The email to Kevin Clayton and Tom Hodges with Clayton Homes (BRK), Mark Yost with Skyline Champion (SKY), William “Bill” Boor with Cavco Industries (CVCO- Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Vice Chairman), Leo Poggione Craftsman Homes (MHI Chairman and Cavco has a large financial interest in, per their SEC filings) should speak for itself. It was sent on Friday March 24, 10:44 AM ET (some 3 days ago). It should be noted that this communications occurred just prior to the article linked here by law professor Daniel R. Mandelker which was published in February of 2023 by the Lincoln Institute for Land Policy. In that working paper by Prof Mandelker is the following pull-quote from the abstract: “A support organization is needed that can provide litigation and legislative support to help manufactured housing advocates with zoning reform.” While Mandelker doesn’t mention MHI, Part II of that report advances the argument that the pull quote is an indictment of MHI and its corporate/staff leaders. As the end of March draws near, why is it that no one else in what passes for manufactured housing trade media has apparently seen fit to report on this development? Or why hasn’t MHI addressed this issue?
The inquiry raises specific questions about MHI and their leadership’s actions in the wake of MHI’s belatedly filed suit against the Department of Energy (DOE) in the manufactured housing energy rule matter and the now fourth month of year-over-year declining shipments of new manufactured homes.
Part I – Inquiry to Corporate and Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Officials
|from:||L. A. “Tony” Kovach MHProNews.com|
|to:||Clayton, Kevin CEO at Clayton Homes
Tom Hodges General Counsel at Clayton Homes,
Mark Yost – CEO at Skyline Champion,
Leo Poggione at Craftsman Homes, MHI Chairman,
David Goch, MHI outside attorney at
Webster, Chamberlain & Bean, LLP law firm
Kevin, Tom, Bill, Mark, Leo, Lesli, and David – opportunity to comment for publication
Gentlemen and lady,
In the early 1980s, I was among hundreds of manufactured housing sales people and managers that sold new HUD Code manufactured homes at interest rates as high as 20.5% on ARM loans.
In those days, independent retailers ordered manufactured homes (MH) from factories (building-production centers) weeks or sometimes months in advance of expected delivery dates at a ‘dealership.’
For that to function properly and profitably, MH retailers had to keep sales going efficiently.
That was accomplished by virtually all of the 52 sales centers that existed at that time on South Shields Blvd. in Oklahoma City, OK. It was similarly achieved by thousands of other MH retailers in markets across the country, all pre-internet. That being so, why is it that contemporary producers of HUD Code manufactured housing producers and their retailers today are in the fourth month of a national year-over-year production downturn?
- Interest rates now are far lower now than then.
- Stocking levels have routinely been reasonably well ‘managed.’
- To a related point, with the population far lower in those years, why was manufactured home production about double or more in the 1980swhat it is in 2022-2023?
Why does Clayton Homes (BRK), Skyline Champion (SKY), and Cavco Industries (CVCO) continue to push the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) branded and apparently market failed CrossMod®?
Why is it that none of the so-called big three manufactured home producers, nor MHI, is known to have provided for public distribution any year-by-year annual data on the sale of CrossMod® type manufactured homes?
- If sales of CrossMods were roaring, wouldn’t that data be published?
- Will each of your firms commit to publicly releasing that sales data so shareholders, stakeholders, public officials, and others can evaluate the wisdom of pursuing the apparently market-failed CrossMods program?
MHProNews did an analysis of Kevin Clayton’s remarks about CrossMods at this link here. If anyone with any of the 4 organizations addressed in this inquiry or their attorneys have any critiques, comments, clarifications, or reactions to that report, please email that to me directly.
As you know, MHI and the Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA) have sued the Department of Energy (DOE) and Secretary Jennifer Granholm over the pending implementation of their manufactured housing energy rule in Case Number 23-cv-00174.
- Why wasn’t that lawsuit filed months earlier?
- Please see the analysis of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) in reports linked hereand here, or those published by MHProNews here, here, and here. If you see any factual, logical, legal, or other disputable errors, please email those remarks.
Now that MHI is engaged in litigation on the DOE energy rule issue, why hasn’t MHI in conjunction with a state association(s) filed suit to get the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA) and its so-called enhanced preemption provision enforced?
Even easier than a lawsuit, why hasn’t MHI used the phrase “enhanced preemption” with an appropriate explanation on the public facing side of its own website?
With interest rates elevated over what they were just one or two years ago and competitive financing always useful for those who could qualify for a manufactured home loan, why hasn’t MHI sued to get the Congressionally passed Duty to Serve (DTS) Manufactured Housing mandated as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008?
There are any number of other questions about MHI and their leaders seemingly evading public accountability on policies and results that might be posed. But let me simply say, if any articles published in the last few years have any factual errors or logical fallacies you would like to see addressed, please feel free to message me on behalf of MHProNews/MHLivingNews about that directly.
We plan a report on these questions and related concerns in the near term. Please reply by the end of the business day. As these are hardly new questions, surely you each have had ample time to consider how they could best be replied to, correct?
PS: some industry members are blind copied to document this inquiry. ”
Note: A screen capture of the email to document the inquiry is found at this link here.
Part II: Additional Information with more MHProNews Analysis and Commentary in Brief
There has been no reply formal reply to the above, but some did acknowledge receipt of the inquiry.
With increasing intensity, MHProNews and our MHLivingNews sister site have raised the questions and concerns about MHI and their dominating corporate brands varied actions/inactions with respect to the issues that have limited manufactured housing production. Furthermore, MHProNews has questioned the wisdom of MHI collaborating with conventional housing providers – competitors of the industry – while ignoring the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), which helped enact the MHIA of 2000 and the Duty to Serve (DTS) Manufactured Housing passed as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008. ‘
As the above inquiry stated,
- why hasn’t MHI filed suit on all of these issues years ago?
- Why do the so-called “Big Three” MHI manufacturers continue to press the apparently failed CrossMods scheme, when it should be mainstream manufactured homes that ought to be emphasized and robustly promoted?
- Why is it that smaller, but publicly traded Nobility Homes (NOBH) provides a greater level of clarity on certain data that some of MHI’s big three have? For a specific instance, why doesn’t Clayton Homes in its annual report clearly say how many new manufactured homes are sold, how many modular homes, how many tiny houses, and how many CrossMods? How many pre-owned manufactured homes are sold? If “democracy” in housing and “transparency” are such good things, why not practice it in your own corporate statements?
Should any of those contacted respond to those inquiries, MHProNews plans to report.
Until then, manufactured housing professionals, investors, corporate shareholders, other stakeholders, and public officials/attorneys should at a minimum wonder: why are ‘leaders’ of manufactured housing allowing the industry to underperform during an affordable housing crisis?
HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Worsens in January 2023 per MHARR – Cavco Wm ‘Bill’ Boor Remark on Manufactured Housing Comes Into Sharper Focus; Sunday MHVille Headlines Recap
Kevin Clayton Video, Interview w/Transcript ‘Historic’ Claims, Clayton’s Call ‘Double’ Production–Illumines Decades of Manufactured Housing Industry Underperformance; plus MHVille Stocks Update
Pro-Manufactured Home Law Prof. Daniel R. Mandelker Says ‘Organization Needed for Manufactured Housing Advocates Litigation and Legislative Support’ – plus MHVille’s Sunday Weekly Headlines Recap
To answer that question, someone must follow the money trail and carefully assemble and assess the evidence. The evidence seems to point to a desire to consolidate the manufactured housing industry to an ever greater degree, even if that means keeping the manufactured home industry underperforming in terms of new home sales. It seems to mean that MHI members who behave in ‘predatory’ ways are not pressed under the so-called MHI Code of Ethical Conduct.
Others may use red herring or shell game tactics to hide the ball. MHI periodically messages about a nebulous ‘raising the profile’ of the industry even as it is once more in an arguably avoidable decline.
Manufactured Housing Institute Claims ‘Effective Branding’ for ‘Manufactured Housing’-Seriously? Target Rich Satirical Saturday Examines MHI Claims, Messaging, RESULT$; plus MHVille Stocks Update
When someone says rising interest rates are an excuse for slowing manufactured home sales, they are either ill-informed about the industry’s history in the 1980s and at other times, or they are arguably deploying a plausible ruse. Either one is not a good reflection on MHI’s ‘leadership.’
When someone talks about inventory stocking levels, the history of the industry must be considered.
MHI’s leaders can’t have it both ways. If they are so qualified to run their respective organizations, why is the industry underperforming? If they aren’t properly motivated or qualified, why are they in charge? And if they have a motivation other than one that protects the interests of all members, shareholders, and stakeholders, why aren’t public officials stepping in to investigate and prosecute as needed?
The more serious issues that have dogged the manufactured home industry in the 21st century are being apparently being blurred by spin, paltering, and showmanship. See the linked and related reports to learn more. ##
JDSupra-CFPB Announces Inquiry Manufactured Home Communities, Private Equity, Consolidation Issues, PLUS UDAAP Updates-Will 21st, VMF, ELS, Rolfe and Reynolds, MHI/NCC Strategies Prove Wrong?
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By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.
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 MHLivingNews.com.
This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.
Connect on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which can be accessed by clicking on them.’
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