Categories Blue States and D.C. Dominate In–Lessons Learned From ‘Can Do’ Pragmatic ‘New Dems’ Matter to Visionary Manufactured Housing Pros and Affordable Housing Advocates-w/Facts-Analysis


Conventional housing and manufactured housing are both regulated industries and professions. What government does or doesn’t allow can have an obvious and significant impact on housing at the local, state, and national levels. “The under-production of housing due to widespread anti-development regulations has undermined the country’s prosperity and growth for decades. Housing is a vital commodity, and regulatory constraints mean families pay far more than they need to. Worse, the crushing cost of buying a home leads many couples to delay forming a family in the first place, which has exacerbated the rapid decline in births. Coupled with the twin threats of elevated inflation and spiking interest rates – exacerbated by excessive federal spending – governments are strangling the American dream.” So said David Deich, Senior Policy Analyst for Budget and Policy at the Heritage Foundation in an on the record emailed follow up to a discussion with MHProNews about HUD, homelessness, and the lack of affordable housing in the U.S. A Democratic perspective on that will follow. Beyond policies, and because of the pragmatic impact of political and regulatory behavior on housing in general and federally regulated manufactured housing in particular, it makes sense in the early days of 2024 to take a fresh and clear-eyed look at what the impacts of housing policy actually are. That noted, under the subheadings of “Urban Unrest” “Health” and “U.S.” is an article made available to MHProNews from the WND News Center (i.e.: World Net Daily) and the Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF). DCNF’s Kate Anderson cites left-leaning Axios, HUD, and others about the exploding homelessness crisis and what has been occurring in so-called “blue” or “Democratic” states about homelessness. In stark contrast to those findings, grounded in Democrat Marcia Fudge led HUD’s latest data-packed report to Congress on record homelessness in the modern era reported in Part I is a fascinating related item from the self-described “New Dems” in Part II.  What may appear to be a hit on Democrats in Part I will get a bracing challenge and life in Part II, courtesy of those “New Dems.”

The New Dems “about us” page on this date says: “Founded in 1997, the center-left New Democrat Coalition is made up of nearly 100 pragmatic House Democrats who work across the aisle and across the Capitol to advance innovative, inclusive, and forward-looking policies. Representing almost half the Democratic Caucus, New Dems are united behind a mission to build an economy that works for every American.” Per that same page, the New Dems make the appeal of being pragmatic and willing to work in a bipartisan fashion with Republicans in Congress, using these words: “New Dems work to bridge the partisan divide with a solutions-oriented approach to politics. The Coalition’s primary goal is to find workable solutions to the most pressing issues facing our nation—from ensuring every American has access to quality health care to increasing affordable housing in every community.” Obviously, the focus here at MHProNews in Part II will be the New Dem’s pragmatic insights on affordable housing and manufactured homes.

Claiming ‘nearly half’ of the Democrats in the House, their about us page states: “New Dems have shown time and again how lawmakers can make real progress in Congress. And real progress is what’s truly progressive. That’s why New Dems are the ‘Can Do Caucus.’” 

So, Part II will unpack the affordable manufactured housing focused additional facts with expert commentary and analysis on the troubling lack of affordable housing issues raised in Part I.

Part I



Blue states saw highest homeless rates in 2023

Washington, D.C. ranked at top

By WND News Services

Published January 4, 2024 at 3:08pm

Kate Anderson
Daily Caller News Foundation

Blue states and the District of Columbia dominated the top spots for homeless residents per capita, according to a December report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

New York and Vermont came in second and third with an estimated 103,200, or 52.4 for every 10,000, and roughly 3,295, or 50.9 per 10,000, respectively, according to rates calculated by Axios from the report. Washington, D.C., had a higher rate of homelessness than all 50 states at 73.3 per 10,000 residents, or an estimated 4,922 people.

Oregon was next with an estimated rate of homelessness at nearly 50 per 10,000, or just over 20,000 people, and California came in fifth at 46.5 per 10,000, or roughly 181,399 people, according to Axios. In September, homeless camps in San Francisco reached a record high since the pandemic with over 500 sites, and New York has been hosting more illegal immigrants than homeless with over 70,000 in emergency or homeless shelters.

Democratic Mayor Karen Bass of Los Angeles touted the results of her Inside Safe program to combat homelessness in December, but despite the city spending nearly $1 billion every year to solve the issue, homeless encampments increased by 40. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom of California even appealed to the Supreme Court in September, asking it to review a decision barring the state from clearing out homeless camps.

Nationwide homelessness increased by 12% from 2022 to 2023 and recorded the highest number of homeless Americans at 653,000 since the U.S. started tracking it in 2007. The year saw a growing number of young people under 25 out on the streets with over 34,700 identifying as homeless any given night, a 15% increase from the year prior, according to the report.

Alternatively, red states had the lowest homeless rates in 2023 with Mississippi at only 3.3 per 10,000 people, according to the report. Louisiana was at 6.9 per 10,000, or an estimated 3,169 people, and Alabama was reported to have had around 3,300 homeless residents in 2023. ##

This story originally was published by the Daily Caller News Foundation. ###

Part II – Additional Information with More MHProNews Analysis and Commentary

MHProNews has previously reported on this topic several times, including the ‘Why is Seattle Dying?’ articles/news video, or see the full HUD AHAR (Annual Homelessness Assessment Report to Congress) for 2023 at this link here. As regular and detail minded readers of MHProNews may recall and newcomers should know, in the final quarter of 2023, MHProNews cited a report out of Oregon, which the DCNF and WND recap of Axios news above indicates has one of the worst problems with homelessness in the U.S.

Left-leaning Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) said in part that most experts agree that a lack of affordable housing was the main cause for homelessness. With that backdrop, per part of a Bing Copilot response to an MHProNews inquiry, it said the following.

BingCopilotAI-Screen1.3.2024MHLivingNews…a report by the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise that discusses the affordable housing crisis in the United States and how it has plagued Americans across the country since the Great Recession. The report states that 2022 estimates indicate that the U.S. needs some four to five million more homes on the market than it has right now. Housing costs have become increasingly untenable for renters and buyers alike; over 40% of renters are cost-burdened (meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on housing costs), and housing prices are rising faster than wage growth in 80% of U.S. markets 1.

I also found a report by Urban Wire that discusses how manufactured homes, which are less expensive and of higher quality than in the 1990s, could help solve the affordable housing crisis. The report states that today’s affordable housing crisis has resulted from home prices and rents outpacing family incomes, and manufactured homes could help solve this problem 2. …”

Let’s note for now that the Kenan Institute’s stated estimate, per Bing Copilot, is low compared to some sources that put the shortage of needed new housing units at between 6 million (Cavco Industries-MHI member), 8.3 million (a prior estimate by Lawrence Yun, Ph.D., with the National Association of Realtors (NAR)), and some 20 million new housing units may be needed, per the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) in 2021. The later said that should be the goal of 20 million is “really that number” needed by 2030, and that was before the immigration wave hit the southern border since that time.


One may or may not agree with Clyburn’s politics. But the wisdom of this statement by Clyburn is demonstrably true.


Enter the Study by the New Democratic Coalition (NDC or “New Dems”)

With that backdrop, a flashback to 2018 is warranted for these items from the New Democratic Coalition (NDC) mentioned in the preface above. Quoting their summary, found on page 2, and linked here is the following. The image collage is by MHProNews, but the base images are all from their document.

The Home-Ownership Rate Has Plunged


HomeOwnershipRateHasPlungedRiseFallOfHomeownershipSince 1965-2015-PerNewDemocraticCoalitionHouseDems2018-MHProNews


QuoteMarksLeftSideWhat We Observe:

Housing is increasingly unaffordable because prices and rents are rising faster than wages because construction is not keeping up with demand.

Implications of Unaffordable Housing:

High cost of shelter is the single biggest squeeze on household budgets and a significant drag on the economy. It is forcing Americans to live on the street, reducing GDP by trillions of dollars, substantially reducing Americans’ retirement savings, and undermining our ability to recover from recession.

What We Think Is Causing Crisis in the Housing Ecosystem:
The construction shortfall is too big to be fully explained by any one of the causes below, but significant factors include:

• Zoning and land-use regulations are slowing and restricting building of housing

• Demand has shifted to walkable transit-served urban areas, which are in short supply

• Construction funding is less available in the aftermath of the financial crisis

• Construction labor is not getting more productive and the labor pool is not increasing

What to Do About It:
We need to continue to develop full policy recommendations for the final report, but the goal is clear: We Need to Build Millions More Housing Units.”

Quoting in part from the NDC report on page 3 was the following.

QuoteMarksLeftSideHomelessness Is Growing, Especially in the Richest Cities
Despite a strengthening economy and a decade of surging federal investment in ending homelessness, the homeless population grew in 2017, driven by increases in thriving West-Coast cities. In the cities with the fastest growing economies, competition over scarce housing is the fiercest, and the poorest families eventually find that no housing is affordable. They either leave the city or join the homeless population. In 2017, over 550,000 Americans were sleeping in shelters or on the street on a typical night.3

Jumping ahead, the NDC report said: “People flocked to these cities, and their populations boomed (Chicago tripled 1880-1900, Detroit tripled 1910-1925 and LA quadrupled 1910-1925). These economic dynamos lifted the whole country’s wealth. Today, our high-wage cities are still attractive, but their populations no longer soar because they do not build enough new housing to offer to all the people who would come.4”

From the NDC’s report page 5 is the following.

QuoteMarksLeftSideTHE PROBLEM

Too many people are bidding for too few homes.

We have too few homes because we have seen a collapse in home construction for the last decade. As a result, prices are rising and people are being squeezed out of housing and homeownership. …”

“In normal times, we need up to nearly a million newly built housing units per year just to make up for those lost to fire, decay, demolition or other destruction.6 To accommodate growing population7 and other sources of new demand, we likely need more than a million additional new units per year.”

QuoteMarksLeftSideInstead of this goal of 15 to 20 million newly built housing units per decade, for the last ten years, builders and manufactured home distributors have delivered fewer than ten million new units.8 Some of this shortfall has been offset by slower losses of existing housing stock,9 but our supply of new housing is clearly well short of demand.”


Give credit where it is due. Sometimes Democrats are accused by conservatives of lacking sound economic principles. Certainly, up to that point in this NDC report, all of that quoted above could be deemed Housing Economics 101 at its best.

  • A lack of affordable housing is driving up rental and purchase costs.
  • Zoning and other factors are part of the problem.
  • Millions of more units are needed to simply catch up to the demand.

Jumping ahead to the NDC’s housing document “missing millions” on page 8: “Instead of looking by income, we can look at geography. Rising prices tell us where demand for housing outstrips supply. The markets where prices are rising the most rapidly are many of our most vibrant, attractive metro areas, and it therefore must be these markets where the housing shortfall is concentrated.”

From page 9.


In the absence of sufficient housing, Americans respond in two ways:

1. They delay forming new households by living with their parents or doubling or tripling up with roommates.

2. They also more aggressively pursue the housing that is available. Vacancy rates drop, homes for sale get multiple offers, and the price of everything rises.”

Again, all of those quoted portions are Housing Economics 101. It would be hard for conservative economists to find fault with that, and the document is coming from self-described moderate Democrats that number ‘nearly 100,’ approaching half of the Democratic House membership. So, one might expect that they would be onboard with their own study group’s analysis. Some other bullets from that report.

  • Prices and Rents Are Rising Faster than Wages
  • Low-Income Families Are Especially Stressed

10 pages into their document raises the first item that sounds like more traditional Democratic thinking, i.e. a pitch on housing vouchers. That noted, they rapidly go back to this point which most members of both major parties could plausibly agree upon.

QuoteMarksLeftSideWe end up with more people than housing units and when the music stops (or the rent increases), the unlucky are left homeless. No amount of funding for initiatives to combat homelessness has been able to overcome this fundamental problem of too many players and not enough chairs.”


All of the factors they’ve cited are useful and reasonable, but that segment is arguably an apt summary of the problem, and merits repeating with highlighting, italics, and bold added by MHProNews below for emphasis.

As a result of the cited challenges that include zoning, incomes not keeping pace with housing costs, and a frank admission that the problem is often urban in nature, the NDC said: “We end up with more people than housing units and when the music stops (or the rent increases), the unlucky are left homeless. No amount of funding for initiatives to combat homelessness has been able to overcome this fundamental problem of too many players and not enough chairs.”

From NDC’s page 11 is another interesting – and likely surprising to some – from House Democrats: “Rising housing costs squeeze American family budgets more than education or health care.” “Media attention focuses on surging prices in education and medical care, but the increasing cost of shelter has been the single largest increase in U.S. family budgets over the last 15 years.20 If we want to give Americans certainty in budgeting and financial security, it is vital to contain housing costs.”

Page 12: “Declining Home Ownership Is Denying Americans The Most Powerful Traditional Wealth-Building Tool.” “It is worth noting that impending federal policy changes may widen the gap further, which would put more upward pressure on home prices.”

Page 13: “In the aftermath of the financial crisis, there were multiple large changes to the mortgage market, driven by regulators, institutions, law changes, and market forces, all of which were designed to avert a repeat of the shoddy mortgage lending that caused the crisis. The cumulative effect has been that it is more difficult to for prospective homeowners to access mortgage financing.25 Many of the legal and regulatory changes are now being reconsidered. If the rules are reversed, the effect could be26 to make millions more Americans able to get mortgages and bid for homes. This would likely increase home prices even further. At the same time, a shift to homeownership would likely relieve some of
the upward pressure on rents.”


Economic Harm of a Lack of Affordable Housing Cost’s the U.S. Trillions and Average American workers $8,775 Annually

Page 14 ought to get some red stars, but we will settle for bold and highlighted: “Housing Costs Are Stifling Economic Growth and Costing Us Trillions.”

“A recent analysis estimated that this failure to build housing in high-wage cities has reduced U.S. economic growth by half over the last 50 years. The authors estimate that reducing restrictions on home construction would cause GDP to increase by $1.9 trillion (that is, raising wages by $8,775 per American worker).27”

Let’s note that paragraph above is a similar point that MHProNews raised about that time, and also that Cavco Industries aptly raised last summer in an investor pitch document.

“For consumers, the two most interest-sensitive buying decisions are the purchase of a car and a home. Typically, auto production and home building and remodeling are the engines of early-economic-cycle growth in the U.S. One reason that this economic recovery has been so weak was the failure of home construction to respond to interest rate cuts. If construction continues to be restrained, monetary policy will be less effective at pulling the U.S. economy out of recession.” That is from the NDC’s page 15.


The Four Ls of Construction

The next section of the New Dems document gets into the 4 Ls of construction. This is a term used by the National Home Builders Assocation (NAHB).


All construction is a result of four Ls: land, lumber, labor, and loans. A shortage of home construction must relate back to a shortage of one or more of those inputs.

“Sadly, we cannot find the ideal theory or anything particularly close. The causes of the crisis in the housing ecosystem are still poorly understood.”

“And “lumber” in the 4 Ls really means building materials. There is no evidence in surveys, prices or academic research that we have seen persistent shortages of building materials broadly.31”

QuoteMarksLeftSideFor each of the other three factors, there is evidence that they have been responsible for at least part of the persistent weak construction over the last ten years. Buildable lots (“Land”) are in shorter supply for a variety of reasons including people wanting to live in already-developed dense urban areas. Financing (“Loans”) for market rate developments was particularly tough to come by right after the financial crisis, and financing for affordable housing has gotten more difficult as federal housing programs are under attack. Finding enough skilled workers (“Labor”) is an emerging problem, especially because the construction sector shows a curious lack of productivity growth.”

MHProNews Notes that those 4Ls of Land, Labor, Lumber, and Loans are all de facto addressed by manufactured housing specifically, and/or other forms of factory-built housing more generally.

  • Factory building helps on the lack of skilled labor and cost of labor side.
  • Factories can train people to do a job and do it with a more rapid ramp up period which is supervised.
  • Factory built housing is reportedly more efficient in the use of lumber or other building materials, with less waste and theft among the benefits of building indoors. Additionally, recycling is practical and a cost-savings at the plant level, but not nearly as efficient at home sites, per various sources. Bing Copilot on this date: “Factory-built housing can help reduce waste by eliminating excess or unused materials,” citing a range of sources including the modular building industry and McKissock Learning.
  • So long as the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000’s (MHIA) “enhanced preemption” provision is applied by HUD as Bill Boor with Cavco suggested to Congress last July, the zoning hurdles are streamlined, and those costs and time-lags could be reduced.
  • The corrections needed with the FHA Title I, Title II, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are, as the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has said already a matter of law and prudent policy being implemented in support of existing federal laws. So those two could be rapidly implemented by regulators simply doing their jobs as Congress enacted and presidents from both major parties signed off on.

Meaning, what the New Dems will wrap up with (see further below) could find some swift resolution simply by enforcing existing laws.

Could authentic, vs. show, Congressional hearings help? Perhaps. It has been over a dozen years since Congress last held serious hearings on the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA), and about a decade since the Government Accountability Office (GAO) published their report on the MHIA linked here, as MHProNews periodically reminds readers. The more recent Q&A with HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge, which briefly got into MHIA related topics, was disappointing on several levels. Look for an update on those probes into what has gone wrong in the manufactured housing industry’s operating environment.

Those points, noted, returning to and moving deeper into the NDC report, here is another possible surprise from that Democratic document found on page 19.

QuoteMarksLeftSideTheory: Environmental and other regulations are raising the cost of construction

In addition to housing-specific regulations that are generally enacted at the local level, builders face state and federal regulations on workplace safety, waste and pollution control, and endangered species protection. These regulations are generally increasing over time, and some builders blame them for rising costs.”

“One of the countries that has been the most effective at providing housing is Japan. Tokyo, for example, is larger than any U.S. city, is already heavily built up and has essentially no open land on its perimeter. Despite that, Tokyo built more homes in 2014 than California, which has three times the population and almost one thousand times the land area.39 Many analysts credit Tokyo’s success to its embrace of by-right development.40 By-right development limits or eliminates objections to developments that comply with all regulations and zoning and land-use plans. Bringing a similar approach to the U.S. could unleash more construction.” Once again, that paragraph is Housing Economics 101, making a fine example. What is missing in this document so far is the mention of the fact that Congress addressed those issues in 2000, in a highly bipartisan fashion, when the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 was enacted.

Jumping ahead again, the NDC document concludes with the following.

QuoteMarksLeftSideWe need to continue to develop policy recommendations for the full report, but the goal is clear: we need to build millions more housing units. To do this, we will have to overcome significant obstacles. Power is fragmented across federal, state, and local governments, and housing programs are very siloed. Nobody is looking at the ecosystem as a whole. But the work is critically important to America’s economy and America’s families.”


New Dems Report and the Manufactured Housing Connection 

Let’s note what we have thus far skipped over from the NDC document above.

Manufactured homes are mentioned 3 times in their report, per a WORD search of their research document.

  • “Instead of this goal of 15 to 20 million newly built housing units per decade, for the last ten years, builders and manufactured home distributors have delivered fewer than ten million new units.8″
  • “The Census tracks starts, completions and sales of new site built and shipments and placements of manufactured homes. Both are reported monthly.  For the years 2008-2017, Census reports 8.86 million housing starts of site-built homes, and 654,000 shipments of manufactured homes.” 

Let’s note that for that decade which the New Dems cited (2008-2017), the U.S. Census Bureau data would total 9,514,000 total of site-built starts and manufactured homes produced and shipped.

Note that during that timeframe, that works out to be only 0.0687 (6.87 percent) of the U.S. total of new single-family housing.

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and Kevin Clayton led and Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) owned Clayton Homes often say that manufactured housing has been about 9, 10, or 11 percent of new housing construction.

What neither MHI or Clayton appear eager to mention is what the St. Louis Federal Reserve noted: “According to the St. Louis Federal Reserve, mobile homes accounted for about 30% of the new supply of single-family homes in 1971 and 19721.”

Or according to the Urban Institute: “The share of manufactured homes as a percentage of new single-family production ranged from 15% to 27% between 1977 and 1995, but has averaged only about 9% in the past decade2.” For eyes opened manufactured housing industry pros, those who need affordable housing, investors and others those stark shifts downward in market share data reveals a big “Ouch.” For public officials that actually care about a solution, vs. a possible talking point, it reflects an area that must be better understood. Because both conventional housing and manufactured homes have apparently been throttled.


Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) 1.3.2024 Emailed ‘News-Updates’ – Fails Mention of Manufactured Home Production Drop, Focus on NCC-More–Analysis plus Sunday Weekly MHVille Headlines Recap


Manufactured housing is mentioned specifically once by the New Dems insightful research.

  • Manufactured Housing Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. Accessed at: 9

A word search of the document provided no (zero) hits on either modular, prefab, factory built or “off site built” housing.

So, manufactured housing was apparently specifically considered in several ways in the course of the New Dems insightful research. As MHARR’s Danny Ghorbani has observed, affordable housing is a bipartisan desire in Congress and HUD Code manufactured homes have hundreds of natural allies on Capitol Hill. The need for affordable homes in the U.S. are important to Republicans as well as Democrats, independents, those who aren’t very political, and those who are hyper into some minor party.

With that noted, consider what Bing Copilot reflected in response to the following inquiry.

> “There is a document that was produced by the New Democratic Coalition on the housing crisis in 2018. It is linked here: Can you find any mention of that from anyone associated with the Manufactured Housing Institute?”

BingCopilotAI-Screen1.3.2024MHLivingNewsI could not find any specific mention of the New Democratic Coalition’s report on the housing crisis in 2018 from anyone associated with the Manufactured Housing Institute. …”

MHProNews confirmed that finding by Bing Copilot, see the graphic/screenshot at this link here.


Opportunities Previously Missed Await?

Stating the obvious can bring clarity. 2024 is an election year. Affordable housing is a hot topic for tens of millions. Many, often the young, believe that the dream of owning a home is slipping away.




Those are all some of the reasons why manufactured housing industry ought to be soaring. But instead, in the 21st century, manufactured housing has fallen hard in its share of the new housing market. That said, the latest federal data clearly reflects that it is apparently not the case.

Instead of possible record levels of sales and production (see report/analysis linked here) that are possible by properly implementing existing laws, manufactured housing is falling for 13 straight months as measured by year over year drops for the same month in 2023 vs. 2022.


See the related report linked here.


Rep. Maxine Waters (CA-D) and some of her colleagues were part of the group of lawmakers that signed onto the MHIA and its enhanced preemption provision.  In a faxed letter to a Republican appointed prior HUD Secretary Mel Martinez, Waters and company strongly encouraged the use of the “enhanced preemption” powers that Congressional reps believed they were giving HUD.





From the report linked here is the following. It gives evidence-based reasons from the state of California to think that enhanced preemption enforcement could lead to a rapid increase in manufactured home production.

4) The following question was put to Bing’s AI, now being called Bing Copilot. Here was our inquiry on 1.7.2024.

> “The California Department of Housing and Community Development has been tracking the number of ADUs or accessory dwelling units that have been built since they issued statewide preemption over local zoning circa 2016. How much has the placement of ADUs in California increased since statewide preemption occurred?”

BingCopilotAI-Screen1.3.2024MHLivingNewsThe California Department of Housing and Community Development has been tracking the number of ADUs built since they issued statewide preemption over local zoning in 20161According to the American Planning Association, the number of ADU permits issued in California increased from 1,269 in 2016 to 14,702 in 20192This is an 11-fold increase in ADU permits in just 3 years3.

It is important to note that the increase in ADU permits is not solely due to statewide preemption. In 2019, five more bills were passed to further incentivize ADUs and reduce barriers2The new laws increased the value of ADUs and made financing easier, promoting the leasing and sales of ADUs, and providing funds for homeowners wanting to construct the units1. …”

TheRoadAheadUpArrowNAREITDailyBusinessNEwsMHproNewsThat in a nutshell makes the case why MHProNews has since our launch over 14 years ago steadily raised the issue of the enforcement of federal preemption.  Let’s spell it out. If HUD began to enforce federal enhanced preemption, as Cavco CEO Bill Boor (now MHI’s chairman) claim they want, imagine what the industry’s potential could become almost overnight.

An 11-fold increase from the current levels of roughly 90,000 new HUD Code manufactured homes in 2023 could potentially yield about 990,000 new homes built 3 years from now.”


Minneapolis Federal Reserve researchers have asserted that what they call “sabotaging monopolies” are among the key reasons for the housing shortage.




Native American Donna Fier, Ph.D., pointed to the reporting by the Seattle Times into Clayton Homes. Note that to our knowledge, her research is entirely distinct from her colleagues cited above.


Minneapolis Federal Reserve Researcher cited the Seattle Times, which named Clayton Homes and their affiliated lending, in pointing out the inequities that plague minority borrowers in manufactured housing.

Berkshire’s Buffett Quote on Clayton Homes and Manufactured Housing Finance Surfaces – New Light on Manufactured Home Lending, FHFA, GSEs and Related Woes – plus Manufactured Home Stock Updates


MHI’s CEO Lesli Gooch shared a presentation opportunity at a Freddie Mac symposium that featured Schmitz and his colleagues’ probe into manufactured housing underperformance. Yet, MHI and their mouthpieces have not mentioned their concerns on their own website.  If they believe that manufactured housing interests are being harmed, why not?

This Q&A with Bing Copilot on this date sheds light on that concern.

> “Does the Manufactured Housing Institute mention on their own website or elsewhere the research of James Schmitz Jr and his collogues into manufactured housing industry underperformance caused by what those Minneapolis Federal Reserve Researchers say is sabotaging monopoly tactics?”

BingCopilotAI-Screen1.3.2024MHLivingNewsI am sorry, but I could not find any information on the Manufactured Housing Institute’s website or elsewhere regarding the research of James Schmitz Jr and his colleagues into the manufactured housing industry underperformance caused by what those Minneapolis Federal Reserve researchers say is sabotaging monopoly tactics.”


If MHI were sincere about getting enhanced preemption or the Duty to Serve (DTS) enforced, one might think they would team up with MHARR. After all, MHARR, MHI and the Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA) collaborated to get enhanced preemption into the MHIA. MHARR and MHI also got the language used for the Duty to Serve (DTS) into federal law.  But for some years, MHI has given MHARR the cold shoulder. MHI has joined forces instead with the very group and their allies that Schmitz and his collogues assert are trying to sabotage manufactured housing.  It could hardly be more Topsy Turvey. Doug Ryan with Prosperity Now, a progressive nonprofit that supports a more robust use of manufactured housing, scorched MHI and Clayton in an op-ed published by American Banker.  While Gooch denied Ryan’s allegations, and Ryan could have been more precise in his choice of words, it is nevertheless Ryan’s concerns which have stood the test of time, as the analysis below reflects.


See his context and the full ‘debate’ context in the report, linked here.


It is difficult to unhear or forget what a Democratic staffer said about the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) in off the record remarks to MHProNews. Per that well-placed staffer, MHI has a reputation in Washington, D.C. as being “anti-consumer.” Ouch again.

An MHI member, ROC USA, where part of an outreach to Sandra Thompson at the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).  Missing from that group asking the FHFA to press Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for a more robust enforcement of DTS was MHI. What? True. Once again, Ryan’s point (see above) is underscored.




So, instead of working with MHARR – that has pressed for enforcement of existing laws for more lending, and has pressed for enforcement of the enhanced preemption provision of the MHIA, MHI has instead worked with the competitors of manufactured housing and openly bragged about it as if it were a good thing.  This may help explain why Schmitz said the following about the oligopoly style of monopolization in the manufactured housing industry.




Schmitz and his colleagues have said that it took years to unravel the sabotage tactics they assert have been deployed to limit HUD Code manufactured housing. Time has passed since MHARR’s Weiss made the following remarks.


To see Mark Weiss, J.D., MHARR CEO comments as compared to MHI’s Lesli Gooch, go to this link here.


But perhaps no further evidence of how devious some of MHI’s members apparently are than the following. While on paper MHI claims they want DTS enforced, they have failed to litigate the issue. MHI’s CEO Gooch tossed out problematic verbiage regarding DTS. And former MHI chairman and Berkshire-owned sister brand to Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp President and CEO Tim Williams apparently celebrated at an MHI meeting with the DTS pilot to do chattel loans that consumer groups and MHARR have sought died. When asked by MHProNews, neither MHI nor Williams denied the accuracy of the comments reported below.




Be that as it may, what is apparent is the several rather high profile MHI members have been sued multiple times in recent months by their own residence in national class action litigation. Those attorneys involved brought evidence and arguments.  See the most recent update on that brewing MHVille issue linked below.




MHI’s most recent emailed news item (1.3.2024) unpacked by MHProNews at this link here once more ignores the problems that litigation could cause the industry. Regrettably,  that harm includes several possible problems for ethical communities and companies who are not engaging in the purportedly predatory business practices that several MHI-linked firms are accused of by the seemingly growing number of national lawsuits.

Congress is currently split. The House of Representatives is in the hands of Republicans who hold a narrow majority. The Senate is in the hands of Democrats who also hold a slim majority. The New Dems could, potentially, play a pivotal role in an election year.

Yimbyism, per recent surveys continues to rise. Yimbys’ reportedly hold a strong majority of the population. MHI has also ignored, per a recent check, the Yimby vs. Nimby topic.




It may be difficult initially for some outsiders looking in to realize just how problematic MHI’s so-called representation of the industry is.  So, a sampling of remarks that include some of their own past and current members, staff and outside researchers looking in at that Arlington, VA based trade organization is warranted. On both their prior and current website, MHI claims they ‘represent all segments’ of ‘factory-built’ manufactured housing.


ManufacturedHousingInstituteLOGO-MHI-RepresentsAllSegmentsFactoryBuiltManufacturedHousingQuotesCounterclaimsSamuelStrommenMartyLavinDanny GhorbaniNealHaneyMHProNewsFactsAnalysis


One well positioned member put it more bluntly in remarks to MHProNews. After the departure of MHI President and CEO Chris Stinebert, the association has been taken over by “f-cking greedy” operators who have made the organization a ‘tool for themselves.’ Ouch again.




Nevertheless, or perhaps due to such factors, MHI has apparently established what is routinely seen by some as an ‘amen corner’ of bloggers and publishers who regurgitate the MHI party line rather uncritically.

Despite the obvious underperformance of the manufactured home industry in the 21st century, they seem to use a gaslighting strategy of ‘see no evil’ in the industry’s performance.


Note: depending on your browser or device, many images in this report and others on MHProNews can be clicked to expand. Click the image and follow the prompts. For example, in some browsers/devices you click the image and select ‘open in a new window.’ After clicking that selection you click the image in the open window to expand the image to a larger size. To return to this page, use your back key, escape or follow the prompts.


Given the relatively low state of the industry, consultants and trainers appear reluctant to criticize MHI and/or their state association affiliates.  The often-shocking MHI ‘awards program’ has given awards to firms that have D or F ratings with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).






But as the industry has increasingly consolidated, something that the Biden White House claims it opposes. An ever-greater part of the land-lease communities’ section of the industry is in the hands of consolidators. Fortunately, it is still not the majority of land-lease communities, but the share is growing. And as it grows, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and others have asserted that manufactured home community living is becoming less affordable, turning the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008 Duty to Serve mandate on its head.




But on the production and retail side, consolidation and decimation of the industry’s independents was largely accomplished over a decade ago. Kevin Clayton’s remarks to Congress on that topic were arguably an understatement, yet they were stark nevertheless. What remains of the production and retail sides of the industry are a mere shadow of what existed in the 1990s. Several of the illustrations shown in this report can be opened in many browsers to reveal a larger size. To open this picture, click the image once. When the window opens, click it again to reveal the larger size photo. Use your browsers back key to return to the article.


Per a recent deep dive into MHI, linked here, paltering and posturing one thing, but doing another appears to be the modus operandi (“M.O.”) of the organization. See former MHI Vice President Danny Ghorbani’s remarks, in the quotes collage about MHI shown above. Or see the remarks by MHARR President, CEO, and attorney Mark Weiss, who called what is occurring a “shell game” on “steroids.”

An outside attorney looking into manufactured housing in a working paper for the Lincoln Institute said manufactured housing needed an organization for advocacy and litigation, perhaps not realizing (or politely slighting?) MHI, because that is what they claim to do.  So, it may be a blessing in disguise if the New Dems have not (yet) been tainted by MHI involvement, other than perhaps MHI PAC money to some of their members?

With those MHI items mentioned, the New Dems said underscores the findings previously reported by MHProNews and MHLivingNews regarding HUD’s own researchers into the affordable housing crisis and manufactured housing’s role in it.






There is a wide range of nonprofits, federal, and university level researchers from outside of manufactured housing that have spoken well of the industry’s need and potential.


October 2023 Ultimate Manufactured Housing and Mobile Home/Manufactured Home Research – Trends, Statistics, Expert Views, Fact Checks, and Insights


Oddly, other than their own research – which is routinely hidden behind a paywall for “members only,” MHI has little or no third-party research on their website that might reflect well on manufactured housing, depending on the state of flux on their website. So, while they currently are claiming to “Elevating Housing Innovation; Expanding Attainable Homeownership” the sobering reality is that manufactured home production has largely been depressed in manufactured housing since 2000. Is it coincidental that laws meant to grow the industry have instead been thwarted since Warren Buffett led-Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) entered directly into the industry in the early 21st century is a must for federal and other researchers to grasp.



Kevin Clayton was rather blunt at one point during his video with Robert Miles about their implementation of Warren Buffett’s “moat” principles.  MHI member Andy Gedo confirmed the concerns those remarks revealed.




See the full context in the ‘read hot’ report linked here.




Note that virtual, informal debate on why manufactured housing was underperforming was the last time someone associated with MHI dared engage in such a discussion.


Summing Up and Conclusion

Per Axios, DCNF, and WND – citing HUD’s 2023 homelessness data – it is Democratic states and Washington, D.C. that lead the country in homelessness.

Research by New Dems have largely agreed with the kinds of remarks made by those across the political spectrum who have said that far more new home construction is a must.

New Dems have pointed to manufactured homes are part of the U.S. housing mix.

New Dems aptly identified the normal factors that contribute to the supply side of the equation while noting what are the constraints.

Housing Costs Are Stifling Economic Growth and Costing Us Trillions.” “A recent analysis estimated that this failure to build housing in high-wage cities has reduced U.S. economic growth by half over the last 50 years. The authors estimate that reducing restrictions on home construction would cause GDP to increase by $1.9 trillion (that is, raising wages by $8,775 per American worker).27” Both quoted comments per the NDC.

New Dems concluded with: “We need to continue to develop policy recommendations for the full report, but the goal is clear: we need to build millions more housing units. To do this, we will have to overcome significant obstacles. Power is fragmented across federal, state, and local governments, and housing programs are very siloed. Nobody is looking at the ecosystem as a whole. But the work is critically important to America’s economy and America’s families.” Part of that may be a bit exaggerated, because “Nobody is looking at the ecosystem as a whole” overlooks what MHARR, MHLivingNews, and MHProNews have been spotlighting on these issues for years.

This report ought to cause MHI, if they are at all serious about seeking allies on Capitol Hill to get potential support for robust enforcement and needed reforms of DTS, Ginne Mae’s 10/10 rule, and enhanced preemption under the MHIA properly addressed. But it should be obvious that MHI is not serious at all about that, they are posturing and paltering.

What is the motivation for that paltering? What would be the objective of MHI? Industry consolidation.

This is about applied common sense. Federal laws exist now that if properly enforced could unleash potentially billions in private investments into manufactured housing to solve the affordable housing crisis using more manufactured homes.  There is no need for more federal spending. In fact, taxpayer spending over time could decline as a result of letting the private sector do their jobs as efficiently as possible with some of the best consumer protection in all of the housing industry available for manufactured homes, which was also part of the MHIA.








At the dawn of 2024 it is good to recall what manufactured home advocate Donald Tye Jr. said to MHProNews. Did MHI utilize any of his practical insights? Not to our knowledge.



Revdonaldtyejrmanufacturedhousingadvocatequickestwaywealthindustryvoicesmhpronews500 2


When MHI was given an opportunity to help a Black family overcome a local zoning issue so they could get a manufactured home, Lesli Gooch paid lip service to a local Black advocate, Mayor Pro-Tem and the Reverand Ivory Mewborn.




Given multiple opportunities to reply to and/or refute these concerns, neither MHI corporate, staff or attorneys have taken up that option.

Thus, the evidence reviewed by legal researcher Sam Strommen, other outsiders looking into manufactured housing, and the evidence-based contentions raised by our publications stand publicly unchallenged.


True Tale of Four Attorneys Research into Manufactured Housing – What They Reveal About Why Manufactured Homes Are Underperforming During an Affordable Housing Crisis – Facts and Analysis


Bing Copilot has said multiple times that there is no evidence that it could find that MHI has responded to the purported “felony” antitrust violations Strommen alleged that MHI has been committing in concert with certain high profile MHI member brands. Informed sources tell MHProNews that Gooch and others at MHI are regular readers of our publications. They have been directly asked to respond to an array of specific items, as well as a general invitation to respond to any factual accuracies that they may find on our websites in the last 6 years. They have remained silent.

Perhaps New Dems, along with Republicans and others of good will that seek authentic solutions to the affordable housing crisis will decide to act by implementing a multipart strategy that could all take place concurrently.

  1. Press regulators to enforce existing laws passed by Congress with widely bipartisan margins that were intended to support the creation of more affordable manufactured homes.
  2. Press antitrust and RICO enforcers at the state and federal level to probe and enforce as needed evidence of market manipulation by several firms operating in MHI and their network of state affiliates.
  3. Advise local jurisdictions that failure to honor manufactured housing “enhanced preemption” that they won’t get any federal funding until they honor that provision of the MHIA 2000.
  4. Openly make the case why these policies are necessary and could be readily deployed. Make it part of their political campaigns. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

Will MHI and its dominating brands pivot? If so, when? How many more private antitrust suits must occur before MHI staff and corporate leaders realize that enough is enough?

Both progressives and conservatives ought to spotlight the importance of understanding the role that big media and big tech are playing in the U.S. for decades.  The largely progressive generated insights from the award-winning Shadows of Liberty ought to be “must see” viewing, per Bing AI research of reviews.






The system has been rigged. Members of both major parties have at various times benefited from that rigged system.  It is time to get to the root issues of what has allowed a rigged system to harm the interests of affordable housing and almost every other sector of the economy.

Members of both major parties are talking about the need for antitrust enforcement. The laws needed are often already on the books. Lack of antitrust enforcement is costing employees and Mainstreet vs. Wall Street businesses and their respective investors.




New Dems, Republicans, MHI, affordable housing advocates, and all others take note. The solution to the affordable housing crisis is hiding in plain sight. The system has been ‘sabotaged’ or rigged. Several high-profile members of both major parties have said that the system is rigged. Some 70 percent of the country believes, per surveys, that the system is rigged. Boil factual and evidence-based elements down. The reason that the rent is “too damn high” is because there is a housing shortage. There is a broad agreement on the facts. What is lacking is 4-point plan movement outlined above to change the obvious dynamics. Who will do whatever it takes to make that 4 point plan a reality? ###


“There are many kinds of journalism, but at the heart of their constitutional responsibilities, journalists are in the business of monitoring and keeping a check on people and institutions in power.” – American Press Institute.


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Our son has grown quite a bit since this 12.2019 photo. All on Capitol Hill were welcoming and interested in our manufactured housing industry related concerns. But 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, bottled water, and other goodies.

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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Related References:

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

Mortgage Payments on Average New House Up 90 Percent in U.S. Under Bidenomics–90%-Not a Typo! Factors Why Affordable Housing Crisis Worsened-Facts and Analysis; plus MHVille Market$ Update

‘First in Nation’ AG Suit Against Giant BlackRock-‘Deceptive Climate Policies’–Several Potential MHVille Implications for Corporations, Others in Potentially Seismic Case; plus MHVille Markets

‘Facts are Stubborn Things-Whatever Our Wishes, Inclinations, or Passions, They Cannot Alter State of Facts and Evidence’-John Adams; True Lies; Evergreen and Sunday Weekly MHVille Headlines Recap

12-2023 State-by-State Data, Regional-USA New Manufactured Housing Cost-Facts Reveal True State of HUD Code Manufactured Home Industry 1995-YTD 2023-What MHI-MHARR Sources Say-Don’t Say; MHMarkets

‘If We Keep Doing What We’ve Been Doing We Will Keep Getting What We Got!” – MHIdea-Post-Production Trade Association(s) Status – MHI, MHARR, NAMHCO, Other Examples Considered – Full Transcript plus Analysis


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