As the email thread that will be shown later below reflects, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) leader that provided this information asked that the email exchanges that follows be held in confidence for a time. Per that request, it has been held until now. As the headline above stated, here is a key pull quote: “The Executive Committee and staff of MHI are open and eager to work with MHARR to pursue a set of mutually agreed upon goals to advance and safeguard our industry.”
That pivotal pull-quote was from the CEO of MHI to the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of MHARR.
That quote plus what follows are a stark reminder that there have been times when MHI and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) worked jointly on issues of interest to the ‘entire’ manufactured housing industry.
Another message from MHI praised this publication – MHProNews – as being ‘the only real journalists’ operating in the manufactured housing industry. More on that another time, as similar comments have been documented repeatedly.
Past experience exists to learn from. One can be a fan or a foe of House Majority Whip James Clyburn, SC-D) and either could fully agree intellectually with his keen insight get below.
Competing Contemporary Manufactured Housing Industry Narratives
There are competing ‘narratives’ in manufactured housing. To oversimplify:
- some ignore the industry’s politics entirely – as if all is well.
- Another narrative is demonstrably a mix of accurate and inaccurate information which has led the industry’s independents to this precarious moment in time.
- A third view is advanced from a few sources which hammer away at the facts in an often stubbornly determined way, while keeping in mind that the rising tide could raise all ships. That in turn could benefit potentially millions of consumers.
One side of the industry’s leaders are willing and have repeatedly proven able to successfully engage, while the other side’s leaders wants to pretend or ignore certain realities.
Only a close look at the facts will shed light on who is being deceptive and who the evidence says is telling the truth.
Relevant Blasts from the Past That Shed Light on Manufactured Housing’s Issues Today
The industry didn’t just wake up today a mere shadow of what it was in 1998. Our industry’s low ebb is the result of years of actions and inactions. To grasp that, one must look back to see what occurred and what didn’t take place that was previously promised.
As the 2020 elections heat up, and MHI and/or their surrogates amp up their messaging campaign, it is therefore useful to periodically look back at what has transpired previously. How are things similar to years before? What has changed or has come to light?
The three broad groups of voices in MHVille noted in the bullets above imply that one or more views are inaccurate at best. Who to believe and trust? That too is a question that begs a historic vantagepoint.
When various forms of deception are a purportedly part of the landscape in manufactured housing, it is useful to ask or wonder,
- when did the deceptions begin?
- What were the rationales or motivations for the deceptions?
- One must keep in mind that authentic journalism traditionally seeks answers to core questions: who, what, when, where, why, how, and how much.
While writing styles may differ, those questions are the basics of journalism.
What follows relates to our exclusive Q&A with Danny Ghorbani yesterday, because there are historic elements necessary to discern and understand how manufactured housing came to be at the current relatively-low ebb?
It should be stressed that neither Ghorbani nor others at MHARR even knew that we had these emailed documents, much less that we would be using it today.
By contrast, at least one – but more likely, a few – associated with MHI knew that these emails that follow were provided to MHProNews. But those MHI leaders might very well have forgotten that they were given. MHProNews keeps what is provided and holds onto them until the time seems right to use a given piece of evidence.
When manufactured housing shipments some twenty-two years ago where approaching four times the level that the industry is operating today, that demands from reasonable minds an effort to understand ‘why?’ What happened that caused MHI to collaborate at times with MHARR, and the two national trade associations to battle each at other at different times?
When MHI, MHARR, and the late Will Earle, while the later was president and general counsel of the Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA), were working together to enact the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA or 2000 reform law), why does MHI now pretend and posture that MHARR doesn’t even exist?
Clearly, MHARR does exist. To pretend otherwise is absurd, and should be one of the warning flags for objective, clear thinkers.
But equally clear is the fact that MHProNews exists. MHI’s then president and CEO, Richard “Dick” Jennison, was in routine contact with MHProNews for years. Jennison praised MHProNews – as did other MHI leaders – privately as well as publicly. Now, MHI wants to relegate MHARR, MHProNews or MHLivingNews to some Orwellian memory hole? Something surreal as if adapted from the pages of George Orwell’s famous novel, Nineteen Eighty Four (1984)?
Who looks foolish? Those who deny reality? Or those who dare speak truth to power, which is what the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Code of Ethnical Conduct calls for in their published standards?
Independent thinkers should ask these questions.
- Why would MHI pretend or posture that certain highly visible parties – i.e.: MHARR, MHProNews and MHLivingNews – don’t exist? Living in denial is either a delusion or an effort to create an illusion.
- Why is MHI busily weaving a narrative of illusions in concert with their self-proclaimed “coalition” of housing nonprofits?
- Instead of coalitions with conventional housing interests that often differ from the interests of manufactured housing, why doesn’t MHI simply insist on the enforcement of good, existing federal laws that could benefit millions of affordable housing seekers and the vast majority of firms of all sizes in manufactured housing?
The article linked below explores that question.
Jim Shea Senior Said It…
The late Jim Shea Sr. reportedly used to say that every renter who lives outside of a major city ought to be a manufactured homeowner. Legacy says that Shea Sr. was an “attorney in Detroit, Shea Sr. founded Fairmont Homes in 1971.” That was prior to the passage of the MHIA.
The MHIA was supposed to correct issues that faced all of manufactured housing and millions of potential consumers.
When the evidence is examined, it is difficult for MHI and their leaders to deny that they did indeed work with MHARR from time-to-time. For that matter, MHI were a periodic advertiser and source for MHProNews as well. To now posture, pretend, or otherwise avoid reality should call their position into question.
Historic Emails from MHI to MHProNews
Here is the email thread that includes that pull quote and other stunning insights.
Start of forwarded email thread.
from: Richard Jennison firstname.lastname@example.org
date: Nov 15, 2012, 3:42 PM
subject: FW: ESTABLISHING FULL MHARR-MHI COOPERATION TO ADVANCE THREE MAJOR INDUSTRY ISSUES
: Important mainly because of the people in the conversation.
FYI. I would appreciate you keeping this quiet for the time being!
— Forwarded Messages —
From: Richard Jennison
Sent: Thursday, November 15, 2012 2:06 PM
Cc: Lois Starkey
Subject: RE: ESTABLISHING FULL MHARR-MHI COOPERATION TO ADVANCE THREE MAJOR INDUSTRY ISSUES
Please accept my apology for my delay in responding to your email. I had an MHI Executive Committee meeting on Tuesday afternoon where MHARR’s request was on the agenda for discussion. The Executive Committee and staff of MHI are open and eager to work with MHARR to pursue a set of mutually agreed upon goals to advance and safeguard our industry. Unfortunately, my availability to meet over the next couple of weeks is limited. I have travel commitments that will take me out of the office through November 27th. My schedule is open on November 28th , the week of December 3rd (except 11:00 am – 1:00 pm on 12/5) and the week of December 10th.
Danny, I’ll defer to you to lock down a day and time for us to meet.
President and CEO
Manufactured Housing Institute
— Forwarded Message —
From: DANNYGHORBANI@aol.com [mailto:DANNYGHORBANI@aol.com]
Sent: Monday, November 12, 2012 12:20 PM
To: Richard Jennison
Subject: ESTABLISHING FULL MHARR-MHI COOPERATION TO ADVANCE THREE MAJOR INDUSTRY ISSUES
As promised in my October 16, 2012 note to you, with MHARR’s Fall Board of Directors meeting now concluded, we can proceed to schedule our next meeting. And, just as you followed-up on our initial conversation after MHI’s October meeting, it was similarly advisable for MHARR to have this Board meeting completed prior to our further discussion.
Based on our Association’s September 18 2012 generic letters to the two presidential candidates, which addressed the essential elements necessary for a revival of the industry and an expansion of its homebuyers’ share of the housing market — and with the results of the presidential election now known — the MHARR Board is now proposing that MHARR and MHI renew their successful 1998 cooperation model to advance a structured, targeted and focused plan to achieve significant results for the industry and its consumers. The Association’s plan focuses on three major issues, the resolution and correction of which should be aggressively pursued as an industry initiative.
These issues are:
- The appointment, by the HUD Secretary, of an MHARR-MHI mutually agreed non-career administrator to fully and properly manage the federal manufactured housing program starting in 2013;
- The appointment, by the HUD Secretary, of two non-lobbyist staff members – one each — from MHARR and MHI to the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) starting in 2013; and
- The elevation of federally-regulated manufactured housing – and its consumers – to full parity in all existing and future national housing programs and all national public and private home finance programs, including, but not limited to, corrections to FHA government-insured programs (particularly the shortcomings of the FHA Title I program) and FHFA manufactured home-secured private loans.
At our upcoming meeting, I will share with you further aspects of the above three-point plan for consideration by MHI. In the interim, I would appreciate it if you would convey this message to MHI manufacturers and MHI’s governing body as MHARR’s official proposal and position for the two organizations’ post-election cooperation in Washington, D.C.
If you could please get back to me soon with a date that will work for you, I will try to leave the next two weeks open in order to accommodate our calendars for this meeting.
cc: MHARR Manufacturers
Danny D. Ghorbani, President
Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform
1331 Pennsylvania Ave N.W., Suite 508
Washington, D.C. 20004
— end of forwarded emails —
Additional Information, MHProNews Analysis and Commentary
There is an evidence-based argument to be made that MHI can’t stick to the facts, because doing so would be too embarrassing and revealing.
It will be recalled that MHI and some of their affiliates have claimed that HUD told manufactured housing industry leaders that the industry must speak ‘with one voice.’ MHProNews asked a HUD spokesperson about that claim. That spokesperson said that the claim was not true and does not comport with HUD’s policies.
Rephrased, MHI periodically makes claims or holds positions that are demonstrably untrue.
The email thread above sheds light on that. Those revelations along with others may include various deceptions, which could involve civil as well as possible criminal legal issues. Because MHARR has consistently sought certain goals to advance the industry and its independents. By contrast, MHI postures doing that, but their history in the Berkshire Hathaway era of the industry is that they are head fakes.
Another good example of that is that Lesli Gooch declined pushing HUD on Pam Danner’s removal. By contrast, MHARR pushed the issue with Dana Wade. Danner was removed due at least in part to that MHARR effort, as the Washington Post reported.
There have been periodic tips from MHI insiders even since they began playing make believe regarding the existence of MHARR, MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.
The example below and above reflect documented conflicts of interest by Arlington VA based “MHI 2.0” CEO Lesli Gooch has apparently engaged in. Note that neither MHI, nor their surrogates, have denied the authenticity of these documents. Indeed, MHI insiders confirmed that they were aware of these conflicts of interest after MHProNews exclusively published these reports linked above and below.
MHI may now try to relegate Richard “Dick” Jennison to their Orwellian memory hole too. But the fact that MHProNews has and continues to get insider tips only casts doubt on MHI’s “Illusion of Motion” vs. MHARR’s decades of consistent efforts to advance the industry at large.
MHI has engaged in a campaign that de facto has the effect of slowly consolidating the industry into ever fewer hands. The quotes that follow arguably fit the scenario that the evidence presented reflects. By contrast, MHARR for years has pressed the facts and the evidence in a manner that would benefit consumers and independents.
To learn more, see the related reports linked above as well as below the byline and notices.
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 “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © 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.