RealEstateRama picked up a press release yesterday from the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), issued by their president and CEO, Thayer Long. The article was likely aimed at the public, and thus within the scope of the ‘protect and promote’ mandate that associations correctly hold dear. Comments to MHMSM.com from readers have come in from Industry professionals about the MHI PR piece. Most have been ‘off the record.’ But the following quote from an MHI ‘Man of the Year’ and RV/MH Hall of Fame inductee, George F. Allen was shared on the record. “Hey Tony; you, Ken (Rishel) and I make a living, keeping our trade journalist fingers on the pulse of the manufactured housing industry. Well, here’s an unexpected conundrum, showcased by the Manufactured Housing Institute in a recent piece titled: ‘Market Share on Rise for Manufactured Housing Industry.’ The riddle? How can this statement be true, when our industry’s annual new home shipment levels, during the past three years and this one, have hovered around the 50,000 level, down 86 percent from (1998)? MHI’s answer? Sale of new manufactured homes has declined at a lower rate than site – built homes, increasing our national market share by default. Geesh! What a sorry way to make the case for buying one’s product. And know what? There’re no fewer than four additional such anomalies in this article. Did you identify them?” GFA.” Allen has a featured article in MHMSM.com’s new August issue, entailed “Shots Across the Bow of MHARR and MHI.” Another industry professional wrote, “It isn’t that MHI’s facts are per se wrong in their (new press) release. The problem is their puff piece makes things sound rosy when in fact our Industry is in a sad state of affiars (sic). What we need is a bold national plan to advance our cause. Will an article like their’s help sell more HUD Code homes? Will it help us (team up) with other associations and consumer groups to modify Dodd-Frank, which is coming at us like a Mack truck?” (Editor’s note, parenthetical comments in the quote added).
(graphic of Manufactured Housing’s shipment slide since 1998 courtesy of the MHI)