It’s axiomatic. Today’s news becomes tomorrow’s history. Journalist Alan Barth wrote, “News is only the first rough draft of history.” As confirmation hearings and political campaigns often prove, history can in turn make news. Most have had the experience of saying or writing something yesterday, that proved awkward days, months — or years later.
Thus, Andy Rooney’s advice, “Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.”
In another exclusive Flashback report on the Daily Business Reports, what the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI’s) top staffer for the National Communities Council (NCC) – Jenny Hodge – stated then may come back to haunt the national association she works for, now…
Hodge on Transparency
“Our industry is certainly not immune to the forces of market transparency created by the ubiquitous influence of the Internet,” Hodge wrote in 2013, in an article entitled, Evolving the Model for Continued Improvement (see linked copy, below).
Hodge thoughtfully urged strategies mindful of the revelations that the internet created.
MHI’s own perceived failures at transparency in communications. Those alleged failures could be applied to their “weaponized” words – sent or spoken to their own members – and also to the public at large.
Eagle One Financial Senior Vice President, Titus Dare is another who said that MHI’s advertorials, are an embarrassing communications tool, one that the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) would never use.
Hodge’s Time-Bomb Drops on MHI, MHI Lender
“As more and more loan portfolios are seen (and documented) to perform well, capital will reenter the space.” Hodge correctly pointed out that new capital wants data on loan performance.
MHI tells its members – and those in the world who might listen – that they want to promote chattel lending by the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs, or Enterprises) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
However, there are numerous reports that MHI’s chairman, Tim Williams of 21st Mortgage, said in a meeting room in San Antonio that his company had not released loan performance data to FHFA/the GSEs.
Furthermore, in the same meeting, Williams said his company was concerned that if the GSE’s entered the manufactured home lending space, they [the GSE’s] may take the better “credit tranches,” leaving them with poorer ones.
Does Hodge’s words about “transparency” – and the need for prospective new lenders to have sound “and documented” data – apply to their positions allegedly expressed by MHI’s chairman and the company he leads?
Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock…BOOM…
Applying Hodge’s time-bomb words implies the following.
The upshot from a lack of transparency, and lack of documented data by the industry’s largest lender would tend to push the GSEs away from doing chattel loans in manufactured home land-lease communities, or elsewhere.
If the rumors and claims reported by sources to MHProNews about the Enterprises doing – maybe – only one or two limited – and multi-year – pilot projects proves accurate, it’s precisely because they lacked the data and transparency the GSEs felt they needed.
That would in turn point back to the industry’s largest lender’s stated unwillingness to provide said data, and statements reportedly made by him with several dozen industry professionals in an MHI meeting in San Antonio, earlier this year.
Why Doesn’t MHI Push for Pam Danner’s Removal at HUD?
Or Why Does MHI Keep Promoting Preserving Access?
Those questions may also find their candid, if awkward, answers in Hodge’s published article.
“Another trend likely to continue is the increasing regulatory burden that has hurt the smaller, independent operators of manufactured home communities and resulted in continued industry consolidation.”
If that’s true – and she isn’t alone in that belief – doesn’t that potent quote from Hodge expose what MHI is allowing to occur, precisely by not successfully addressing regulatory burdens?
If MHI appears to be making a ‘good effort,’ but comes up short – the impact on independent communities – or retailers, HUD Code builders, others – is the same.
As Hodge aptly put it, “…increasing regulatory burden that has hurt the smaller, independent operators of manufactured home communities [and other businesses of all types in the industry] and resulted in continued industry consolidation.”
Several MHI members – and even more non-members – believe that the Arlington, VA based association is either mishandling, blowing smoke or fumbling opportunities in their self-promoted lobbying activities, which they style as “Housing Alerts.”
Those MHI “alerts” may generate hundreds of emails from industry professionals who sincerely want regulatory relief.
MHI’s top staff cheer-lead around how many emails they generate. They tout how many are co-sponsoring their Preserving Access bill.
But after years of effort – and millions spent – what positive change have they actually effected? Where is their claimed “clout?”
If those who believe in conspiracy theories are correct – repeated failures by MHI to achieve promised goals leaves the heavy regulatory burdens intact.
Hodge’s analysis in 2013 stated those regulatory burdens push more industry professionals out-of-the-business. That would impact thousands of “mom and pop” sized, and other industry companies. Those in turn would often sell to larger operations, which are more able to deal with those regulatory challenges.
“The more things change, the more they stay the same,” Hodge said in her opening line. When applied to how things are done at MHI, has Hodge’s keen statements proven to be true?
Does a close analysis of her article create a new – ironically inconsistent, and contradictory communications tension – in messaging from within MHI itself? ##
(Image credits – when they are from third parties – are provided under fair use guidelines.)
(Editor’s notes: ICYMI – for RC William’s recent report on latest revelations on MHI’s lending efforts ‘on behalf of the industry,’ (Preserving Access, the PHH Case, etc.) in the nation’s capital, please click here.)
(News, commentary, analysis, and op-eds should not be construed to represent the views of sponsors – or anyone, other than the writer.)
Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.com.