“In New York, which is becoming this nation’s epicenter of the virus outbreak, Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered all nonessential businesses to close by 8 p.m. Sunday,” said MNPRNews.
“California, Illinois, New York and New Jersey are among the growing list” of states that have ordered shelter in place emergency executive orders, said USA Today.Odds are that more will do so, as Minnesota Public Radio said.
Among our weekly headline reports below, the positions of manufactured home producers The question has been raised, who will be impacted by those orders to close?
That answer seems to vary based on the state.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf ordered closures of “all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania to close their physical locations as of 8 p.m. today, March 19, to slow the spread of COVID-19. Enforcement actions against businesses that do not close physical locations will begin at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, March 21.”
By contrast, Illinois executive order, linked here, seems to offer an exemption for housing construction. It certainly sounds like factory-built home construction should be exempt. That may be a technical point for HUD Code professionals, because IL has not had a manufactured home builder for some time.
Nevertheless, the item from IL below might be relevant for reasons shown in the red-boxed comments.
Time will reveal how many other states will follow the forced shutdown or “shelter in place” emergency order trends. At this time, about 1 in 4 Americans are under such an order. Something similar is happening in other nations.
Thoughtful readers have raised the topic if the cure for this pandemic – shutting down big parts of the economy – will have a greater cost than the disease? It is a point that merits discussion. But if a business is ordered to close, how many independents will have the financial ability to fight such an order, if they wanted to do so? At best, perhaps the issue should be raised for later discussion.
Communities and Evictions
In Iowa, Governor Kim Reynolds on Friday 3.20.2020 “announced a series of new emergency measures” that included “stalled penalties and interests from property taxes and suspended some evictions for homes, apartments and manufactured homes.”
It seems to be only a question of time when a business in manufactured housing is directly and/or indirectly impacted economically.
The world as professionals and investors in manufactured housing and all other sectors of the American economy that we knew just a few weeks ago is now upended. Health, safety, business impact and constitutional issues abound. For instance, what about gun shops? Is it violation of one’s constitutional rights to shut the gun retailers who make the ability to keep and bear arms possible? Or is it a violation of the section 1 of the 14th Amendment to order businesses to close without compensation or due process of law? That potentially relevant section reads: “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Noting the issue isn’t taking sides, it is merely saying that these are legitimate questions that merit follow up.
Not to be forgotten is the steep dive in oil, sparked by a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. That may on the surface sound good to many – cheaper prices at the gas pump – but if energy companies go under, the loss of jobs would be expected to have a ripple effect in markets that are often served by manufactured housing retailers and communities.
Who is benefiting from this unfolding tragedy? Because there are most certainly winners and losers. It is in such times that deception and reality often clash.
Among the obvious losers will be the dead and those whose lives, professions, investments and businesses have been harmed or wiped out unexpectedly.
Odds are you and/or your colleague(s) will have more time for reading. This is the time to dive deeper and question what the powers that be in manufactured housing have done – or failed to do – for over a decade.
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 MHLivingNews.com. This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.