Housing, Jobs, Poverty, Opportunity – Kerner Commission Remix, HUD and Manufactured Homes


Just over 50 years have elapsed since then President Lyndon B Johnson announced the formation of the Kerner Commission. It was formed in response to race riots protesting poor housing, insufficient jobs, educational, and other issues in Detroit and other cities across the country.  In the vintage video below, the first few minutes are a list of names on the commission, followed by the issues – including housing – that sparked riots, along with other related issues.


Democratic President Johnson called for


  • prayer and peace,
  • threatened rioters with severe penalties, 
  • while promising preparations and touting efforts already underway.


Then and now – housing, jobs, dignity and opportunities were important issues.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulated manufactured housing program could provide many of the necessary ingredients for genuine progress.

In the wake of the comments that came into HUD in response to their ‘top down’ review of the manufactured housing program, the Kerner Commission, then and now, considerations are timely.

Why?  As noted, because housing, jobs, dignity and opportunities were important issues then – and now.

Tye explained that public housing – an entitlement – often yields addiction. Ownership vs. renting or living in “projects” leads to integrity, a view he likens to those of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
 Isn’t this part of the antidote to the t-word issue?

Lessons of Decades of Failure

As the Daily Business News noted in the recent comments to HUD linked below from L. A. “Tony” Kovach, after over $22 trillion in federal spending on ‘poverty programs,’ the challenge of poverty levels remains the same.



Trulia, HUD, MHLivingNews, MHARR, MHProNews, and numerous others have proposed practical steps that could save tax dollars, while leveraging mostly private capital to solve these and related issues.

The YIMBY vs. NIMBY report linked below references a UC Berkley and University of Chicago research that asserts how housing policies are costing the economy nearly $2 Trillion dollars a year.


YIMBY vs. NIMBY, Obama Admin Concept Could Unlock $1.95 Trillion Annually, HUD & MH Impact


As President Johnson then, or President Donald J. Trump now, alike noted — faith, family and the inspiration of our flag are also elements that must not be overlooked.

But after 5 decades of social, economic, and political experiments, pragmatists should now admit that those policies have failed. Trillions in federal, state, and local spending failed to solve what faith-infused morality, free markets, and free people alone can fix what is holding tens of millions of Americans in rentals, trapped in poverty.


The Trump Administration and HUD Secretary Carson and his team can fix much, not all, of this using private capital by fully grasping what manufactured homes are truly like today.


HUD technocrats must immerse themselves and learn the industry’s complex dynamics, so that they can unleash the multi-trillion dollar housing component of the economy.

RegulatoryBarrierstoManufacturedHousingPlacementinUrbanCommunitiesHUDPDR-postedManufacturedHomeLivingNews595x357 (1)
What the HUD PD&R screen capture – with linked download available below – reflects is a lack of understanding about how enhanced preemption could solve the affordable housing crisis using mostly private capital. The research is useful, but adding in the missing ingredient of enhanced preemption would make it priceless.


Trulia, and HUD’s own commissioned research, say that affordable housing – and specifically manufactured homes – don’t negatively impact other housing from appreciation.



Don’t Put All the Eggs in One Basket

Beyond follow up and engagement with HUD on the comments, manufactured housing professionals and home owners would be wise to take at least two more steps.

1)    Manufactured home professionals would be well advised to contact their legislators now, and ask them to prompt HUD on the broad and liberal use of HUD Code manufactured homes.  You could link this report, others or send the PDFs of comments submitted to HUD, found linked below.  Send them with your own comments encouraging proper reforms of the manufactured housing program.

Shake Up at HUD Manufactured Housing Program May Stop Industry Overregulation, per MH State Association

2)    Legal Action. As two of the comment letters linked below indicate, allegedly monopolistic practices are part of the problem.  The comfortable relationship between the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) – via a reported intermediary – with HUD’s Pam Danner can’t be overlooked.  What was missing from MHI’s 5 point comments was precisely that issue – ‘who will be next in line to run the manufactured housing program leadership?’

Lawsuits for Triple Damages – Anti-Trust, Anti-Monopoly Law, Manufactured Housing, and You


After all of the drama with Pam Danner, JD and her leadership of the manufactured housing program office at HUD, and that was harming the industry, was nothing learned about the importance of having a reasonable person at the helm of the program?

Industry Voices

I have been a vocal critic of HUD’s Alternative Construction (AC) approval for carport-ready homes. I don’t believe an AC approval for homes built with a host beam is warranted or that the AC approval process is the proper regulatory procedure. I communicated my concerns to Pamela Danner, Administrator of the federal manufactured housing program in a face-to-face meeting.




4 sets of linked proposals to HUD are at in the focus section, were linked above, and are also found below.

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