To understand the relatively low level of manufactured home production, one needs to consider a variety of factors. Let’s oversimplify. Before looking at credibility, let’s consider what it takes to sell a home.
- Placement. That includes zoning or other barriers, and how to overcome challenges.
- Financing. It must be accessible, sustainable, and reasonable. That’s needed for any big ticket item.
- Demand. To have demand for any product or service, one must have sufficient credibility and acceptance.
There are scores of other details, but those are near the bull’s eye. Now, let’s step back and examine some specific cases.
1) When cities in Indiana, California, and Texas moved to ban or restrict the placement of manufactured homes, where was the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)? This publication and writer asked them/their affiliates to get involved. Sadly, the record reflects that MHI were silent no shows – why?
- While MHI members where there to protest the city’s efforts to limit/ban the placement of manufactured homes, MHI’s own members told MHProNews that they saw no MHI staff and were aware of no MHI engagement with the City of Bryan.
- Furthermore, MHProNews spoke to a city official yesterday. That official said he was aware of no outreach by MHI, but was aware of the contact made by the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), which addressed the city to oppose their ban measure.
That’s a snapshot over the battle regarding zoning and placement.
2) The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) worked with Congress to get the Duty to Serve (DTS) manufactured housing by the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac included as a mandate in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008. Why did Berkshire Hathaway brands – per a number of sources – repeatedly take steps to foil the full and proper implementation of both laws, why? When MHI meet with the GSEs, they met behind closed doors, and they and the GSEs declined providing the minutes, why? When a program was finally rolled out, it was only for select, more expensive ‘new class’ of homes pushed by Clayton Homes and MHI, why? Is it because Clayton now has conventional housing developments and home sites?
Those are examples of the battle over financing.
MHARR Calls on New Fannie Mae CEO Hugh Frater to Fully and Properly Implement Federal Law | Manufactured Housing Association Regulatory Reform
MHARR CALLS ON NEW FANNIE MAE CEO TO FULLY AND PROPERLY IMPLEMENT FEDERAL LAW Washington, D.C., April 11, 2019- The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), in an April 9, 2019 communication to newly-installed Fannie Mae Chief Executive Officer, Hugh R.
3) When bad news comes from the media, MHI offers excuses to select members that effectively says, ‘let’s let this blow over.’ When what looks like good news comes, they may or may not advise members, but where are the list of pages on MHI website that tout third party research that all the world can see? Why is supposed good news on a survey hidden behind a login, while Manufactured Housing Action (MHAction) gives away their attack material for free?
- Yesterday, MHI rapidly put out a photo op to their members and state affiliates touting HUD Secretary Ben Carson at their fund raiser/networking event, held this year in New Orleans. But why isn’t that good news about manufactured housing posted on MHI’s website?
Why are so many bad news stories tied directly to often prominent MHI members?
The good news is hidden from public view. By contrast, the bad news caused by the John Oliver “Mobile Homes” video – which every problematic story that video publicized was an MHI member firm. There is a money trail and evidence that suggests that Warren Buffett has provided financial support to those who in turn attack or embarrass the industry. Who thinks and behaves like this and claims to be trying to grow the industry?
Doesn’t that fit what MHI member Frank Rolfe said? Or what MHI award winner Marty Lavin said?
That’s the battle over image, education, and proper understanding.
These are simple, yet vexing realities. As recently as earlier today, MHI Chairman Joe Stegmayer and their outside attorney once more declined refuting, correcting, or responding to the evidence, allegations, and patterns of action/inaction that leads to routine dead ends.
So, who benefits from low sales volumes? Who is harmed?
The second question is easier to answer. The smaller the operation, the more that low volume sales harms them. This writer did an article in 2014 entitled “The High Cost of Low Volume Sales.” Within weeks, we had to run the report, “The Bank Vault Door Closes,” because US Bank closed their manufactured housing program, citing in part, low sales volumes.
Who benefited from that?
Slogans or photo opportunities sent mainly to manufactured home (MH) industry professionals, and not to the general public, might make an industry reader think something is happening. Isn’t that propaganda? Manipulation? Head fakes?
Freedom isn’t free. Since Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden, the battle for various forms of freedom has been on.
The reason America’s constitutional founders protect freedom of speech and the press is because accurate information access is part of the means of maximizing freedom.
Information has been weaponized. That’s not just true in our industry, it happens in other aspects of modern lift. That’s why the term fake news exists.
Arlington, VA based MHI and their primary masters from Omaha and Knoxville arguably ought to be able to win every battle, if they wanted to do so. The law is routinely on our industry’s side. Berkshire Hathaway owns some 31 newspapers. They have plenty of money that they could use to really promote successfully, instead of posture with videos, Facebook, or advertorials that clearly don’t significantly move the needle. Because if it did, the industry would be soaring, not snoring.
In America, sadly, one can sue over almost anything. MHI has for some years had inside or outside attorneys threaten MHProNews. Why don’t they use those outside attorneys to threat cities that block the placement of manufactured homes instead?
There have purportedly been other threats we’ve reported previously from straw men (or women) being put up to harass us on behalf of the Arlington based group. Why don’t those folks just do their jobs? We’d far rather report that they were doing their jobs, than that they were failing to do their jobs. But based on the last few years, at some point, the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis and their allies might file suit against us, even though we’ve repeatedly given them the opportunity to debunk – live or in writing – any of the concerns or allegations raised here on MHProNews or on MHLivingNews. We’ll see what happens, and they will see too.
But this is simple. Are they doing their jobs at MHI and several of their affiliated state association’s properly or not?
Given the quality of our MH industry’s homes, the good laws we have on the books, it seems that a good case can be made that the industry’s so-called leaders are allowing the industry to consolidate.
Multibillion Dollar Opportunities Knock in Solving Affordable Housing Crisis – Masthead L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
In a truly free enterprise system, various needs are identified. Then a means of profitably yet honestly serving those needs are established. Ideally, both the customer and product/service benefit. The happy customer(s) then tell or send their friends. That pattern repeated often enough yields success. For millions, perception is reality.
Who does that benefit? The big boys.
Who does that harm? The independents.
MHI has arguably deceived, failed, and/or in protection-racket-style manner bullied numbers of its independents and several of the state associations to suffer as a result. Ditto their Omaha-Knoxville masters and surrogates.
NAMHCO and MHARR exist because they had no confidence in MHI. A group met in Tunica to explore a new trade group to do what MHI claims to do.
Why does MHI lack credibility? Just look at the industry from the outside in to answer that question.
If there is a logical or factual inaccuracy in any of the linked reports or this report, please let me know personally, via the link above.
Or, if you have your own examples of how this plot has impacted you or your firm, please use the same link, and say “Comments” or “News Tips” in the subject line.
That’s tonight’s #NettlesomeThings wrap up report. We will continue to hold the powers that be accountable, but we plan to do more. Stay tuned. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, analysis.)
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By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.
Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.
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Most of human history is a story of the struggle for authentic freedom against various forms of limitations, captivity, or enslavement. Much of history is the hidden or open battle between the truth and a captivating lie. People are often offended when lied to, and for good reason.
Profiting & Correcting – Manufactured Housing Traps, Pitfalls and Swindles – Masthead L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
Think triple damages potentially worth millions to some pros that you know, and billions collectively as you read this. You, a friend or colleague may be entitled to it, and you may not even know it. It may be easier than you think. That will be explained further below.
Mobile Home Militia – “Clayton [Homes] Wants Your Cornbread Too” “Join the Revolution” – ‘You Gotta Have Swagger’ – Masthead L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
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Manufactured Housing Institute Members Defending MHI, Great Debate About Manufactured Home Industry Progress, Problems, and Profits – Masthead L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
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God’s Sense of Humor, Tilting After Windmills, Manufactured Housing – Merchants or Crusaders? – Masthead L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
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MHARR Calls on HUD Secretary to End Discriminatory And Exclusionary Zoning of HUD-Regulated Manufactured Homes | Manufactured Housing Association Regulatory Reform
Washington, D.C., April 30, 2019 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) in an April 24, 2019 communication to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary, Ben Carson (copy attached), has called on the Department to federally preempt local zoning ordinances which discriminatorily exclude manufactured homes regulated by HUD pursuant to the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 and the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.
The last decade-plus has not been especially kind to the manufactured housing industry and consumers of affordable housing. The 21 stCentury began with a great deal of promise for the industry and consumers alike.