There are several nonprofits that began with noble motivation and useful purposes. But when conglomerates with their own agenda begin to coop those nonprofits with subtly or self-evident agendas, the time has come to ask the question, is it time for manufactured housing independents to form their own national hall of fame?
The RV MH Hall of Fame has and continues to serve thousands of visitors that come to their location in historic Elkhart, IN. That history is to be noted and acknowledged.
But in recent years, according to sources to MHProNews, independents with no ties to Berkshire Hathaway brands are having a ‘harder and harder time’ to get inducted into the existing hall of fame. By contrast, per sources, since the ‘Kevin Clayton Challenge’ was launched, those who may oppose parts of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) agenda are purportedly having difficulty getting the recognition that they have arguably earned.
Perhaps merely raising the issue here may make the existing RV MH Hall of Fame think twice about excluding or giving preference to those who support MHI vs. say the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) connected members. But just wishing and hoping has never been a proven strategy, has it?
Ponder the thousands of manufactured home industry professionals who may have no affiliation whatsoever to either national trade group, or to no state association either?
Or what about residents of manufactured homes and communities that may be worth honoring? How cool would it be to have Kid Rock and other celebrities that own a manufactured home come to honor the most proven affordable permanent American housing lifestyle?
New Ways Must be Used to Grow the Industry
There are several initiatives that could advance the interests of the industry’s growth that ought to be considered by manufactured housing professionals, specifically those independents who want to see growth again. The vision for a new, revitalized hall of fame could be state, regional, and/or national. It should seek mainstream media coverage, not only industry media coverage. It should have a set of standards that keep the system from being gamed. For example, let black hat brands be banned, and white hats be celebrated.
The number of ways for manufactured housing professionals could collaborate to return to the industry to achieve and surpass past greatness. A few such notions are arguably better than others.
· An alliance of manufactured housing independents. One example is linked here. That alliance should push for full implementation of good federal laws, such as the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, enhanced preemption, the Duty to Serve by the Government Sponsored Enterprises, and reforms needed in FHA Title I, Title II, VA, and USDA (Rural Development) loans to make them more accessible to the general public and for refinance purposes.
· Connected or independent of such an alliance, there should be a hall of fame.
· Connected to or independent of such an alliance, there should be state and/or regional trade shows that are independent of the control of the big 3 producing conglomerates and their arguably subservient trade groups. Those shows should have public days as well as trade days.
There are scores of professionals, living and dead, that merit being honored that have not been given the recognition that they deserve. As noted above, there are manufactured home owners and residents that would arguably be a good addition to such a concept.
What is certain is that without making a change, the current trends will only continue. A new hall of fame shouldn’t be the only thing, but it should be part of a broader plan for industry recovery. Let it be a place where the public learns about manufactured housing, and let it be a place where professionals and home owners can come to celebrate what manufactured housing has already accomplished for millions of our fellow citizens.
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That’s food for thought this afternoon on manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, fact-checks, and commentary. See Related Reports, further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)
By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.
Tony earned the Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma. He has earned multiple awards in manufactured housing and in history. He’s a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.
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