The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) formally announced this week via a news release to their members and followers their vision for their ‘new class of manufactured homes’ project.
MHI said in part the following.
“Today, MHI is excited to introduce CrossMod™, the official name for the new class of manufactured homes.
CrossMod™ is a reflection of our [MHI] commitment to elevate the industry by bringing the quality and innovation that can be found in all off-site built housing, including Manufactured Homes, Modular Homes and now CrossMod™ Homes, to even more home buyers. The term was developed with involvement from multiple professional agencies and teams of industry participants for use by MHI members as a certified mark to identify this new HUD Code home category.”
Attached to that was MHI called a “briefing document.” That will be examined further below.
From an industry source, the following observations.
Relevant questions based on their statements: (1) “the official name for the new class of manufactured homes.” Official? According to who/what? MHI? GSEs? FHFA? HUD?
(2) “for use by MHI members as a certified mark to identify this new HUD Code home category.” See question 1. Raises all sorts of potential issues on a number of legal fronts.
Next, from inside the bowels of an MHI producer firm, this following comment came in to Manufactured Home Pro News (MHProNews).
The following was asked of this following white hat source by MHProNews.
Don’t you think it [the CrossMod™ homes] undermines with the GSEs and in other ways the core of DTS and enhanced preemption?
Don’t you think that only 10 closed in 2018 and 2019 per the St. Louis FHFA listening session says it all, along with declines in shipments on regular HUD Code homes?
Do tell. Email for our accuracy in handling, thanks.
The reply from a professional with a HUD Code home producer read as follows. The typos are in the original, but the meaning is not only clear, it’s compelling and insightful from someone ‘in the room.’
Look, because we are good stewards and are enthusiastic about any help from a higher authority… there is a spree of decorum that the lemmings will follow whatever it put out by the GSEs.
So, several manufactures did their best to support the program as dictated by the GSEs. Dogs are not eating the dog food.
My contention is they [GSEs] really supported the site builder who can no longer build the affordable home in a starter type.
In making that statement to them, they bristled. Why, because that was not their original intention. So how they miss the mark?
The elephant in the room and the stinking thinking… if you finance more lower end buyers you will have lower end issues derived from them (the portfolio will be diminished from historical norms). What is stupid is there is a significant amount of teachers, nurses, law enforcement, government workers, hourly wage earners, retires … you name it …. That are good folks that need help and GSEs are ignoring them.
If they [had] hit the mark, our industry would be humming right now and serving the housing needs and gap.
Rather deal with Duty to Serve, they would rather make an effort or appearance that they have. They know why they did what they did; they are just not voicing it.
San Francisco and Seattle have a severe homeless issue and we are not even being considered.
Instead, they [cities with a homeless crisis] are looking at “containers” for a funky look to [the] problem. Guarantee that [there] is more than our industry can do.
While you are at it, get creative and utilize the Section 8 housing issues to our industry and solve them.
While you are it break the stigma of many empty lots the cities that remain because one of those things [HUD Code manufactured home] are not allowed and the local building can’t make it work for the locals to live there.
Part of their initial research to do these two programs was flaw[ed]…
They told us the program and [did] not asked the right folks what we needed..”
— end of extended comments from MHI source —
The later is a scathing rebuke to not only the GSEs, but to the powers that be at MHI. It is also a rebuke to the FHFA, for allowing this monstrosity of a program to exist, instead of compelling Fannie and Freddie to do what the law requires.
The prior comment correctly raises key legal, regulatory and oversight concerns.
As MHProNews has previously reported, this has been a top-down effort, per those in the front lines.
The powers that be in manufactured housing, including Clayton Homes, other larger MHI member companies, their affiliated lending, the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, worked behind closed doors to produce this plan. The FHFA rubber stamped it.
A fair reading by many at the Washington, D.C. listening session is that the GSEs and FHFA are not listening.
That in turn has real world consequences that are robbing millions of potentially billions of dollars in enhanced net worth. That’s the logic of what HUD Secretary Carson has been saying for years. Now, isn’t it time to act upon that logic?
Since the outset of this ‘new class’ of manufactured homes, there has been a demonstrable effort by the powers that be to ‘sell’ the plan to the industry and others, using a variety of methods.
For example. At an MHI Congress and Expo where the new MHI commissioned research that was supposed to ‘sell’ the plan was unveiled. Reports from inside the meeting room indicated that several were walking out on that MHI pitch, in apparent frustration.
Certain state association executives told MHProNews when the plan was initially being discussed that such research was not only costly, but unnecessary. Like that producer quoted at length above, those state executives said that the industry’s frontline professionals already know what is needed.
What those various voices, considered together, reveal is that there has been an effort to sell the industry on a plan. Based upon results to date, that plan is clearly a flop.
MHI’s response? More needs to be done to make the plan work. Sorry, but when you car hits a brick wall, do you keep hitting it again and again, hoping to get through the wall?
MHI Ironically Confirms MHProNews and MHLivingNews Concerns
The claim from their “briefing document” by MHI below is telling, but not in the manner that MHI wishes it to be understood.
MHLivingNews previously reported that third-party Zillow’s research revealed that during the 2 year timeframe that MHI – via their advertorials and related – were claiming to “promote” the industry to “millions” of Americans, interest in manufactured housing actually declined.
So the fact that a low percentage responded to some survey that members are not able to examine themselves only raises new and related questions. Is MHI this inept? Or is this a plan by the powers that be that works for insiders who have common goals, while the rest are suffering and or are being undermined?
Keep in mind that at the FHFA’s recent St Louis Listening Session, it was revealed that only 10 loans on this ‘new class’ of CrossMod™ homes closed to that reporting point in 2018 and 2019.
That’s hardly fits the image painted by MHI and their so-called briefing documents. Should they rename their briefing a propaganda or gaslighting campaign?
See how this fits in with the larger picture of the weaponization and undermining of the industry from within via the deep dive report linked below.
MHI and the axis that controls them is faced with vexing facts that they routinely try to dodge, deflect, and spin away from. If their plan was working as advertised, shipments and production should be rising. Instead, it is down year over year nationwide. 8 of the top 10 states are down year over year too.
MHProNews was the first to sound the alarm over this so-called new class of homes scheme, that they now dubbed CrossMod™ homes. We labeled it as a Trojan Horse, meant to undermine the industry from within.
Their methods arguably include paltering. A mix of truth and lies that in toto are aimed to deceive.
They trot out videos and photo ops that are supposed to make MHI and the powers that be look better or impressive. But in proving MHI and the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis’ access, they only seem to prove that they are not getting the good laws that are already on the books to be properly implemented.
The evidence, when carefully examined, undermines their credibility. It proves that their performance is lacking. We allege anew that they are deliberately undermining the industry from within, in violation of several laws, to the harm of millions seeking affordable housing and honest businesses or white hats in the industry.
People lie. Numbers can be massaged.
But the truth is there to see. While site building is rising, manufactured homes have slid. Warren? Kevin? Tim? Lesli? Mark? Dick? How do you explain that slide based upon the evidence?
That’s a wrap on your morning installment of the manufactured housing trade media’s #1 source for “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © (News, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary.)
Submitted by Soheyla Kovach for MHProNews.com.Soheyla is a co-founder and managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com. Connect with us on LinkedIn here and here.
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