Sources say that George Gunnell’s is a regional vice president for Clayton Homes, and the West Virginia Manufactured Housing Institute (WVMHI) Co-President.
The WVMHI co-president’s column in their state association newsletter contained a red-hot topic for manufactured housing industry readers. It represents another pivot by the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).
It’s about the call to have Pam Danner, JD, replaced as the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Code manufactured home program administrator.
Gunnell writes in the WVMHI’s just-released November 2017 newsletter that, “The executive director of the Florida Manufactured Housing Association is about as level-headed as the best in this industry.”
“Jim Ayotte has enjoyed a long tenure in Florida and has worked as executive director in Ohio and New England, as well as a long stint with MHI in Washington, D.C. So when Jim tells me something, I listen,” Gunnell stated.
“He [Ayotte] knows the industry thoroughly and is not given to wild-eyed notions,” said Gunnell.
“This is why I call your particular attention to a story we have prepared for you…that highlights a clash between our industry and our national regulator,” the Clayton RVP stated.
“Increasingly, it seems, everyone involved in the factory-built housing industry is concerned with the way Pamela Danner is administering the manufactured housing program for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development,” said Gunnell.
Without saying so, his “everyone” includes:
- state association leaders grumbling off-the-record for months,
- scores of MH industry professionals,
- the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR),
- and the publishers of MHProNews.
“That’s not my opinion, but what people are saying openly at the MHI meetings,” per the WVMHI’s newsletter – an interesting choice of phrasing. Doesn’t that imply saying something openly at an MHI meeting is…what? Unusual?
Perhaps so, given that MHI has been silent on this issue of Pam Danner since the election and inauguration of President Trump?
“While the industry is fractured on several fronts, it appears to be unified in its approach on this to HUD,” said the Gunnell column. That’s another usual expression, given the fact that while MHProNews and MHARR have pounded away on this for years.
While MHProNews has not heard from MHARR yet on this subject, a careful reading of MHARR’s prior analysis and public comments for months would make it clear that they and MHI have not been on the same page on this topic.
So MHI is coming…late to this dance too?
Both MHARR and MHProNews picked up the pace since the Trump Administration has taken office.
Meanwhile, by contrast, MHI stayed publicly silent on Danner, taking other “complaint” steps without actually acting.
Rick Robinson, MHI’s SVP as recently as last month refused to take a question on this and other issues in Deadwood, SD. Robinson ducked in front of dozens of industry professionals, as regular readers of the Daily Business News know.
If the industry was all on the same page on this issue as the Clayton RVP stated, then clearly, MHI would not have ducked questions from the industry’s largest and most-popular trade media.
The video below, produced weeks ago, is yet another example that the industry has not been united on this issue, rather, MHI is late to the “let’s let Pam Danner go’ dance.
Follow Up On Other Key Reveals by MHI – Coming
There will be a follow up and analysis on this issue soon here on the Daily Business News on MHProNews.
But what is going unsaid by Clayton’s RVP – and MHI – speaks volumes.
What Gunnell – or MHI – Hasn’t Said…Yet
Award winning MHI retailer – independent, since bought out by Clayton Homes – Doug Gorman said months ago on the Industry Voices guest blog on MHProNews, that he could not say it better than Mark Weiss, President and CEO of MHARR said it. Danner has to go.
Gorman wasn’t alone.
Award-winning Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association executive director, JD Harper, was clearly unhappy with Danner and HUD, as his column published weeks ago linked here demonstrates.
More MHI Silence…until…
Still, there was silence, even though Gorman is perhaps the most awarded retailer in MHI history, and per sources, a friend of Pam Danner, JD.
MHARR resisted the appointment of Danner from the outset – which as a Washington, D.C. based association – no doubt aware of her deep-blue ties to big brother style politics.
MHProNews spoke to several independent HUD Code home producers, mostly MHI members. None could be found to support Danner staying at HUD, but still MHI didn’t budge, until this serious pivot.
MHProNews published an article on the need to remove Danner last year. As noted, picked up the pace on her removal since the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump. MHProNews also did another in a series of in-depth articles – that along with other comments from MHARR and others – may have nudged MHI into this pivot.
The timing on this WVMHI newsletter couldn’t be much better for the industry.
Why? Earlier today, MHProNews laid out facts and quotes – including quotes from Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett, media, third parties, and others – on the principles and facts of how Clayton Homes dominates the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).
Early today, MHProNews stated that again that MHI does change their positions, but only after being pushed on the issues.
This begs the question, what’s taken MHI so long?
Why is MHI routinely late to respond to the industry’s pressing issues? Even in this same newsletter from Gunnell, note that said it will be June 2018 that the association hopes to have Jim Ayotte come to speak to their group. Is that a polite way of saying that – over 7 months from now – they may look at this Danner topic again?
Another slow walk by the industry and its MHI ‘leaders?’
To learn more, click the MHI/Clayton/Buffett/Berkshire Hathaway article. Note that Clayton is being investigated by a law firm that specializes in fraud. See that exclusive report, linked here.
Look for a follow up report on this WVMHI revelations and analysis, planned here on the Daily Business News for this Wednesday or Thursday, barring any hotter news items. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, fact checks, analysis, commentary.)
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Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.
Soheyla is a co-founder – and managing member – of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC,
the parent company to MHProNews and MHLivingNews.com, and other factory-built home industry-focused consulting and business development services.