevin, that if they needed money, he could have it.

Additionally, when Clayton made that comment, Berkshire owned several dozen newspapers. They could have had a national educational campaign simply by having one article a week in each of their newspapers. Given how Google, Bing, Yahoo, or Duck Duck Go news functions work, once a week from each of the Buffett media outlets would have yielded a massive and steady diet of potentially educational industry news.

But that never occurred.


So, that once more points to the notion that industry underperformance was desired by Berkshire, as an apparent tool in the moat to keep competition out. To grasp the importance of barriers of entry, persistence, and exit, see the report linked below.




Last But Not Least For Now – “Philanthropy” and Non-Profits

Miles asked Clayton: “In terms of corporate responsibility, corporate charity, and your own personal philanthropy, I’ve found that most successful, if not all successful business people that I’ve interviewed all have a mission outside of their own business. What’s the Clayton Home corporate charity?”

Clayton responded to Miles as follows.

Twofold. We try to be very active philanthropically in a lot of areas, but the two primary focuses that we have, one is we think in the future that factory-built housing will play a larger role working through non-profits, providing housing to particularly in urban infill and in housing of all types to people that couldn’t afford it otherwise, rebuilding some downtown areas, all that. We really have a great product for that, and we’re getting better at that. Ford Foundation right now is spending $10 million showing the non-profits how to use factory-built housing for that. We’re following their lead in that area. We’ve got a ways to go.

Second of all is education and working with schools. We’re watching Bill Gates and the lead that he’s taking there, he and Melinda and that foundation. They work through a lot of organizations, one of those which, Daggett, does this model school conference and symposium.”

Note that Clayton spoke of “the future that factory-built housing will play a larger role working through non-profits, providing housing to particularly in urban infill and in housing of all types to people that couldn’t afford it otherwise…”

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This is an issue that the Obama Administration era at HUD also explored in a useful, insightful report. MHARR has frequently highlighted this topic with respect to the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA 2000 or 2000 Reform Law). So, why has MHI not done the same, since they are the post-production trade group? This is one of several research documents found on the MHLivingNews website, with perhaps none of them found on the MHI website. See the collection linked below.

In that same year, beyond the Ford Foundation Kevin noted, the Obama-Biden Administration had a HUD commissioned PD&R. That 2011 report made several useful points.


  • Manufactured homes in urban settings appreciated at about the same rate as conventional housing nearby.
  • Rephrased, manufactured homes did not have a negative impact on resale values or appreciation.
  • As MHLivingNews reported, Trulia more recently came to a similar conclusion. Affordable housing by conventional housing did not negatively impact housing value.
  • During the Trump-Pence years, HUD Secretary Ben Carson heaped praise on manufactured homes, how they appreciated in value, and could be a useful path for building generational wealth for those renting.



As Gay Cororaton noted in her research, most renters could afford to buy a manufactured home.




As MHARR and others have noted for years, the federal legal tools to make more affordable home ownership possible has existed since 2000 and 2008 respectively.

Why didn’t MHI, during the Trump-Biden years which was pushing home ownership rates up, get HUD to enforce “enhanced preemption?” Why didn’t MHI push more affordable financing via the Duty to Serve (DTS) provision of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008? Why didn’t MHI push reforms to make FHA Title I or Title II lending more accessible?




With respect to financing, could it be because 70 percent of Berkshire’s profits from manufactured housing – per Kevin Clayton – flowing from financial services? Wouldn’t lower rates via DTS undercut Berkshire’s ability to finance manufactured homes at significantly higher interest rates?

But not to be overlooked is the nonprofit aspect of Buffett’s, Berkshire’s, and Clayton’s penetration into manufactured housing.


FHFA, GSEs – High Cost to Minorities, All Americans – Due to Asserted Failures to Follow Duty to Serve Affordable Housing, Existing Federal Laws


As our report on NBC’s Leticia Miranda’s report yesterday reflected, several of those sources they cited had some cross links. For whatever reason, they were not clearly identified. Perhaps Miranda did not do sufficient homework. Or perhaps she and/or her editor did not want it disclosed?





But that report also failed to connect the dots that link NBC-Universal to Berkshire Hathaway, through their board and beyond. See the report linked above to learn more.


MHAction. MHI. Prosperity Now. The Urban Institute. The RV MH Hall of Fame. NextStepUSA. The Gates Foundation. The Tides Foundation. These are just some of the nonprofits that have a web of links to Buffett, Berkshire, and thus to Clayton Homes.


Bad news is arguably part of the moat. A lack of good news serves a dastardly use for someone who wants to consolidate the industry too. Since Buffett-led Berkshire bought Clayton, the industry is actually smaller today than then. How is that possible, during an affordable housing crisis, unless they wanted it to be so?



Summing Up

The Kevin Clayton video interview and transcript linked above ought to be must reading and viewing for anyone who truly wants to understand the dynamics in manufactured housing since Berkshire Hathaway entered the industry.

So too should the legal research paper by Sam Strommen of Knudson Law, linked here and the follow up to Berkshire, Clayton and MHI lined below..




It must be stressed that Berkshire and MHI’s, management, inside and outside attorneys, and surrogates are silent on these allegations.



Put differently, the prima facie case against Clayton and MHI are not being publicly challenged.




Additionally, Lesli Gooch – MHI’s current CEO – arguably has a checkered history of conflicts of interest herself.


And Clayton, despite Kevin posturing in that Robert Miles video interview about the importance of having a good reputation, has himself admitted the legal battle and related controversy over Berkshire’s desire to close the deal to buy Clayton Homes and their affiliated lending.




There are any number of reasons why manufactured housing is misunderstood, has a problematic reputation, and is underperforming during an affordable housing crisis.


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What is not disputed is that mainstream housing is roaring while manufactured homes are not.

Thinking people are left with some questions to resolve. Is it possible that Clayton and MHI are not able to advance the industry? That seems unlikely.

Then, isn’t it obvious that manufactured housing is underperforming because – at least for now – it is a desire outcome?

MHI’s Board of Directors tells the story. It is dominated by Berkshire brands. The dues paid by Berkshire brands, per sources, are essential for keeping MHI at its current level of staffing and other budgeted efforts.




The Berkshire Board has been stacked with finance, media, and nonprofit leaders. Why didn’t NBC’s Miranda mention any of these items?

Could this be overlooked by NBC’s editor and Miranda in their recent report? Perhaps, but it seems highly unlikely, given how media is supposed to operate. See her report in the fact-check and analysis linked here.


SPJCodeOfEthicsNBCNewsLeticiaMirandaMHProNewsFactCheckAnalysis  To see this graphic above in a larger size, click here.

MHProNews has contacted NBC to make corrections to their report. It should be noted that someone with NBC involved in their report linked here has reached out to ask what changes MHProNews thought should occur. We’ll see what, if anything, happens in their making some arguably merited corrections and disclosures in their 2.14.2021 report.

While there is a lot to unpack above, what these quotes from Clayton and others illustrate is this.

Manufactured housing has on the surface inexplicably underperformed in the Berkshire era. The effect of some 17 years of underperformance are arguably harmful to:

> current manufactured home owners,

> potential manufactured home owners, be they renters or others who are seeking more affordable housing,

> independent producers, retailers, and others involved in manufactured housing,

> investors,

> taxpayers, because often on the local, state, and national levels, billions are being spent to subsidize other more costly forms of housing that would be true if more owned manufactured homes,

> minorities and all those with modest incomes who are being harmed by what many accounts appears to be a serious case of market manipulation.



See the related report linked here.



Who will act to expose this ongoing and apparently avoidable tragedy beyond those voices we have cited in this report?

Which politicos or media will expose this purported corruption, crony and vulture capitalism?

Hopefully, NBC will take such a step, since they have arguably opened that door with their recent report. Time will tell. MHProNews will monitor and report as deemed prudent and relevant.


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Stay tuned for more of what is ‘behind the curtains’ as well as what is obvious and in your face reports. It is all here, at the runaway largest and most-read source for authentic manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Affordable housing, manufactured homes, reports, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. Third-party images or content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.) (See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them.)

All on Capitol Hill were welcoming and interested with the discussion of manufactured housing related issues on our 12.3.2019 meetings. But Texas Congressman Al Green’s office was tremendous in their hospitality. Our son’s hand is on a package that included the Constitution of the United States and other goodies. MHProNews has worked with people and politicos across the left-right divide.

By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for

Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing.

For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He’s a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and

This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.

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