There was a meeting today that revealed several “Inside the Beltway” maneuvers that could prove to be of importance to manufactured housing professionals.
Some now-former Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) sources told the Daily Business News that the Arlington, VA based trade association was planning in late 2016 for a Hillary Clinton victory.
That dovetails with prior reports by MHProNews that MHI had not one, but two paid speakers at their November 2016 Chicago meeting that were supporting Secretary Clinton for president. The MHI’s member briefing at that same Chicago confab suggested that Republicans would lose the Senate, and perhaps the House.
The Trojan Horse? 1
Of course, none of that MHI projection proved accurate. But what is of equal or greater concern is that those sources tell MHProNews that MHI – unlike, say the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) wasn’t prepared for or desire a Trump victory.
Additional details on two topics that are looming for the industry are also emerging.
One is a flashback reminder that leaders of MHI and leaders of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) met to interview and discuss having industry veteran and attorney Vic DeRose as the agreed upon person for the non-career administrator for the HUD Code manufactured housing program office.
But per sources, after that MHI-MHARR agreement, reportedly Clayton sources had an MHI team member unilaterally override the joint association compact.
It will be recalled that the non-career administer job for the MH program head was subsequently posted as open by HUD, instead of going to an industry professional – DeRose – who would be motivated to have a balance of consumer protection, cost-benefits, legal, and real-world industry understanding that DeRose represented.
MHI President Richard “Dick” Jennison was reportedly angry at the MHI staff person who opened the door for Pam Danner. Word at the time was that Jennison was planning to terminate that staff person, but was prevented from doing so by a voice speaking for Clayton.
So, the immediate question is why would Clayton want a heavy regulatory hand at HUD?
Among independent producers are those who believe Clayton wanted the same kind of heavy hand as the Obama Administration represented on Dodd-Frank. Why? Because smaller firms are less able to navigate those regulatory forces than larger firms.
Trojan Horse 2
There are industry voices that have suggested that the “new class” of manufactured homes MHI is promoting, perhaps using some new moniker instead of “manufactured home,” is another so-called “Trojan Horse. “
MHARR Is among those who have expressed concerns, but industry producers and some state execs are among those who believe that MHI is once more being used large companies to harm the interests of smaller firms.
That MHI plan could impact independent retailers too.
If that MHI-backed ‘new class’ of homes undermines confidence in the HUD Code in general, that is arguably a step backward, not a step ahead. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)
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Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.
Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.