“I feel neglected,” Christina Mullins, of Marion, Iowa said to ABC affiliate KCRG 9. “I feel left behind. I feel that we are being forgotten and swept under the rug.” Mullins Lives in Marion Village, in Marion, Iowa near Cedar Rapids. The Yes! Communities website identifies Marion Village as one of their land-lease communities. Mullins says management, including their corporate office, has failed to assist resident homeowners, while purportedly caring for corporate owned rental units in the wake of the derecho earlier in the month.
As KCRG stated, “Wind and tree damage from the August 10 derecho is noticeable on countless homes, buildings, as well as the mess of tree damage left behind.” The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website says that “A derecho (pronounced similar to “deh-REY-cho” in English…) is a widespread, long-lived wind storm associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms variously known as a squall line, bow echo, or quasi-linear convective system.”
The videos from Marion resident above and the local media video below illustrates the wind force and resultant damage caused by the August 10 derecho storm. It is a sobering reminder that all forms of construction are subject to mother nature, not just decades old mobile homes or manufactured homes. Learn more from a video and report found at this link here.
More than 2 weeks have elapsed. The August 26, 2020 KCRG news report states that “management” – i.e. Yes! Communities – had not returned their call earlier from earlier that week.
But KCRG said that a letter from Yes! Communities to residents on Sunday stated that food, water, and baby essentials would be made available. The management letter also said crews would be on-site to help clean up but didn’t say when that would occur.
Marion Village resident Mullins said the corporate office informed her that disaster recovery would be provided, but when it arrived, it focused on company owned rental units only.
“When I talked to corporate they said the disaster recovery team was sent out to help everybody clear the brush,” Mullins stated. “They weren’t doing that. They were doing the rental [unit] properties; not any of us that owned [their manufactured home] ever got touched.”
Yes! Communities is an award-winning Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member with long ties to Clayton Homes and other Berkshire Hathaway owned brands. Their self-promotional video below says that “everything that they do is always customer or resident centered.”
At a different Yes! property, a large lawsuit is underway, per news items last May. See more on that in the report linked below.
“We want to know what exactly is going on,” Yes! Communities resident Mullins said. “The court hasn’t communicated to anyone what the plan of attack is or how they going to get us cleaned up. What are they going to do about the people who still have trees on their homes?”
Leases at this Yes! Communities property apparently makes residents responsible for their own tree-related issues.
However, the AVVO legal help website – which claims that “97% of US lawyers are rated by Avvo” – said in a post dated December 19, 2014 that “A manufactured park landlord has a duty to maintain any tree larger than 8 inches diameter that was not placed by the tenant that is determined to be a risk.” A Mobile Home University post by “Greg” dated October 2018 said “Trees are the park owners property and responsibility. I tell tenants that I do not remove healthy trees unless they are a danger to property. If they want a healthy tree removed I might approve it at their expense. Dangerous trees/limbs I pay to remove. A danger would be broken limbs or limbs touching a home…”
“A lot of people don’t have cars out here and have to rely on public transportation,” Mullins said. “How are they going to be able to get it out of here? If we can’t get it out of here then maybe we need to let the city come in and pick up the brush. We know its private property, but we have it to our curbs. Somebody needs to help us come in and get rid of this.”
Yes! Communities is rated as one of the largest MHI/National Communities Council (NCC) in the U.S. Yes! Communities is also one of “The Private Equity Stakeholder Project along with MHAction” evaluated firms specifically named in their report linked here, which was used by HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver in their viral satirical slam inappropriately dubbed “Mobile Homes.”
Yes and the other firms specifically named in that report are as follows.
- YES! Communities – Stockbridge Capital, Government of Singapore Investment Co, Pennsylvania Public School Employees Retirement System
- RHP Properties – Brookfield Asset Management
- RV Horizons/ MHP Funds – TPG Capital
- Inspire Communities – Apollo Global Management
- Kingsley Management Company
- Horizon Land Company – Federal Capital Partners/ Texas Employees Retirement System
- Carlyle Group
- Treehouse Communities – Blackstone Group
- Carefree Communities – Centerbridge Capital
RV Horizon’s has since rebranded as Impact Communities. While not named, one of the video clips in the report was an SSK Communities location which features as a partner Nathan Smith, politically connected and an MHI/NCC insider who was MHI chairman for a time. Smith’s SSK Communities has since been rebranded as Flagship Communities, perhaps to mask their “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau.
MHAction itself is a beneficiary of Warren Buffett largess. Buffett, as longtime readers know, is the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK), see the report linked below for more details.
The Iowa Attorney General, Tom Miller, has probed the manufactured home community sector for predatory practices, that are routinely tied to MHI/NCC member firms.
MHProNews plans to monitor this scenario and updated as deemed warranted. To learn more about related issues, see click on the linked images/reports herein or those below the byline and notices.
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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.
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