The term “cutting edge” implies leadership, pending events, and whatever is next. A look at Oxford Languages definitions for the phrase “cutting edge” is a useful foundation for this specific and vital topic. Vital for whom? For owners, career-minded employees/professionals, investors, and nonprofit advocates involved in inherently affordable manufactured housing. So after this definition, hang on tight for what lies ahead.
noun: cutting edge; plural noun: cutting edge
1) the edge of a tool’s blade. “tools with cutting edges should be kept sharp”
2) the latest or most advanced stage in the development of something. “researchers at the cutting edge of molecular biology”
3) a dynamic or invigorating quality. “the campaign began to lose its cutting edge”
4) incisiveness and directness of expression. “his wit retains its cutting edge”
3D-printed housing is perhaps the leading technological advance that is likely to upend several aspects of conventional and HUD Code manufactured home building. As a new article linked here noted, 3D-printed housing – once systematically deployed – is expected to come in at about 20-25 percent lower in cost than conventional construction. That means that the Clayton Homes-backed Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) initiative dubbed CrossModTM homes are apparently going to die; the only question is ‘when’ they are quietly buried. That CrossMods funeral was predicted years ago, based upon the evidence of other previously failed but once-touted Clayton projects. CrossMods never had any of the market traction MHI and its proponents claimed. More on that linked here.
Note before progressing this factoid. Not to brag, but because it is true. Once MHProNews‘ eureka understanding of what MHI and its dominating brands was up to, report after report here has stood the test of time. That track record of years of correct calls is another reason for industry professionals, investors, and advocates to carefully ponder what follows.
We won’t bother to unpack all of the nonsense that went with CrossMod propaganda in this column, other than to say the obvious. It is mainstream manufactured homes that will have the clearer field for the foreseeable future. There are implications in this for modular and panelized builders due to 3D Printing Housing too. But this report is focused on the emerging or “cutting edge” picture for HUD Code manufactured housing. Perhaps the day may come that some purely modular builders today may add HUD Code manufactured homes to their production mix? After all, there are manufactured home producers who for similar reasons build modular code housing too.
So, HUD Code manufactured homes are here to stay, so long as 3D printed homes are the best cost-effective option for new construction other than mainstream manufactured homes. Once CrossMods are officially dead, we may not have to use the awkward qualifier of “mainstream manufactured homes” for much longer. The folly of CrossMods – predicted years ago by MHProNews to be a Trojan Horse, was based upon insider insights from MHI and from sources inside the GSEs. Those insights, plus other known facts and common sense, are going to become even more abundantly clear in the days ahead.
But don’t watch this emerge, prepare for it. That is what the cutting edge professionals do.
We ,as industry veterans at MHProNews, strive to think and analyze systematically, based on known facts, evidence, common sense, or ‘logic.’ So, before proceeding, other than 3D printed homes, it is worth mentioning there are currently no known technology that is looming that might seriously threaten HUD Code homes in a competitive sense for mainstream manufactured housing. To be sure, there are tiny emergency shelter types of homes an ADUs that exist that may gain some market traction. That noted, MHProNews has for years monitored, reported on, and explored other options such as container houses along with other forms of factory building. In each case, they have been unable to achieve anything like a similar price-point as mainstream manufactured homes.
Modulars may well survive what is coming from 3D printed housing, because of high rise, larger construction, and other specific uses. Some conventional builders will too, for a variety of reasons. Conventional building’s best bet is frankly the same as it has been for decades. Namely, that they have used their political and lobbying clout to “sabotage” – per several research experts – manufactured homes through federal, state, and local dollars for subsidies and artificial barriers.
So, for years to come, manufactured homes are the future. That caveat is unless some even more treacherous behavior by – hypothetically – Berkshire Hathaway, another giant private equity firm, subsidiaries like Clayton Homes – strikes. The way they could strike would be to use subversive ‘advocacy’ tools – such as MHI – to continue their years of apparently problematic and ineffective ‘lobbying.’
Additionally, there are those sorts of scenarios that might destroy rival technologies like 3D printing first. After all, if the powers that be can subvert proven manufactured homes for decades, per third-party researchers, then it is at least hypothetically possible that similar “sabotaging” monopoly methods could be deployed against 3D-printed housing. That qualifier noted, the press of disruptive change in 3d printing may reach a point where not even malign and agenda-driven forces can stop them. After all, 3D printing has become an international movement.
Let’s restate that preface for clarity. Barring sabotage, mainstream manufactured housing will survive and 3D-printed housing is looming to disrupt costlier options such as CrossMods or much of conventional housing.
That means that there is the potential for HUD Code manufactured homes could hit all-time new highs.
That potential is there because of years of previous legal and regulatory groundwork, most notably by independently-minded leaders involved in the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), has been done.
That roughly 750-word outline plus the affordable housing crisis has several implications for manufactured home professionals. In no specific order of importance, they include the following.
1). The need to fully and properly implement all aspects of the HUD Code’s Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA or 2000 Reform Law) is more important than ever. See the overview linked here and the special report on 3D-printed homes linked here.
2). That means that the distinctions between the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) are about to get much brighter for independents.
3). The arguably deceptive, manipulative, and corrosive behavior by MHI is likely to become fully apparent. For reasons that will be linked up here in a report planned for Monday, 7.26.2021, MHI is either going to have to start doing its job more authentically OR it will be completely exposed for the purported fraudulent, racketeering, nonprofit that it has apparently become. On the off chance that someone reading this has never read Samuel “Sam” Strommen’s at Knudson Law’s thesis, or that of Minneapolis Federal Reserve senior economist James A. “Jim” Schmitz Jr. and his colleagues linked here., see those reports for evidence-based details of their sobering allegations. That should be viewed also in the context of reports that have emerged from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Warren Buffett and exposes involving Kevin Clayton at Clayton Homes, linked as shown. There are more examples, but those are sufficient to establish the evidence-based claim that MHI and its corporate masters have been involved in a what they thought was a clever fraud, RICO and antitrust violations, etc.
4). A qualifier is useful. Politics obviously impacts business and the law. These realities are subject to several political winds. But it is possible – maybe even likely – that one of two broad political/business/populist trends will come to dominate in the next 2 to 4 years.
> Either Trump-style Republicans will build out their coalition of disaffected Democrats, minorities, conservatives, and believers in free markets, freedom of speech, worship, and Constitutionally limited government. Or, DINOs – Democrats in Name Only – that includes CINOs, JINOs, SINOs and RINOs (see further below) like Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Bernie Sanders and a billionaire/big-business bought and paid for anti-Trump Republicans will pull off the coup that will fundamentally change the U.S.A. into something resembling Communist China or a fascist state ala Nazi Germany. That’s a hard pill for some to swallow, but the evidence is there for all of it. But again – only for those with the eyes, wit, and will to see.
> Summing #4 up, there will be a Trumpesque Republican Party (GOP – Grand Old Party) or the billionaires big tech big corporate big media giants will pull off their theft of the middle class and traditional American Dream. That will be accomplished through a steady dose of propaganda, bold lies, changes in laws that the Civic Alliance desires. This would include the confiscation of as many guns and the stripping of other Constitutionally-protected rights that they are able to propaganda and/or bully the public into.
5) With caveats like those noted, these trends will influence, if not upend, every remaining segment of manufactured housing. Let’s note that this is a micro-trend within the macro national trend toward consolidation, monopolization via oligopolies and similar structures that are occurring in other segments of the U.S. and other national economies. A battle between the masses and the financial-information and political powers lies ahead. It would be tempting to call this a final battle. But it won’t be. History reflects that after previous such upheavals, time elapses, people forget and new struggles follow. Look at ancient Egypt or Rome for other historic examples. Note that then and now, religion played a pivotal role in upending slavery and feudalistic serfdom. That was true of the ancient Jewish people by Egypt. It was also true of a broader range ethnic and religious groups dominated by the ancient Romans of people that, at one point, ruled from England, Western Europe, the Mediterranean world, and into the Middle East.
6) Propaganda, information dominance, financial clout and the influence that dominating billionaires and corporate interests hold over too many politicos and bureaucracies are all ahead. Either the Iron Triangle will be broken, or it will not. Either the “swampy” “Deep State” will succeed, or it will not. What lies ahead may be epic, or it may be muted. If it is muted, then the forces of freedom will have lost. These macro-trends influence businesses and job creation, as the illustration below reminds us.
7) Another brief aside is warranted before proceeding. Housing is a multi-trillion dollar industry. Manufactured housing has hundreds of billions a year in potential. The powers that be obviously take that seriously. Other than some aspects of tech, few if any professions have the potential for short, medium, and long term growth that manufactured housing does. Part of the GENIUS of the HUD Code is that it is a national performance-based building code, and not a prescriptive and localized building code. That means that the HUD Code homes 5 years from now, may look and be quite different than today, and it would be rolled out swiftly, precisely because manufactured housing has a PERFORMANCE-based national building code. That said, for those who might be new readers of this site – the documented runaway largest and most-read trade media in manufactured housing – several other points should be kept in mind. Having been threatened several times – legally and otherwise – all that reads like a charge or accusation of illicit or illegal behavior in this article should be considered as ‘alleged.’ That noted, the evidence, facts, and reasoning are linked herein or further below speak for themselves. Some of those articles have had bigtime readership within the framework of our contemporary artificially stunted industry.
> Also, having been the ham-handed target of buyout efforts by leaders at MHVillage, MHI, and their various allies, this disclaimer should be noted carefully. Because it is always possible that the powers that be – who in almost every case previously praised MHProNews and MHLivingNews publicly – could reach out in a more coy buyout via a third party at some time ahead. There are hundreds of billions of dollars involved in manufactured housing. Billionaires and corporate interests take that seriously. The chump-change efforts of the past by the manufactured home industry’s manipulators may morph. Note that we – the parent company of MHProNews/MHLivingNews – would not intentionally sell these platforms without a written guarantee that the existing content would all be maintained accessible online to the public. Nor do we have any other type of exit planned. We are in it to win it. David vs. Goliath is fine with us, for reasons that will become clear further below. We believe in God and believe in the reality of David vs. Goliath, past and present. That said, these people that have manipulated our profession have so much arrogance that it is unlikely that they would do what is necessary to change their ways. That’s an opportunity in disguise for the white hats in our profession. They may be huge and have deep pockets, but given their behavior, that is also a weakness, properly approached.
8) It should be OBVIOUS that manufactured housing has been manipulated into its currently low production level. When millions of homes are needed in the U.S., there is a well-known affordable housing crisis, and the existing and favorable federal laws with respect to manufactured housing are clearly understood, it should be clear that manufactured housing is woefully underperforming. That dramatic underperformance will not be understood absent a clear understanding of the notions of ‘durable competitive advantages’ and the ‘Castle-and-Moat’ methods preached by Warren Buffett and his acolytes such as Kevin Clayton. Ironically, they have said as much. Berkshire Hathaway, one of several corporate giants with their fingers in manufactured housing, have all the resources needed in order to make manufactured housing the dominate form of conventional building. For those who doubt that big time manipulation of the system is possible, there is a handy list of dozens of well-known schemes in some way akin to this in the 21st century alone. See that linked here, here, and most succinctly, here.
9) Let’s sum up before proceeding. 3D printed housing is poised to upend the failed CrossMods scheme and much of conventional housing. HUD Code manufactured homes are well positioned legally, in cost, and technologically to surge despite CrossMods. No other known form of production housing is looming that looks capable of upending HUD-Code manufactured homes, with the caveat – absent even more market/legal manipulation. There are implications from each of these factors for current manufactured home business owners, potential future ones/investors, professionals with a long-term view of the HUD-Code industry, advocates, attorneys, nonprofits, and others. The political scene in the U.S. is shaping up as a battle between billionaire and corporate-backed DINOs and RINOs vs. a Trumpian style GOP (revitalized/transformed Republican party).
With those thoughts, the following realities and potentials emerge.
10) For reasons that will be made clear linked here, MHI will either have to pivot into doing what it has claimed it does, but is objectively posturing and failing to do in any measurable practical sense. Or, MHI could face an array of legal action – regulatory, criminal and/or liability – that will embroil several larger and perhaps some smaller brands too.
11) MHARR’s leaders and members could be vindicated once again as visionaries and true believers. When the term ‘MHARR’s leaders’ is used here, that means staff leaders such as Mark Weiss and semi-retired senior advisor Danny Ghorbani. But it also means the independent business interests that have backed MHARR, in some cases, for decades. Why? Because unless the DINO and RINO-backed billionaires and corporate interests prevail in America, MHI is either going to go up in flames, or MHI will pivot, perhaps with some mea culpa, or perhaps just coming up with a new lie to cover the old ones – but still making a pivot.
12) State association executives in MHEC – the Manufactured Housing Executives Council – will have to either play nice with MHARR, straddle the fence some more, or throw down with MHI as Tim Williams and Elizabeth Birch in the Ohio Manufactured Homes Association has done. Because like MHI, the same powers that be tend to rule state associations that rule MHI.
13) Note that failure to pivot is not a realistic option. 3D-printed houses will, absent some manipulation, likely burst onto the scene and upend CrossMods etc. As one MHEC state executive said it, manufactured housing trade groups could become ‘the manufactured home remodelers association’ if substantive changes are not made.
14) It may not be a total surprise if even one or two non-Clayton brands put their toes into MHARR’s water by signing up a factory or two with MHARR. It has happened before, which means it could happen again.
15) For some time, scores of smaller non-corporate firms in manufactured housing have followed and grasped the realities outlined above and reported for years by MHProNews/MHLivingNews and in a different fashion by MHARR. But various foibles, fears, etc. have kept them from acting on what they know. Thomas Jefferson, the man who drafted the Declaration of Independence is quite right when he said: “all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.” But the very thing that is motivating some Cubans to openly protest their dark Communist reality will sooner or later dawn upon manufactured housing professionals too. To closely paraphrase what a Cuban protestor was quoted as saying recently – “They (the government and their allies) kill us if we protest. They kill is or let us die if we do not protest. So, it is smarter to protest and rise up and at least have hope for the future.” As a well-known manufactured home independent professional told MHProNews some years ago, “They think they own us.” Those who have manipulated financing and the regulatory/legal/association/nonprofits system know they have had a stranglehold over manufactured housing. Pleasant meetings at nice hotels with networking events were part of their cover and manipulative social glue. But Warren Buffett is right when he said that the rearview mirror is clearer than the windshield. Looking back, it is utterly apparent that MHI has been staffed and led by people who are either massively incompetent, or who are following orders that have led to the consolidation and elimination of thousands of manufactured home independents lost and/or acquired in the last roughly 12-15 years.
>Restating #15 above, there is no way that the current reality in manufactured housing can rationally be explained OTHER than by accepting the reality that Buffett-backed brands and some consolidation-focused corporate allies want it this way for the time being. Every independent journalist or criminal investigator asks “who benefits” from an event or the status quo. The main beneficiaries of the status quo in manufactured housing are the consolidators. Reading the annual or periodic PowerPoint slide presentations aimed at investors have made it clear that consolidation of the industry is the goal. That means that those who do not want to be consolidated, or who don’t want to sell out too cheaply, have little choice but to either give in or learn to fight back as MHARR has done for years.
16) The other clear takeaway from this outline is that without MHARR, and without MHProNews/MHLivingNews, it is entirely possible that the circumstances in manufactured housing today would be dramatically different. This would already be an industry that is dominated by a handful of brands and all others would be too small for the big boys to worry about.
What all of that means is that past and present manufactured home independents and professionals who have a long-term view will have to make some tough choices and soon. For others, the choices will be easy and obvious.
Again, in no specific order of importance.
A) There are several independent producers who could be, but are not currently, MHARR members. They may have had either had some combination fear, foibles, habits, social, or some other shorter-term motivation for not joining MHARR. The disruption that appears to be just ahead should cause HUD-Code builders, and perhaps even some modular producers, to rethink their strategy. The combination of 3D-printed housing and the nexus of big business/big media/big tech/big government (i.e.: DINOs and RINOs) will leave people who think medium- to long-term to think about their plans anew in light of these emerging trends.
B) MHI, in my years of experience with them buttressed by evidence-based views, is too corrupt and set in its ways to likely reform. That said, some members there may want to try to do just that – namely, reform MHI. For better or worse, ‘reforming’ MHI has been tried before, and those that tried it were threatened by an attorney’s letter. The entire structure of MHI has apparently been geared to serve the needs and desires of its consolidating brands. Everything else is obviously window-dressing for those with the eyes to see. That said, for those who want to try to save MHI from its many years of problematic behavior, by all means, have at it.
C) MHI and its dominating brands are not without influence. It is obvious to those with the eyes to see that their influence has been used for theatrics and posturing efforts while working for consolidation by their dominating brands. MHI works for those dominating brands. Smaller brands might think they have benefited if they sold out to be bigger brand. The day may come that hundreds – perhaps thousands – will wake up and realize just how much MHI and their dominating brands have scammed their own members. As believers in peaceful, intelligent, and lawful resistance, it doesn’t take a degree in psychology or sociology to realize that some may not stand pat with merely legal action. Manufactured housing is filled with people with unique skill sets. I would not want to be any number of people in ‘leadership’ roles among the dominating MHI brands, or at MHI staff leadership, when the you-know-what hits the proverbial fan.
D) MHARR has long suggested, as has MHProNews, that a new post-production trade group is needed. Given the relatively small number of retailers remaining, that post-production trade group ought to be made up of white-hats and gray-hats that want to be white-hats that are independently-owned communities, retailers, suppliers, lenders, installers, whatever. The lessons of NAMHCO should be learned. Meaning, that ex-MHI or ex-big boy leaders should not be hired or placed in a leadership role. For the record, I’m not seeking such a role as a staff leader for such a new post-production nonprofit. I’m happy doing what we do in publishing and consulting. That said, would I be willing to lend a hand in that process? You bet. Just as we have supported MHARR’s positive efforts, or that of resident advocates, I’ve given it a new post-production quite a bit of thought.
E) The structure of a new post-production trade group that should challenge MHI should be such that it has the same durability that MHARR has enjoyed. It is astonishing that MHARR has remained so true to its historic founding vision. When someone looks at foundations and nonprofits that were once right leaning and today are leftist, as an example, MHARR has been true blue through and through. By contrast, MHI simply cannot make that claim with anything like a straight face. Week by week, month by month, year by year, MHI has proven a remarkable ability to fail to advance the industry at large despite having the laws needed to do so. For those who wonder why MHI and its leaders have for years ducked public debate of their performance, that is one reason. They know that they would be shredded and want to save face. The only public debate thus far by a pro-MHI member did not go well for them. Thus, there are legal and other reasons why Berkshire Hathaway, MHI, et al have stood mute before our growing body of allegations against them and their dominating members. Even their attorneys, inside and outside, that previously threatened this or that legal action have never so much as filed suit. Why? Likely, several reasons – see the reports linked herein. But among them is that it would open them up to counter-claims, cross-examination, production of documents, and other factors that would make their postured high and mighty perch even weaker than it currently is.
F) The beauty of the law and facts outline could be summed up something like this. If you are on the right side of the law, and on the right side of the facts and evidence, then there is a measure of security IF someone is willing to fight intelligently. Some are surprised that MHProNews is still alive and kicking. We are in it to win it. We concluded that prayer and intelligent effort were the best defense and also the best offense too. We don’t think God is going to bail us out without our own cooperative effort. Ora et Labora, prayer and work. Scripture and common sense support that contention.
What all of this means is this. Once a few more members are in MHARR and/or once a post-production trade group begin to take form, the ability for independents – perhaps in conjunction with the right type of resident/homeowners – could force issues that currently are in limbo. More on that in linked reports.
Summary and Conclusion
We began by referring to the trends or ‘cutting edge’ in what is occurring in housing in general and manufactured housing in particular. All experience has shown that people will suffer and give themselves whatever excuse they want to in order to not get out of their comfort zones.
That said, there may soon be a time when that anti-Communist Cuban protestor’s sobering insight dawns upon some manufacutred housing professionals. Namely, it is either time to fight for independence or freedom, or it is time to accept defeat. Professionals will either accept the notion that they (you?) are just going to live like a serf in the emerging feudalistic society that is emerging in our nation, world, and profession OR that you will live like a free man.
MHProNews/MHLivingNews has cited numerous third-party warnings over this looming feudalism for years.
The late President Ronald Reagan was correct. Freedom is never free. We are never more than a generation away from losing freedom.
Once lost, Cuba and North Korea are among several sobering reminders that freedom may not come back. At this time, American liberty and freedom can be defended with little or perhaps no bloodshed. But the time may come, based upon human history, that the paid Antifa-type rabble in the streets might roll up to your door or business.
The time to join something like MHARR, press MHI to reform (hah, but have at it if you want to do so), or to organize a new post-production group that works with MHARR to fight back and win is upon us. Do or die. As someone that has fought back openly using facts, evidence, and reason for years, against an array of threats, I can tell you this much. The safest place is out in the open speaking the sobering and compelling truth. ##
Tamas Kovach federal comments letter to FHFA.
Soheyla Kovach federal comments letter to FHFA.
L. A. “Tony” Kovach federal comments letter to FHFA.
Notice to MHI members. Follow-up emails to several MHI-linked attorneys – not one disputed the claim by the law firm cited in the report below. MHI has demonstrably created an ‘amen corner,’ an echo chamber that parrots their talking points. MHI and those involved have not denied that evidence-based allegation. But as, or perhaps more important, is this below. For those MHI members who are aware of what is occurring, but who fail to stand up or speak up in some form or fashion, legal experts say that it could make those members vulnerable to legal action, just as MHI is. To learn more, see the related report linked below.
The evidence routinely points one way. No wonder why MHI, their major brands, and even their outside attorneys all went silent when it comes to engaging with MHProNews on these troubling trends and growing evidence.
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 “News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing” © 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.)
By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.
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.
Connect on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which can be accessed by clicking on them.