In Surprising Move the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Applauds Housing Action Plan Released by New Democrat Coalition – Facts, Documents, and MHVille Analysis


In business or in advocacy, the case can be made that one should properly give credit or blame when it is due. This manufactured home industry expert news-analysis will explore the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) attempt on 3.21.2024 to bring to their readers and members attention a new policy initiative by the self-proclaimed New Democrat Coalition, also known as the New Dems. Per their headline on the news section of their website, MHI said this: “MHI Applauds the New Democrat Coalition’s Housing Action Plan.” The New Dems where previously spotlighted in a report by MHProNews linked here.

The complete text of the MHI news item is provided in Part I of this report.

Part II provides the introduction of the New Dems housing plan announcement, which includes part of what MHI has ‘applauded.’

Part III provides the self-proclaimed New Dems two-page housing plan (which they referred to as a one-pager). Note that it has but a single mention of manufactured housing, which is just one sentence long.

Part IV is additional information from the New Dems complete housing plan, with more insights into what their portion of the Democratic Party is claiming and proposing.

Part V is our additional information with more MHProNews analysis and commentary of both what MHI said, and what the New Dems are advocating. MHProNews’ note that in quoting either of these, or other groups, it should not be construed that we are endorsing them. MHProNews’ parent company management – while they may or may not agree with certain specific remarks made by this or that person, organization, or group – are politically independent.  We have not been registered with either major party for over a decade.


Part I – per the MHI website on 3.21.2024 is the following text.


QuoteMarksLeftSideMHI applauds the Housing Action Plan released by the New Democrat Coalition, which identifies actions the federal government can take to address our nation’s housing crisis. MHI is particularly pleased that the Plan recognizes the critical role manufactured housing plays in affordable homeownership, with its statement that the federal government should “ensure federal standards support the availability of manufactured housing as an affordable housing resource.”

The New Democratic Coalition Plan calls on HUD to “streamline their standard setting to enhance energy efficiency and preserve affordability in consultation with its Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee” (MHCC). It is critical that HUD’s 50 year exclusive jurisdiction over uniform manufactured home safety, construction, and energy efficiency standards be maintained. The MHCC – HUD’s non-partisan panel of experts, including consumer representatives – has developed energy standards that balance significant energy efficiency improvements with housing affordability. HUD should promptly adopt these MHCC standards.

The New Democratic Coalition Plan also recommends that “Congress should investigate whether the requirement that manufactured homes be built with a permanent chassis limits affordability, development, and reuse.” More flexibility here could increase the availability of manufactured homes, which are by far THE most affordable homeownership option for American families. MHI also applauds the Plan for calling attention to local zoning impediments to the creation of new affordable manufactured homes.

Commenting on the Plan, MHI’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Lesli Gooch, said, “MHI looks forward to working with the New Democrat Coalition and Congress on a bipartisan basis to advance legislation to increase affordable manufactured housing homeownership opportunities for working families.”

Date Published

March 21, 2024

News Type


Note that hotlinks have been removed in the above, but the text remains the same. Each of the three items linked by MHI will each be provided further below, including a rather humous and yet another revealing glitch on MHI’s part. Let’s see how fast or slow they will be in fixing their goof this time?


Part II – about the New Dems, per the New Dems website about us page (again, note that quoting the New Dems is not to be construed as an endorsement, these are an accurate quotes of their words from their website on 3.25.2024, not MHProNews’ thoughts or positions).

QuoteMarksLeftSideAbout Us

Founded in 1997, the center-left New Democrat Coalition is made up of nearly 100 pragmatic House Democrats who work across the aisle and across the Capitol to advance innovative, inclusive, and forward-looking policies. Representing almost half the Democratic Caucus, New Dems are united behind a mission to build an economy that works for every American.”
In fairness, the New Dems are perhaps more moderate than others in the left-leaning Democratic Party.
That said, while they claim to “work across the aisle” on their home page at this time they said in an X-post shown on their home page: “Amid GOP dysfunction, we will remain laser-focused on delivering for the American people.” They also claim to be supporting several of Joe Biden’s policy stances, say they are providing “resources” to “restore order at the border,” and are “fighting inflation.” No obvious mention of the fact that a prominent and fellow House Democrat admitted that their party’s policies wittingly caused inflation. Nor that dozens of executive actions by the Biden White House and their surrogates in government undid Trump-era policies that had previously made the U.S. border with Mexico far more secure than under Bush-Cheney, Obama-Biden, or currently under Biden-Harris. These are noteworthy points, because border policy is putting more demand on housing, federal, state, and local “resources” (i.e.: requires more government spending) which in turn is fueling more borrowing that continues to fuel more inflation.

Part III “New Democrat Coalition Affordable Housing Task Force Unveils Comprehensive Action Plan to Build More Homes and Lower Costs”

From the New Dems 2 page summary is this single sentence that mentions manufactured housing.
  • “Ensure federal standards support the availability of manufactured housing as an affordable housing resource“

To be sure, an argument can be made that it is better to be mentioned only once and briefly so than not to be mentioned at all. That said, what follows was linked from the MHI website to a page on the New Dems.

March 20, 2024

QuoteMarksLeftSideNew Democrat Coalition Affordable Housing Task Force Unveils Comprehensive Action Plan to Build More Homes and Lower Costs

“By working together, we can tackle this crisis and make all communities places where everyone has access to safe, decent, affordable housing and the amenities needed to thrive.”

Today, the New Democrat Coalition Affordable Housing Task Force, led by Chair Norma J. Torres (CA-35) and Vice Chairs Greg Landsman (OH-01)Wiley Nickel (NC-13), and Emilia Sykes (OH-13) unveiled their comprehensive Housing Action Plan, which outlines past actions by New Dems and President Biden on affordable housing and charts a path for further action by Congress and the Administration.

The Housing Action Plan includes more than 20 policy recommendations that would make improvements to five key factors in affordable housing: the housing supply, permitting and zoning laws, federal financial incentives, the construction workforce, and data collection and transparency.

Affordable Housing Task Force Chair Torres and Vice Chairs Landsman, Nickel, and Sykes issued the following statement on the Action Plan:

“The number one issue we hear from our constituents is that the cost of housing is too high. Every American deserves to sleep well at night knowing they have a safe, secure, and affordable place to live. Unfortunately, because of a growing shortage of homes, historically high interest rates, and outdated zoning laws, there aren’t enough affordable housing options for millions of Americans – particularly lower-income families.

“That’s why New Dems spent months developing our Housing Action Plan, working with experts and key stakeholders to craft common sense solutions to the many facets of this crisis. With the Action Plan as our guide, the Coalition is well-positioned to lead decisive bipartisan action to deliver for the American people.”

QuoteMarksLeftSideYou can read the full Housing Action Plan here, a one-pager here, and the introductory Letter from the Task Force below:

Dear Reader,

Alongside the Biden Administration, the New Democrat Coalition (New Dems) has helped to deliver one of the strongest American economies in history. Collectively, our country took decisive action so American families, workers, and businesses could safely return to everyday life in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, we made critical investments that have produced strong economic growth, historically low unemployment, and large wage increases, particularly for low and middle-income workers.

While the economy is growing, certain sectors like the housing market face structural challenges that we in Congress are committed to overcoming. The obstacle of finding fair and affordable housing has become increasingly daunting, and in every Congressional District, hard-working Americans are struggling to purchase a home or find a place to rent. Shelter is a basic human right, and no one should have to choose between putting a roof over their head and meeting other essential needs.

In light of these challenges, the New Democrat Coalition stood up its Affordable Housing Task Force, a group of Members committed to working to identify solutions to make housing fairer and more accessible for all Americans. After consulting with stakeholders like homelessness prevention practitioners, fair housing and civil rights advocates, low-income housing advocates, housing developers, housing financiers, and federal officials who work on housing issues, we are proud to release the New Democrat Coalition’s Housing Action Plan.

In this document, you will find our recommendations for how the federal government can address the lack of fair and affordable housing and deliver relief to Americans looking to stay in safe, stable, and secure housing. Overall, we know we must prioritize the development of affordable housing initiatives, enforcement of fair housing laws, increase resources for public housing and local fair housing enforcement agencies, make it easier to build more housing units, and make changes to federal supports for the housing finance ecosystem to make sure communities are equitably served.

By working together, we can tackle this crisis and make all communities places where everyone has access to safe, decent, affordable housing and the amenities needed to thrive. Together, we can create a brighter future and restore hope for everyone pursuing the American Dream. New Dems remain committed to working with the Biden Administration and our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find common ground on policies that will lower housing costs, increase housing accessibility, strengthen fair housing enforcement, and ensure a strong economy empowers all Americans to succeed.”


Part IV – Additional Information from 2 Page New Dems Document and from their 20 Page “Full” Housing Plan ‘Applauded’ by MHI

From their two-page document the New Dems use the word “unaffordable” 3 times and “affordable” 11 times. Quoting in context are the following factors they said result in “unaffordable” housing, with the entire two-page document linked here.



  • Housing in the United States is increasingly unaffordable, especially to households with the lowest incomes, due to the cost of housing rising faster than wages and household incomes.
  • Historic levels of housing underproduction and the lack of federal investment have led to millions of homes missing from the market; historically high interest rates have made housing financing unaffordable for many and have further slowed housing production; a shortfall of hundreds of thousands of workers constrains the ability to get new homes on the market.
  • Taken together, these conditions represent a market failure resulting in shortages of homes affordable to those at the lowest end of the income spectrum, and government red tape only slows down the homebuilding process.
  • Due to a lack of homes, lack of workers to build them, barriers to financing, inequitable policies, barriers to permitting new homes and allowing refurbishment, and lack of information available to policymakers, housing has become even more unaffordable.

Note that the terminology used above could find a significant degree of agreement from informed individuals in or beyond manufactured housing. It does have a feel of being ‘centrist.’  More on that in Part V below.

From their full 20-page document linked here, are the following four sentences that use the word “manufactured” as in manufactured housing.


  • Ensure federal standards support the availability of manufactured housing as an affordable housing resource.
  • RECOMMENDATION: Ensure federal standards support the availability of manufactured housing as an affordable housing resource.
  • Congress should investigate amending the requirement that manufactured homes have to remain on their permanent chassis for impacts on housing affordability, development, and economization of their reuse.
  • HUD should streamline their standard setting to enhance energy efficiency and preserve affordability in consultation with its Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee.”

That is apparently part of the reason that MHI is ‘applauding’ the New Dems housing plan.

Part V – Additional Information with More MHProNews Analysis and Expert Commentary

In no particular order of importance are the following facts and observations.

1) Nowhere in either the 2-page nor the 20-page Democratic housing plan document is the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (a.k.a.: MHIA, 2000 Reform Law, 2000 Reform Act or “Improvement Act”) mentioned. Yet as the reports linked here, here, and here reveal, the affordable housing crisis can’t be resolved without the MHIA – which MHI claims to want – being fully and properly implemented.

2) An MS Word search of the 20-page document reveals no use of the term “Duty to Serve.” Perhaps DTS doesn’t matter to MHI either?

3) An interesting observation from the New Dems are the following points, which cited the National Assocation of Home Builders (NAHB).


ISSUE: Increased wait times for building materials have significantly lengthened average completion times of housing units, reflecting supply-side challenges that have persisted for several years. The average completion time of a single-family home in 2022 increased to 9.6 months, a full 6 weeks longer than the average completion time in 2021.[1]



With unrelenting supply chain challenges delaying homes getting onto the market and making those homes more expensive, the federal government should act in several ways to transform supply-side scarcity into housing abundance and affordability.”

Part of the problem with the ‘supply chain’ is that some supply items are coming from Communist China. Covid19 and shipping bottlenecks have slowed that supply process down. Despite Kevin Clayton’s remarks on the topic, it should be obvious that the first choice for the U.S. should always be domestic supply of essential items, be it for housing, pharmaceuticals, health care, tech, food, energy, or virtually any other needed item.

4) Odd at best, or a surprising (as in woefully) low estimated figure at worst is the data claim for the New Dems 20-page housing plan document is this remark: “The United States has a housing shortage of 2.3 million units.” Freddie Mac pegged the deficit at some 3.8 million units in 2021, almost 3 years ago. The NAR’s chief economist Lawrence Yun put that number at 8.3 million units needed circa 2017. No one in their right mind, including the New Dems, claims that the housing gap is being closed by the production of more housing of all kinds. A more common view among those MHProNews has examined is that the housing deficit is in the 6 to 10 million (or more) units’ range. 6 million units needed is what Cavco Industries (CVCO) has asserted in their investor relations pitch. Here is part of how the New Dems put it in their 2-page housing plan document that “MHI applauds.”

  • “Historic levels of housing underproduction and the lack of federal investment have led to millions of homes missing from the market; historically high interest rates have made housing financing unaffordable for many and have further slowed housing production; a shortfall of hundreds of thousands of workers constrains the ability to get new homes on the market.”

6) Perhaps even more ironically, Senate Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse (CT-D) pegged the housing shortage significantly higher than the House “New Dems” did.  Per a document from the Senate website under the headline: “WHITEHOUSE: Expanding Housing Affordability Drives Economic Growthobtained by MHProNews and provided as a download linked here is the following.

“Across the country, the U.S. faces a shortage of four to seven million housing units available for sale or rent.”

7) There is no mention of the estimated $2 trillion-dollar annual economic drag caused by the housing shortage cited by MHI member Cavco, which is a figure also used by Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (CT-D), the left-leaning National Low Income Housing Coalition, and the Foundation for Affordable Housing (among others). MHProNews has used that figure for some years, based on research that dates back to the Obama-Biden era.

8) Some of the moves that Democrats have argued for on the surface may seem to make sense. They say, for instance, that they want to remove “incentivize state and local governments to reform land-use and zoning policies that constrain affordable housing.” But that is counterintuitive, when more closely examined.  Why is Congress spending money to “incentivize” state and local governments” when Democrats made the cast over 20 years ago that zoning barriers for manufactured housing could be removed by HUD simply asserting HUD’s enhanced preemption authority? The disconnect logically is stark.


See the report linked here for the full letter. Note: depending on your browser or device, many images in this report can be clicked to expand. or example, in some browsers/devices you click the image and select ‘open in a new window.’ After clicking that selection, you click the image in the open window to expand the image to a larger size. To return to this page, use your back key, escape or follow the prompts.


9) MHI’s plug of the Dems housing plan has made NONE of those observations, which begs the question: why not?  But there is more in the way of logical disconnects for MHI’s advocacy.

10) Speaking of advocacy, MHI – as do millions of other internet platforms – uses a website page building system. But MHI’s post linked above had 3 links. One was to the page shown below.  What are MHI’s staff doing with their time? Apparently, they are not reading their own content, nor are they checking their own links.


Note: to expand this image below to a larger or full size, see the instructions

below the graphic below or click the image and follow the prompts.




To be clear, the above is hardly a life-or-death issue. But what it does illustrate is that several at MHI have an apparently lax attitude about their own duties and image. How could MHI ever sue someone else for disparaging “the Institute” when “the Institute” is apparently doing a fine job of embarrassing (and thus disparaging) itself?


Goch is a paid mouthpiece for MHI. This pull quote from a letter from Goch is fascinating. On the one hand, Goch says that MHI is working for the interests of all, and wants all points of view. But then, Goch threatens in writing an then MHI member who dared question the association. They can not have it both ways. Part of the irony is that in hindsight, as the evidence mounts, it becomes obvious that MHI has postured efforts for almost 20 years, since the start of the Berkshire era of manufactured housing began. Coincidence? Or just part of a broader plan that has benefited a few at great cost and harm to the many?


Per Oxford Languages, “disparage” means: “regard or represent as being of little worth.” Getting details, large and small, wrong is embarrassing – or should be to MHI.  Then, leaving a linked format page with the example (sample) text unchanged is – or ought to be – embarrassing for MHI too. When somethings are wrong, it logically is of “little worth.” Maybe attorney Goch will sue MHI’s own staff for disparaging “the Institute” through such embarrassing goofs?
11) Let’s begin a review. The New Dems may be less leftwing that much of the balance of the party. Okay. But they are clearly supporting Biden and Democratic policies that have caused this sharp decline in housing production, including manufactured housing. Democratic policies fueled inflation, as then House Majority Whip James “Jim” Clyburn (SC-D) said. MHI say they “applaud” a housing policy stance that may do little or nothing for the industry. If new legislation is needed, based on the industry’s experience with failures to properly implement the MHIA and DTS, why should the industry think that some new – not yet enacted legislation will do better? The lack of logic is shocking.  What MHI appears to be doing, is calling to the attention of their trusting members any time that manufactured housing is merely mentioned by federal officials. It is a reminder of how MHI recently said that ‘manufactured housing features prominently’ during an oversight hearing, when a fact check using Bing’s AI powered Copilot labeled that as fitting the definition of “lie,” “false,” “misleading.”
12) As yesterday’s Sunday report revealed, a significant MHI member firm has watched as their stock’s valuation fell and their target value reduced due in part to what was called manufactured housing “industry softness.” The evidence-based case can be made that MHI’s pattern of behavior (i.e.: failure to get policies in place 15 and 24 years after the legislations was enacted, is costing some firms millions of dollars annually, and is costing the industry billions of dollars annually. Will Goch and MHI sue that B.Riley analyst for “disparaging” the industry? Unlikely.


13) Only a robust new supply of homes will close the affordability gap. So says Investopedia, citing in part information from NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. That might be good news for manufactured housing, but manufactured housing is underperforming with production at historically poor levels.




14) Kevin Clayton (for MHI) and John Bostick (for MHARR) are quoted in the article linked below. That very much relates to the topic at hand.




15) What MHI might have done had they been doing their jobs more earnestly. In no particular order of importance, instead of applauding, MHI might have noted the following from the New Dems instead of ‘applauding’ them.

a) It is approaching 25 years since a strong bipartisan vote by Congress enacted the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (a.k.a.: MHIA, 2000 Reform Law, 2000 Reform Act).

b) MHI itself has said that HUD has failed to properly implement the 2000 Reform Act multiple times over the course of years. Why does MHI think this housing plan will be any different in outcome? Especially when the focus IS NOT manufactured housing, but rather is on subsidies and benefits to mainstream conventional housing?

c) It was largely Democratic policies and Democratic spending plans that fueled inflation and the rise in interest rates which stymied all housing production including manufactured housing. See Clyburn’s remarks, linked below.




d) MHI in conjunction with the Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA) has sued the federal government’s Department of Energy (DOE) over the pending DOE energy standards and related enforcement policies. What happened in the initial instance that such a problematic piece of anti-manufactured housing legislation made it into federal law? Who pushed that in the first place? Wasn’t it Dems? Given that MHI has off and on proposed amending that law, why is it assumed that all will go correctly with these New Dem proposals?




16) Perhaps the leaders at MHI are stupid, forgetful, and inept (see this humorous illustration again), OR maybe they hope their rank-and-file members are dumb, forgetful, and totally trust them after decades of purported MHI failures. OR it could be some combination of those factors plus which they corruptly think will allow them to once more pull a fast one over trusting independents’ eyes.




17) That brief outline begins to explain the numerous reasons that MHI has no business endorsing these plans. But there are more. Let’s focus on what might be the most important part of the disconnect between what MHI is applauding and what MHI ought to be doing instead.

18) Much of the New Dem housing plan is pork barrel spending that will flow to competitors of manufactured housing. Again, are they inept, stupid, or think their readers are going to forget 25 years of history because MHI leaders apparently corruptly hope their members will simply go along?

It should be obvious that MHI’s behavior is not garden-variety incompetence. A small group of consolidation focused insiders at MHI appear to be pleased with their leadership. But in the meantime, the industry has shrunk dramatically.  The top 2 brands in production stats – which were MHI members – 25 years ago no longer exist as independent entities today. The same is true for numbers of other once independent brands that now are under some consolidators umbrella.




19) While MHI is busily posturing, the affordable housing crisis woes continue. Millions are suffering the ill effects of these policies.



Note: to expand this image below to a larger or full size, see the instructions

below the graphic below or click the image and follow the prompts.

See the Rise and Fall of HUD Code Manufactured Housing. and the lessons learned from the California ADU phenomenal growth.


Rise and Fall of HUD Code Manufactured Housing 1995-2023 – Story of the U.S. Affordable Housing Crisis Behind the Facts


20) One thing that New Dems said that is worth noting is that they have acknowledged just how important an issue affordable housing is to voters and American residents. This could be a defining topic for potentially millions of voters in 2024, if the New Dems are correct on that point.  But either way, MHI’s job is supposed to be to protect, educate, and promote (P.E.P.) on behalf of “all segments” of the industry.  They are clearly not successful at getting existing federal laws properly enforced. The time to do something about MHI’s apparent failures that is long overdue. AI powered Copilot has uplifted MHARR and questioned or critiqued MHI. It isn’t a pretty look for the Arlington, VA based trade group. We began this article by noting that: “In business or in advocacy, the case can be made that one should properly give credit or blame when it is due.”  It seems MHI has blown it, not unlike their featuring that Newsweek article uncritically. See the linked reports to learn more.  ###


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Our son has grown quite a bit since this 12.2019 photo. All on Capitol Hill were welcoming and interested in our manufactured housing industry related concerns. But Congressman Al Green’s office was tremendous in their hospitality. Our son’s hand is on a package that included the Constitution of the United States, bottled water, and other goodies.

By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for

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

This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.

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Related References:

The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which can be accessed by clicking on them.’


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Photo credit: Sunshine Homes. Red Bay, AL,




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