The latest information about HUD Code manufactured home production from the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) revealed that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) alleged efforts to depress manufactured housing shipments to lower levels are perhaps finally succeeding. Manufactured home production fell in October 2022 year over year from 2021. That is according to information provided by MHARR that are based on official federal data provided below. That will be followed by a special fact packed MHProNews analysis and commentary.
MH PRODUCTION DECLINES IN OCTOBER 2022
Washington, D.C., December 5, 2022 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) reports that according to official statistics compiled on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), HUD Code manufactured housing industry year-over-year production declined in October 2022. Just-released statistics indicate that HUD Code manufacturers produced 8,694 homes in October 2022, a 6% decline from the 9,254 new HUD Code homes produced in October 2021. Cumulative production for 2022 now totals 98,506 homes, an 11% increase over the 88,689 homes produced during the same period in 2021.
A further analysis of the official industry statistics shows that the top ten shipment states from the beginning of the industry production rebound in August 2011 through October 2022 — with cumulative, monthly, current year (2022) and prior year (2021) shipments per category as indicated — are:
The October 2022 data moves Michigan into 6th place on the cumulative top ten list, while Mississippi falls to 7th place.
The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing.
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Additional Information with More MHProNews Analysis and Commentary
On 11.2.2022 MHI sent out the following as part of their emailed ‘news update.’
MHI Releases New Study: “Manufactured Housing Market Trends During Recession Periods and Market Outlook”
MHI commissioned a study to examine how the manufactured housing market performed during recessionary periods over the last 40 years. The study found that manufactured housing shipments have generally declined during recessions, but that decline has been less severe than the decline in site-built housing as measured by overall housing starts. ##
On October 25, 2022 at 12:23 PM MHProNews sent the following email to Katie Baumer at MHI. Her profile says “Katie Baumer is a Director, Marketing at Manufactured Housing Institute based in Arlington, Virginia.” Other MHI personnel where also contacted in the same email, and numbers of corporate and state association affiliates were blind copied to document the outreach. The message to Baumer opened by quoting a line from an MHI email. “If you have any questions, please contact MHI’s Policy Department at MHIgov@mfghome.org” …
That quotation of MHI back to MHI staffers was followed by this inquiry (typos edited out).
Katie and MHIgov team,
The above is from your 10.24.2022 “Federated States Newsletter.” Just two questions for now. As before, please type your reply below each inquiry. Documents welcome, and no word limits in your requested email reply.
1) MHI claims to have a strong multi-pronged strategy on the DOE energy issue and other topics such as DTS/Ginnie Mae financing or having HUD implement the “enhanced preemption” provision from the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000. If so, why has MHI apparently tabled what Tim Williams/21st Mortgage Corp said about a decade ago at an MHI meeting? Namely, why not use litigation to get the industry’s rights under various federal laws fully and properly enforced?
2) MHI has provided a list of 4 mainstream news articles, to wit:
- Mobile homes in a city? The Boston Trailer Park is an affordable surprise, GBH News
- They own their homes but not the land. Residents want to change that, GBH News
- More people are buying mobile homes in Maine, Bangor Daily News
- This Type of Housing Sees Prices Rising at the Fastest Rate, The Street
Please provide whatever evidence MHI has that they contacted the journalists and/or editors of the above to address terminology errors and other problematic aspects of their reports. Or has MHI asked for any corrections on those reports or others listed in your previous Federated States Newsletter?
Again, please email your reply, with copies of any letters, emails, FedExed, or faxed messages that asked for corrections. We plan to report on this topic. Thank you.
PS: MHI is hereby invited to respond to any of the issues noted in reports and commentaries below. …”
What followed that inquiry was a list of emailed news stories found on the MHProNews and MHLivingNews websites.
MHProNews has sent similar documented requests which invited MHI leaders and/or attorneys to respond to ANY report on MHProNews and if they saw a factual or logical error to point it out.
There have been no responses to those requests for some time. These periodic documented inquiries are more important than some may realize at first blush, especially if litigation involving MHI occurs at some point in time.
MHI’s official narrative for the industry can be boiled down to variations on the theme that they are working hard at regulatory issues, to improve the marketplace, etc. As an IRS filed 990 documents signed by prior MHI President Richard “Dick” Jennison reflects, they have made specific claims under oath. That begs the question. Are those statements accurate or not?
Because those 990 and other information are supposedly reviewed by key MHI board members, that means that they too have apparent exposure in their respective capacities.
No Intelligent, Motivate Professionals Could Be So Inept as MHI’s Staff and Corporate Board Leaders
As a Manufactured Housing Executives Committee (MHEC) member told MHProNews, MHI is apparently guilty of “association malpractice.”
Another MHEC member made the following observation to MHProNews.
More visibly are these comments on MHI’s failure to properly promote the industry.
MHI launched a Clayton Homes backed initiative that claimed with some fanfare would usher in a new era for manufactured housing to tap into the site-built housing market. Really? What happened to that CrossModTM homes effort?
Answer? The industry went into a 2½ year decline. Early on in that apparently market-failed effort, MHProNews asked one of the former MHI staffers that was also involved in crafting that strategy the following. What would happen if the plan didn’t work? That professional responded by saying that it could always be adjusted. But in fact, there have been NO adjustments made, only a repeated doubling down of how great this is, albeit more muted given the absence of any facts like roaring shipments of CrossMods to back up their now debunked claims. MHProNews publicly noted early on that what became CrossMods could be a Trojan Horse.
And so it was.
MHI has been an apparent tool for the Berkshire Hathaway owned Clayton Homes, their affiliated BRK owned lenders and other MHVille brands, along with consolidators that are their active or de facto allies. By depressing manufactured home shipments, barriers to entry, persistence, and exit into manufactured housing are thus erected and maintained. Is there evidence for these concerns?
Consider first the trends and then various select statements.
There is much more. But simply put, MHI’s self-praise narrative doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.
By underperforming as an industry, barriers to entry, persistence, and exit are established. It is no surprise that neither Berkshire Hathaway leaders/attorneys nor MHI leaders/attorneys are able to respond or refute these concerns. First, they are based on evidence that routinely comes from their own respective operations. Second, some 20 years of evidence is available to demonstrate that MHI is not doing what they ought.
What should MHI do?
- Institute (double entendre pun intended) a series of properly planned and executed legal actions. While other efforts can be used to compliment lawsuits, it should be apparent that after decades of talk with no results, MHI can hardly keep up the false façade without effective lawsuits.
- Institute a third-party review of all MHI staff and corporate records, including emails and other electronic messages, going back to at least 2009. Why 2009? Because that was the year that Tim Williams with 21st Mortgage Corporation issued this letter which has been described as an apparent antitrust violation by legal authorities and researchers. The review should explore to what extent collusion between major players involved at MHI can be documented internally via such a records search.
- Issue an apology to the industry for failing to do what they have long advertised on their website and messaging that they claim. Namely, that they are sincerely advocating for “all segments” of the industry when they are rather apparently working to consolidate the industry into ever-fewer corporate hands.
- Fire Lesli Gooch for apparently documented conflicts of interest, and anyone else who has similarly engaged in conflicts of interest.
- Put public officials on notice that MHI would going forward work in closer collaboration with MHARR and would press for the industry’s rights.
- Begin to authentically promote and defend the manufactured housing industry instead of the toe in the water efforts that are laughably ineffective.
- Make every staff member account for their time and productivity in a transparent fashion.
That would be a reasonable start, not an end, to what should be a routine process of review and oversight if the MHI trade organization is to recover whatever reputation they may have once enjoyed as an authentic trade group that represents “all segments” of manufactured housing instead of a few insider brands.
In conclusion, Rolfe, Shiffman, Legacy, and others mentioned above each deserve a tip of the hat, albeit not all for the same reasons. That’s your Monday edition the Daily Business News on MHProNews your best source for authentic “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © where “We Provide, You Decide” © on the issues of the day regarding “News through the Lens of Manufactured Homes and Factory Built Housing.” © ##
Again, our thanks to free email subscribers, all readers like you, our tipsters/sources, sponsors and God for making and keeping us the runaway number one source for authentic “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
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