George F. Allen’s Unity Call for MHI, MHARR, and National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) Examined

GeorgeFAllenCowardlyLionUnityCallMHIlogoMHARRlogoNAMHCOLogoManufacturedHousingMHProNews

What’s the largest national trade association in manufactured housing? As longtime former-member George F. Allen should know, it is the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), based in Arlington, VA. They have for years claimed that “MHI is the only national trade organization representing all segments of the factory-built housing industry.” – as prior, repeated MHI critic Allen should know.

But what is Allen’s stance about MHI or other industry trade groups now?

When it comes to which trade association should carry the burden of responsibility for the currently troubled state of the manufactured home industry, which trade group should that be?

Based on MHI’s own claim, it should be obvious. Based on periodic attacks on MHI from Allen for years, it ought to be clear to him too. As the large, umbrella trade group, it is logically MHI.

Thus, for George Allen to point his barbs at anyone other than the source of the problems, begs the question. What is Allen’s motivation?

Before diving into the details, let’s note as an executive summary that Allen has recently:

  • directed attention away from the obviously responsible source, i.e.: MHI and their masters.
  • Why is Allen merely posturing or talking about stuff like John Oliver’s harmful impact on MHVille via the problematic “Mobile Homes” video?
  • What is Allen doing to correct sliding industry trends, besides holding meetings, shilling for others, or selling literature that lines his own pockets?
  • Why would Allen try to undermine someone and their organization that is laying the foundation for DOING something positive, that aims to return the industry to growth?
  • Why has Allen attacked a pro-industry party that is not paid for their effort to try to help independent communities, retailers, and others to grow the industry, instead of shrinking the industry. Shouldn’t that spark concern from Allen’s still significant, but nevertheless dwindling fan-base among independently owned communities?

That’s what this report, fact-check, and analysis will unpack. As part of this executive summary, let’s note there will be new quotes for thousands of readers from:

  • Kevin Clayton
  • Joe Stegmayer

Plus an in-context review of others from industry leaders that include:

  • Nathan Smith, SSK Communities
  • Tim Williams/21st

These are among those that will be quoted and cited from this report. Several new quotes, plus a review of past ones that are relevant, will be included in this exclusive in-depth professional’s-focused dive into the murky world of manufactured housing.

While Allen’s role is arguably that of a pawn, it is nevertheless useful in understanding the broader landscape of how the game is played in manufactured housing today.

We’ll begin this fact-check and analysis of Allen’s recent barbs with some background that may be new to some, but useful to all. Then, we will proceed to spotlight fresh insights into the drop in manufactured housing shipments, and other efforts that seemingly aim to consolidating more of the industry into ever fewer hands.

 

George F. Allen Ought to Know…

GeorgeAllenPhotoPamDannerPhotoEducateMHCMobileHomeCommunityInvestorManufacturedHomeProfessionalNews
This and other third party images are provided under fair use guidelines for media. It should be noted that AFA, the source of this photo, is arguably another MHI surrogate.

Given that Allen once understood that it was MHI’s bailiwick to focus on retail, community, and other post-production issues, who is it that Allen took aim at in a new critique on his “Community-Investor” “EducateMHC” page? Logically, it should have been MHI. But no, please don’t expect such logic from the retired Colonel Allen.

Let’s help Allen discern – but more important, give evidence-based and logical guidance to any of his readers – that the Indianapolis-based retiree has sadly apparently misinformed his readers about or any other industry professionals who trip across him.

Let’s likewise see what Allen, his buddies, and masters reveal in what follows, in their own words.

 

 

What MHI Leaders Have Previously Admitted

MHProNews begins by taking a step back from Allen and looking at what MHI’s own leaders have publicly admitted, often on camera.

Nathan Smith, MHI’s prior chairman and SSK Communities partner admits that the industry – i.e., MHI – had often ‘failed to be proactive.’ Smith also said that he wants all the (independent) communities for himself, with a great laugh. Is that funny to any independent community owners who were underpaid for the true intrinsic value of their properties?

 

Given Smith’s own comments and the public reputation of his firm, does Allen take aim at the SSK partner’s operation and its impact on the industry’s image?

Not that we’ve seen lately. Yet the Better Business Bureau (BBB) rated SSK Communities an ‘F’ – and SSK was part of video clip shown by John Oliver video “Mobile Homes.” Allen postured in an email to his followers that he is concerned about this issue. ICYMI, re: former MHI chairman Nathan Smith led SKK Communities “F” rating, the screen capture was taken previously, but it was double checked on 5.3.2019 and remains the same as of 10:05 EM ET.

JohnOliverHBOLastWeekTonightMobileHomesSSKCommunitiesNathanSmithClassActionLawSuitMobileManufacturedHomeMHProNews

 

Smith and SSK Communities gets a silent pass from Allen on his blog since March 3, 2013, when under the headline, “Circling the Drain,” Allen talked about the tepid turnout for an MHI meeting, lamented Don Glisson, Jr.’s surprise departure at that time as MHI chairman, and flatly noted Nathan Smith at SSK was the new chairman. But where was – or is – the public accountability-check by Allen of Smith? Per sources in the Allen camp, he does comment about Smith and SSK in dark terms, but only to what ‘George’ refers to as his ‘intimates.’

Ouch, that’s not a pretty picture, by let’s move on from that George F (F?) Allen terminology. We’ll note in passing this mainstream media account of one of several such reports about Smith led-SSK. Note that this video was during Smith’s tenure as MHI chairman. What image of the Arlington, VA based trade group does this mainstream news video present? Where was Allen’s courage on this issue? Hmmm?

Tim Williams – another former MHI chairman, and still president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway owned 21st Mortgage Corporation – admitted at an MHI session that ‘the horse has left the barn’ on MHI’s miss of the SAFE Act. Longer-time industry pros recall that the SAFE Act was later rolled into Dodd-Frank. None of those problematic steps were stopped by MHI, nor their ultimate power source in Omaha, NE.

How often must the industry allow MHI watch the ‘horse to leave the barn,’ or to have the scores of industry firms and efforts fail, before more bloggers and publishers join in and hold those responsible, accountable?

MHI President Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison admitted on stage and on camera the failures by MHI ‘at times’ too, while giving praise for his good, dear friend L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach and MHProNews, which he called a “great publication.”

Where is Allen’s equivalent to these on-point facts and quoted comments? To use military phrasing Allen should know, it was entirely MIA. Missing in action.

Given that Allen was at some of those same meetings, he has or should have seen those same videos, heard the same comments, and witnessed many of those points that MHProNews has. So who does Allen go after on April 30th, 2019? MHI? Nathan Smith? Berkshire Hathaway brands, including the one led by Tim Williams?

No.

Instead, Allen takes aim at the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

  • Yet MHARR had no role at all in the Oliver video.
  • Nor is MHARR responsible for post-production issues, that’s supposed to be part of MHI’s claim to fame.
HBOJohnOliverLastWeekTonightMobileHomesVideoManufacturedHomeCommunitiesFactCheckMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNewsDBN
https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/hbos-john-oliver-on-last-week-tonight-mobile-homes-video-manufactured-home-communities-fact-check/

MHARR has stated clearly for years about their role: MHARR is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing.” That’s also near the end of the same column from MHARR President and CEO, Mark Weiss, JD, that Allen oddly took issue with. Allen knows it, but ignores that point. It is but one of many examples of purported intellectual dishonesty – or gross negligence – by Allen, if he claims to be a seriously dispassionate reporter of facts.

Rephrased, MHARR isn’t the post-production or umbrella association. Rather, that is MHI – by MHI’s own claims.

So who is responsible for what Allen called in his recent post the “HUD-Code manufactured housing industry for its’ perennial lethargy, and leaderlessness…” – logically, it is MHI, not MHARR.

One could stop there, because what follows are details. But those details reveal much about Allen and his purported string-pullers. That in turn matters to hundreds of independent manufactured home communities who still follow him, and thousands of others who may not even know Allen is in the industry too.

Allen has gone from an MHI outsider, to more recently being embraced by the very people who previously rejected him. That makes the intellectually curious ask, why? What changed? Who gets what? Who benefits?

MHI’s Leaders, and What Allen’s Missing and/or Hiding?

Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison ‘led’ MHI, or former chairmen Tim Williams and Nathan Smith have at times themselves admitted that MHI has failed. So, what’s up with Allen’s arguably flawed premise and thinking in going after MHARR on his blog? Where was his logic?

Let’s be clear. Allen has the 1st Amendment right to go after whomever he will, within legal and moral norms. If he wants to dispute MHARR’s reasoning, or MHProNews, or anyone else – and does so honorably, have at it. Let’s also note the obvious. MHARR is a banner advertiser here. That’s obvious. But what is not obvious to some is what Allen is getting from MHI and what MHI award-winner Marty Lavin has called ‘big boy’ companies. This fisking of Allen’s fisk is our idea, no one else’s. That said, let’s press on.

FiskFiskingDefinitionManufacturedHssuingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

So there are several obvious inquiries that a keen mind should ponder. Why is Allen diverting attention from the obviously more responsible party(ies), while focusing on the trade association that is trying to fix what is going wrong in MHVille?

  • What is driving Allen’s attack on MHARR?
  • Are his barbs accurate or not?
  • Let’s examine those topics. Because they are relevant to virtually all in the industry.

Some of Allen’s comments and logic will be reviewed further below, but first, this necessary and useful segue. As retail and community shipments have been dropping for months, Allen has demonstrably diverted attention away from the evidence that follows. BTW, and ICYMI, one of our recent reports on dropping sales in #1 Texas, or other regional states linked here, can be accessed later from the text-image box below. We’ll do a report early next week on the full national data on the troubling decline in new manufactured home shipment and production trends.

Warning – Number 1 Manufactured Housing State, Texas – Reports Month Over Month Rise, Year over Year Shipment Decline Continues | Manufactured and Modular Housing Industry News

Last night, the Daily Business News on MHProNews looked at regional data that revealed 3 states with increases, but 3 others with significant declines in new manufactured homes shipped. Now, in our pre-dawn report, multiple tips from members of the Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA) provided their state’s latest – …

“That G-d D-mned George Allen”

Among the tips from Allen’s circle to MHProNews came one yesterday while this article was being prepared for publication. Several comments were made by that source from Allen’s circle. That source has reportedly made nice with Allen, but he literally cursed Allen for what he is doing to communities. Per that longtime Allen-follower and prior fan, the blogger and now former community owner Allen is giving “MHI cover” – while “slurring MHARR.”

In order to double-check various claims made by that source, prior tips and research had to be reviewed by MHProNews. That caused a delay from yesterday to today for publishing this report, while additional research was conducted. It has led to several valuable, compelling insights.

Among the prior tips on Allen from other members of his circle were claims that he derailed an attempt to organize certain midwestern manufactured home community owners and independents from forming a new trade group. The plan was to form a new post-production association that would do what MHI claims to do.

Why would Allen – who claims to care about the interests of independent communities – sideline efforts to help independently owned community operators? Who benefits from that derailment?

Last year, MHProNews ran an article at the link below.

Cavco’s Joe Stegmayer, MHI Chairman, George Allen-COBA7, Collusion, Coverup, and Allegations of Selling Out

Our publisher – L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach – at that time provided Allen and his ally, Spencer Roane, with an opportunity to respond. That’s a norm for this trade platform, unlike Allen’s arguably one-sided blog. Here on MHProNews a chance to reply in public exists. This screen capture documents the quote text that follows.

EmailGeorgeFAllenSpencerRoane2019-05-04_0334Sept52018ManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-768x303

 

YouMHProNewsSeemToHaveConceptualIQThatIsMoreImportantThanSpellingAbilityQuote
Many of these quotes are from MHI insiders.

What follows is the text of that message. For new readers here, note that MHProNews often uses bold and brown text to highlight a direct quote, which is the case herein below. Typos are in the original. The quote at the left in blue, from an MHI member and periodic source, is a wink and a nod to that member’s point.

George and Spencer,

First, unlike some others n MHVille, we offer the opportunity to respond. In this case, it’s to the first yellow highlighted article, linked further below, which mentions you, Spencer, MHI and JoeS. You can clarify, confirm, or whatever you deem fitting on that topic. Joe isn’t among the BCCs, but a few of your followers, no one from MHARR, and five MHI members are.

The NDA questions. We have sources that tell us that MHI has made a “liberal” (common) use of NDAs. Please type your replies beneath each question. They can be as short or long as you wish. Supporting documentation is welcome and encouraged.


1) Have you at any time been asked to sign an NDA with MHI?

 

2) Have you at any time been asked to sign an NDA with MHI members in the past 4 years?

 

3) How do you explain or justify your apparent in writing flip-flops on what Marty Lavin has called “the Big Boys” – the powers that be behind MHI?

 

4) By working for those MHI/big boys each of you two with various apparent rewards, cross promotions, and compensation, haven’t you in fact sold out the independents who make up the bulk of your followers?

 

Your normal prompt reply is valued. Thank you. Reminder, see the first yellow highlighted article, linked further below.

Tony

As a disclosure, this writer has access to our publisher’s email, and he does this writer’s email too.

There was no response from this message by Kovach to Allen, although Allen is known to engage in several back-and-forth message exchanges with our publisher. While it is not proof that Allen has sold out to MHI, his lack of reply is interesting. It certainly opens the door to reasonably wonder, is Allen acting as a compensated surrogate for MHI and/or some larger firms that are MHI members?

A separate message was also sent by Tony Kovach to MHI’s outside attorney as well as MHI’s senior leadership. See the screen capture below. It pointedly asked if George F. Allen was working on MHI’s behalf as a surrogate.

EmailJohnGreinerGraydonLawMHIElectedAppointedLeadershipJan2019KevinClaytonJoeStegmayerTimWilliamsNathanSmith

 

 

No denials or confirmations came from those leaders, but several other interesting replies came back from those in the BCCs, which included Allen followers.

That message included the following, as part of a longer message thread. As is common on MHProNews, we’ve turned the quoted text brown and bold, to highlight it for publication.

 

-ITS_followerPersonDoctrineMovementIdeaWikiDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews
Allen-ite.

But otherwise this section of that message is quoted as sent to George Allen, with senior MHI leaders openly copied, and several state association executives, plus Allen-ites among those BCC’d. The typos are in the original.

Do you not understand how you praised MHI, after you had publicly blasted or questioned them? Then you kissed up when you CC’d Joe Stegmayer? Then flip-flopped again, from your own blog? See link above to refresh your memory. As a reminder, see the mainstream story below, to refresh your thinking and recall more.

https://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2018/may/26/industry-members-decline-take-sides-rossville/471775/

People are busy, but hindsight brings amazing clarity at times.

Frank Rolfe got MHAction-ed. MHI got their treatment too. In hindsight, perhaps it was a mistake that we tipped off MHI that protests were coming. MHAction was coy, because they just switched locations, and dates, but they still did protest – didn’t they?

How do you think NMHOA, or MHAction would view your, Spencer Roxane’s, or SECO’s view of defending Tom Lackey, after all those media reports?”

At that time of that emailed comment, it was already known that MHAction was getting funding from the Tides Foundation, which in turn was funded by the NoVo Foundation, who’s main donor was Warren Buffett. The article linked below was published on 2018/10/19.

GoldenStateManufacturedHomeLeaguePresidentGSMOLWarnsAgainstMHActionLogo600
https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/manufactured-home-resident-group-president-cautions-against-mhaction-surprising-background-reveal-to-manufactured-housing-action/

As a relevant side note, a Rolfe confident told MHProNews that he believes that some of the MHAction rank-and-file protest members are mentally unbalanced. Rolfe would not formally confirm or deny that he was fearful during some encounters with MHAction members. That said, Rolfe has previously stated that he’s not easily scared. Those are legally significant matters, as MHI’s attorney’s and the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis ‘big boys’ likely understand.

While specific levels of coordination between some of those MHAction types and the axis are not entirely clear. But what is clear is that Buffett’s money can be traced to both sides of several issues that impact manufactured housing. At a minimum that raises concerns and the possibility of collusion, which could involve antitrust, RICO, or possibly other federal laws.

In a message thread from George Allen’s email to several HUD Code manufactured home producers dated January 17, 2019 at 7:49 AM, was sent to Allen’s email list.

Cc: gfa7156 <gfa7156@aol.com>
Sent: Thu, Jan 17, 2019 7:49 am

Bob Bender at Commodore Homes sent this reply to an email from Allen that asked this question:

Reason(s) for Slippage in Volume of New HUD-Code Homes being shipped this past Fall?” Let’s note, as a ‘wheat and chaff’ point that the question by Allen is a valid one, especially now, when the industry is into its 7 month of declining new home shipments, a matter of concern to most independents and investors. Here’s what Commodore’s Bender said in reply.

BobBenderCommodoreHomesMHProNews
Bob Bender, Commodore Homes.

George – we have not seen any retraction in our HUD business. I haven’t seen any inventory changes and the overall retail space looks solid.

Certainly there could be some FEMA differences comparing industry year-to-year volume which I know you follow.

Bob Bender

Sent from Phone

 

Note that Joe Stegmayer, then and now MHI’s chairman, replied to this inquiry by Allen too.

It will be recalled that this occurred weeks after Stegmayer stepped down from his role as president, CEO and chairman at Cavco Industries, following the SEC subpoena. The most recent update on that Cavco drama, is linked here. Given that, doesn’t Stegmayer’s tone sound as if he still carried a lot of weight at Cavco? And doesn’t Stegmayer sound chummy with Allen – for whom MHI’s chairman addressed Allen’s ‘roundtable’ meeting – which gives Allen financial compensation? Hold those thoughts, because it is relevant for Allen’s purported role as a compensated/rewarded MHI surrogate.

Here was the ‘meat’ of Stegmayer’s reply to Allen, which was CC’d to others, some of whom provided this as a news tip to MHProNews. The typos are in the original.

 

Joe_Stegmayer_Cavco_credit_MHProNews
Joe Stegmayer, MHI Chairman, former Cavco Chairman, president and CEO.

George

Believe inventories of retailers climbed rather suddenly to above comfort levels. Now being adjusted.

Our view is consistent with Clayton’s that consumer traffic is solid. would add that it appears that credit availability has improved somewhat.

Another plus: The inventory of all existing homes for sale is near historically low levels.

Absent national economic calamities we are optimistic.”

 

The “we” from Stegmayer clearly implies Cavco. But notice that Stegmayer, a former Clayton Homes division president, referenced a reply from Kevin Clayton. The meat of that statement by Clayton, which was also forwarded to MHProNews as a tip, read as follows.

Kevin Clayton told Allen the following, in a message sent: Wed, Jan 16, 2019 8:19 am. The typo by Kevin is in the original.

 

sitting-with-si-robertson-duck-dynasty-kevin-clayton-homes-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-
Hindsight can be 20/20. Why wasn’t the Clayton TV and video campaign with Duck Dynasty more successful? Kevin Clayton at right.

Retail inventory correction

Look at RV industry….it is even more severe for them.

Good news is retail activity remains healthy to work through it. That’s just one opinion \ view.

Kevin Clayton

 

In fairness and to be objective, there are non-MHI sources that have said similarly as Clayton did above. Namely, that retailers over-ordered during periods of long factory backlogs last year.

But doesn’t that dodge several questions? Why isn’t retail as hot now as it was a year ago? FEMA can only account for a small part of that lighter level of factory orders. During an affordable housing crisis, why aren’t sales surging with or without FEMA orders? Consider again Cavco’s Stegmayer’s statement, which makes an apt point.

Another plus: The inventory of all existing homes for sale is near historically low levels.

Absent national economic calamities we are optimistic.”

As another segue, that from Stegmayer ought to be a key for the manufactured home industry, its investors, and public/private/media investigators. If you read what he said carefully, note that logically Stegmayer was on both sides of the fence? But given the affordable housing crisis, and how high the demand is for conventional/existing housing, he is debatably correct in making a point MHProNews has made for years. I.e.: why aren’t HUD Code manufactured home sales soaring?

3ErasMobileHomesManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingImprovementActEraSkylineChampionShipmentProductionGraphicMHProNews
In 1998, manufactured homes (MH) outsold RVs by some 3 to 2. In 2017, RVs outsold MHs by some 5 to 1. RVs recovered far more quickly from 2008. The facts raise questions. One, is the effectiveness of MHI as the post-production or ‘umbrella’ association in the country. The other question is more sobering. Has Buffett-Berkshire “Moat” strategies kept manufactured home production at historically low levels to allow a few big boy brands to consolidate others at a discounted ‘value’ by MHI insiders?

But Allen did not follow that logic, at least not with his audience.

That once more begs several questions. Wasn’t Allen persona non grata at MHI, just a few years ago? Was Allen brought back into the ‘MHInsider circle’ – to borrow Darren Krolewski’s publication phrase – to act as a periodic attack dog? A compensated and rewarded surrogate for MHI and the ‘big boys?’

Doesn’t that then imply that Allen is selling out his core followers, who are the independents ‘mom and pop’ and somewhat larger community owners? Indeed, people like Nathan Smith, Paul Bradley with ROC USA, and others find Allen and his meetings useful as funnels for acquisitions.

Here’s another one of Allen’s reader’s comments, which was likewise forwarded to MHProNews. It was sent in connection with the Bender-Stegmayer-Clayton quotes just noted. Note these comments from Allen’s reader’s list reportedly includes attorneys and some more sophisticated individuals, even if they don’t trust him. The typo is in the original, and this is part of a longer message. The ‘they’ in the message below means the industry’s ‘powers that be,’ including Clayton and Cavco. The meat of that news tip sent to MHProNews read as follows:

Allen is too busy posturing to understand it.

It all begs the key questions:

Why are sales low during an affordable housing crisis?

If retail traffic is good, why are sales low?

The RV industry is an excuse I heard weeks ago, ditto automotive. The reasons? Because there isn’t an affordable RV Crisis.

They’ve spent dollars promoting, which imho are head fakes. But objectively, There are three broad options.

1) They really don’t know how to convince and connect with the shoppers/buyers.

2) They do know, but aren’t using the best methods.

3) Some combo of the above.

Do you see an alternative to those three?

Recall the video. Clayton said Buffet ok with them losing money for 5 years, if the moat grows.

Head fakes are enough to soothe the GFAs, who are peddling snake oil anyway.”

 

Notice that the writer put GFA (George F Allen) in the plural. Meaning, not only Allen, but other surrogate publishers for MHI, which arguably includes the MHVillage sister publication, the lightly read MHInsider, plus others.

Allen – along with his sidekick and ally, Spencer Roane – were given opportunities to comment on several such in January, and more recently.

In a message last week to MHProNews, Allen-ite Roane uncharacteristically distanced himself from Allen, while both dissing and praising Tony Kovach. Allen dodged these questions, but Roane’s message to MHProNews included the following. The hot link below to the Jacksonville newspaper is edited in, so that readers who have not yet read that Jacksonville reference can get the full meaning of Roane’s comments.

 

SpencerRoanePentagonPropertiesCreditsPostedDailyBusinessNewsResearchDataReportsMHProNews“…The Jacksonville newspaper post is about the need for affordable housing. Hard to argue w/ that. The only fact-checking appears to be Kovach’s, and that involves MHI membership and Buffet affiliations. So what? Other than sharing the interest of many in the industry about overly aggressive community owners/managers, none of this has anything to do w/ me.

Regards, Spencer Roane

 

Unpacking Allen, Roane, Kevin Clayton, and Joe Stegmayer Comments

We’ll begin by noting anew that de facto, Roane both praised and dissed Tony Kovach in the same message, quoted above. Roane is no public fan of Tony’s. But Roane made several interesting points. Among them are concerns about “overly aggressive community owners/managers” and the links between “MHI membership and Buffet affiliations.” Indeed, MHProNews has heard from such concerns from the community sector’s ‘white hats’ too.

But what Roane didn’t mention was the MHAction activist tie-in to Buffett’s dark money channel funding.

That revelation from the final quarter of last year began to cast a new light on several developments in manufactured housing in recent years. ‘Buffett bucks’ are apparently funding both pro-and-con forces on various issues that face manufactured housing independents. To the degree that MHI is aware of this, that could place them in a severe conflict-of-interest and other legal problems. Given that their outside attorney has told MHProNews that they monitor what we publish, it could lead to serious issues for MHI, and possibly member companies. ICYMI, see the linked text-image box below.

Lanham Act, Monopolistic Housing Institute, err, Manufactured Housing Institute, Legal Bullies, and You

The emailed analysis from an Allen-reader (not a devotee, but one who is in his circle) – references the video interview with Kevin Clayton, posted on the link here.

To Understand MHVille Today, One Must Understand the Kevin Clayton Video Interview

KevinClaytonVideoInterviewHowDidWarrenLearnTheseMoatBuildingstrategiesMHIBehavioralExperts
While the above is satirical, it does reflect what Clayton purportedly communicated, see the nearly one hour long video at this link here.

Any investor, investigator or longer-term industry professional who has not carefully digested that video interview with Kevin Clayton and related analysis linked from this column, just can’t possibly grasp manufactured housing’s actual dynamics.

For example, Clayton mentions in that video their use of nonprofits – here think MHI, MHAction, Prosperity Now, Center for Public Integrity (CPI), and others – as part of his discussion of the broader Buffett/Berkshire Moat and related business philosophy and practices.

With the revelations that MHAction, the Urban Institute, CPI or others were given Buffett-Berkshire bucks, it sheds a new clarity on how the game is played, and how the system is arguably rigged.

Rephrased, it can’t be stressed enough that manufactured housing professionals have arguably been duped numerous times by the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis.

Consider as an obvious and public example this point. Buffett supported former president Barack Obama and Secretary Hillary Clinton, who pledged no changes to Dodd-Frank. Meanwhile MHI under Nathan Smith and Tim Williams’ leadership was promoting a bill – the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act – for years. Yet that bill never had a chance of passage with an Obama or Clinton in office.

 

Arguably, that kind of tangled web is what Allen has been on both sides of: at times in the past, opposing MHI and the manipulations of what he used to call the Big Three C’s, or the ‘aggressive’ community operators.

Note that none of the pawns – including Allen – in this Omaha-Knoxville ploy have to be aware of the role of the other. Only a few puppet masters need to know.

That said, let’s swerve back to an example of GF Allen’s 180.

OligarchyDefinedGeorgeFAllenGFACommunityInvestorBlogCOBA7DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

Another example of Allen’s flip-flop on MHI and their big boy backers is below. But more recently – with apparent benefits from MHI leaders that he has not denied – Allen has ‘sold out’ to those very same interests.

ManufacturedHousingIndustryMonopoly-Oligarchy-GeorgeAllen-PostedDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews-
George Allen, has a modest following today, which once used to be a large following. As a former client of his told MHProNews, with George “It’s AAA, All About Allen.”

 

He Can’t Have it Both Ways!

This analysis logically implies that Allen is selling out his followers. Allen has not disputed it. When given a documented chance for him to publicly respond, he said nothing. Roane, distanced himself from it.

It also can’t be stressed enough that vacant home sites harms the value of an independently owned community. Lower sales volumes of new homes harms the value of essentially most every business in the industry.

Buffett can afford that, and so can a few big boys. As the industry consolidates, they are acquiring businesses at a discounted value, part of the Buffett ‘value investing’ mantra.

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews
Never forget that even during medieval times, castles and their moats were in fact breached.

But that spotlight casts a different perspective on Buffett and value investing. Because if he is manipulating the market in order to achieve that reduced value, that could be illegal and/or actionable. Those actions, per attorneys and legal sources MHProNews has spoken to, could lead to liability from potential suits from potentially millions of manufactured home (MH) owners arguably harmed, as well as businesses who are not earning money they could or should absent such market manipulations.

In fact, a pair of antitrust experts told MHProNews that to them the sexier case to pursue in court would be that of resident/MH homeowners.

Such ploys may also lead to legal woes for MHI, and ‘insider’ members too.

It’s a tangled web. There are many moving parts. Allen and others like him are just purported pawns on a board. They or Allen could be dispensed with or replaced at will.

There is also no need for Allen to grasp how he is being used. So long as Allen plays his part, he’s useful to the axis and what Marty Lavin has termed ‘the big boys.’

It is in that context that Allen’s attack on MHARR begins to make sense. Allen has in the past thanked Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO for what Allen learned about the industry from him. Is this how Allen repays favors?

 

Cowardly Lion Claims to Fisk MHARR, But Now Won’t Criticize MHI?

What Allen wrote to oppose Weiss and MAHRR is so convoluted, that we will only look at his first so-called point to show how false much of his narrative is. Here’s a direct quote from Allen’s blog, that claims to analyze Weiss comments, linked here.

LATonyKovachDonWestphalKenRishelGeorgeAllenDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews
Left to right, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, Don Westphal, Ken Rishel, and George Allen. Louisville 2011. Kovach has since made repeated amends, per SPJ guidance, see this link here. Will Allen do the same?

Here Mark introduces MHARR’s Board of Directors as leaders to ‘take the bull by the horns’ in the interest of improved industry representation – and national advocacy. Yet, not a single individual is named! Why? Ask MHARR; but they simply don’t make their membership rolls public, whereas MHI does. Point? Don’t know ‘bout you, but as a post-production sector businessman, there’s a far better chance of me following the leader I know than the one I don’t! How ‘bout you? This, in my opinion, is major flaw # 1 of this argument.”

 

There are several issues of factual errors by Allen, but let’s oversimply to show how misleading or mistaken Allen is. First, Weiss is named, and he is MHARR’s senior staff leader. Second, no article – nor any book – has everything in it. Third, MHARR’s current chairman is named on the MHARR website, at this link here. It is John Bostick, of Sunshine Homes. So Allen is factually and logically — wrong, wrong, wrong.

Our publisher has repeatedly invited Allen, Roane, or MHI connected leaders to debate or discuss such issues in public, in front of an audience of manufactured home professionals, with a moderator and video recorded so that all not in attendance can watch it later. Allen, Roane, and the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis have always passed on that opportunity. Why?

Tony Kovach has said in a semi-private message to Allen that he’s a coward. Thus, the cowardly lion image at the top of this post.

Like a sniper, Allen takes shots, perhaps thinking the noise of his shooting will make his readers think him brave? But what good are shots that miss often unnamed targets? What good are shots at the wrong target?

The reality is quite different from what Allen has portrayed.

There is good evidence that Allen has sold out to MHI and their puppet masters. Allen may be under one or more NDAs. But most important to his independently owned community readers, Allen is ignoring the harm done to them, while he is now praising the very people and organization – MHI – he used to criticize.

LATonyKovachMHanufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingProNewsConsultantIndustryExpertOur publisher referred to Allen for a quote to close on this analysis as follows. “Sad and pathetic. Let George Allen man up, and face me on stage, in public, on camera in front of a live audience of industry pros, that includes his community followers. Or let George wear the arguably apt moniker, ‘cowardly lion’ from this point forward.” – Tony Kovach.

How can Allen call for unity, when NAMHCO and MHARR exist precisely because they don’t trust MHI?

 

NealTHaneyNAMHCOWhyBreakawayfromManfuacturedHousingInstituteMHI

 

DannyGhorbaniFormerMHIVpQuoteFoundingMHARRPresidentQuoteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Allen’s repeatedly flawed analysis of Weiss’ column on MHARR’s website draws to a close like this: “So, the challenge to ‘LEAD, FOLLOW…OR GET OUT OF THE WAY’ will, once again, fall as they say, on deaf ears!

That is, unless action is taken at the MHCongress, calling for unified action by MHI, MHARR, & now, NAMHCO, during former’s fly-in meeting in Washington, DC. on 10 June 2019!” What? Allen won’t even acknowledge that he’s going to those events, but he’s shilling for MHI for others to go to their fundraising events?

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Or as honest Abe Lincoln observed:

 

you-can-fool-all-the-people-some-of-the-time-and-some-of-the-people-all-the-time-but-you-cannot-abraham-lincoln-quoteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

You can read Lead, Follow, or Get out of the Way from the link below the byline and notices. You can read a more detailed analysis of Allen at this link here.

That’s this Saturday’s in depth edition of “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews
To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

Your link to industry praise for our coverage, is found here.

For the examples of our kudos linked above…plus well over 1,000 positive, public comments, we say –Thank You for your vote of confidence.”

We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

(Image credits and information are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews
To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Related Reports:

You can click on the image/text boxes to learn more about that topic.

“Lead, Follow … Or Get Out of The Way” | Manufactured Housing Association Regulatory Reform

The last decade-plus has not been especially kind to the manufactured housing industry and consumers of affordable housing. The 21 stCentury began with a great deal of promise for the industry and consumers alike.

 

MHCC Addresses Multiple Issues, HUD Secretary Carson Praises Manufactured Homes at Meeting | Manufactured Housing Association Regulatory Reform

MHCC ADDRESSES MULTIPLE REGULATORY ISSUES MHCC CITES “MAJOR INACCURACIES” IN DOE-NODA SUBPART I TO BE REVIEWED AGAIN MHCC CALLS FOR WITHDRAWAL OF FROST FREE IB MHARR PROPOSAL ON MHCC ROLE ADVANCES PD&R REPORT OFFERS ON-SITE CHANGES HUD SECRETARY PRAISES MH IN ADDRESS TO MHCC The Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) held its most recent in-person meeting in Washington, D.C.

MHARR Calls on HUD Secretary to End Discriminatory And Exclusionary Zoning of HUD-Regulated Manufactured Homes | Manufactured Housing Association Regulatory Reform

Washington, D.C., April 30, 2019 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) in an April 24, 2019 communication to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary, Ben Carson (copy attached), has called on the Department to federally preempt local zoning ordinances which discriminatorily exclude manufactured homes regulated by HUD pursuant to the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 and the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges” | Manufactured Housing Association Regulatory Reform

Motion – or, more accurately, activity – in and of itself, is not necessarily synonymous with, or equivalent to, realprogress, or, in fact, any progress at all.

Manipulating Manufactured Housing Pros – Caterwauling Mudslinger, Just Write a Check, Pay Cash, Use Plastic, and Shut You Up

Prosperity Now, Nonprofits Sustain John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” Video in Their Reports