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June is National Homeownership Month – NAR, NAHB, P.E.P. and Manufactured Housing Institute – Factual, Evidence-Based, Curious, Eye-Opening Comparisons

JuneNationalHomeOwnershipMonthNtlAssocRealtorsNAHBManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoManHousingPAClogoMHProNewsLogoJunNtlHomeOwnershipMoManHousingInstFactEvidenceCompare

June is National Homeownership Month, a time to share our stories and create opportunities for future homeowners. NAR encourages REALTORS® to celebrate with the American Property Owners Alliance by joining the conversation on social media.” So said the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

History

In 1995, National Homeownership Week began as a strategy of President William Clinton’s administration to increase homeownership across the nation. In 2002, President George W. Bush expanded the observance to the entire month of June.” That’s per the National Calendar Day website.

Agree or disagree about the question if he was duly elected as president, either way Joe Biden is the White House Resident.  He claimed the office and was duly sworn in after months of still ongoing claims of election fraud that are being officially investigated in numerous states. Yesterday, June 1, Biden signed the National Home Ownership Month Proclamation which begins with these words. “A Proclamation on National Homeownership Month, 2021

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution…” and he proclaimed again June as National Homeownership Month.

To reduce things to their most basic level, there are three things that the typical trade organization does. They are summed up by a three-letter acronym – “P.E.P.” – which is short for “Protect, Educate, Promote.” Think about the “pep” rallies in junior high or high school years ago, because PEP brings energy to the typical, good trade association.

With the above in mind, now let’s briefly compare and contrast what other housing trade associations have done with what the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) does.

From the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), there is this: “National Homeownership Month Toolkit – NAHB

National Homeownership Month in June is an opportunity to remind consumers about the evolving role of the home and its importance in our lives.”  Their article with resources or educational tool kits to promote home ownership was included.

Mortgage giant and Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) Freddie Mac had this: “National Homeownership Month – Freddie Mac

 June marks National Homeownership Month, an opportunity to celebrate the important work we do together to make home possible.” More insights on the value of homebuying vs. renting followed.

Continuing from the NAR June is National Homeownership month theme above, they added the following.

The American Property Owners Alliance has put together a digital toolkit to help you, your clients, and other #OwnersandNeighbors to amplify your voices throughout the month of June.

Who are #OwnersandNeighbors?

  • Homeowners who advocate for federal policies that support property ownership
  • Public policies, programs and organizations that support homeownership
  • Elected officials who understand the value of homeownership and support homeowners”

 

Looking at headlines, financial publications, lenders, and trade groups are pushing out their message for June 2021 homeownership. It is all part of the PEP message. If they deal with the general public, P.E.P. is consciously or unconsciously followed.

What about the post-production, umbrella trade group of MHI?

There are no headlines to be seen from MHI. But others for NAR and NAHB appear.

 

JuneNationalHomeOwnershipMonthManufacturedHousingInstituteNationalAssocRealtorsNatlAssocHomeBuildersMHProNewsFactCheck
Several of the illustrations shown in this report can be opened in many browsers to reveal a larger size. To open this picture, click the image once. When the window opens, click it again to reveal the larger size photo. Use your browsers back key to return to the article.

 

On social media, MHI has not tweeted since Sept 14, 2020. MHI has not retweeted since October 7, 2020. On Facebook, MHI has posted more recently. They mention on May 25, 2021 – “Cheers! It’s the National Wine Day.” That was part of a post for Oak Creek Homes. On May 31, 2021 they did a post promoting a Clayton Home. See that collage from MHI’s Facebook page, linked here.

 

MHItwitter6.2.2021ManufacturedHomeProNewsFactCheckMHProNews
Several of the illustrations shown in this report can be opened in many browsers to reveal a larger size. To open this picture, click the image once. When the window opens, click it again to reveal the larger size photo. Use your browsers back key to return to the article.

 

Mention of National Wine Day but not one word about June being National Home Ownership month? Yet June and National Home Ownership Month occurs annually since 2002, and home ownership week began in 1995. Keep in mind that they hired a public relations person some years ago, following comments and a question from MHProNews to then MHI Chairman Tim Williams on the topic of engaging the media. Indeed, years before,

chicago-sun-times-news-group-and-moxie-magazine2-on-l.a.tony.kovach-manufactured-housing-mhc-md.com-
The bottom right magazine story is from the project that BJ Krol and his son Darren came to evaluate. The to left article was published in the Chicago Sun Times Newsgroup – that was for a project with another client. The top left is a two level HUD Code Manufactured Home, as is the bottom right. Each point to the value of media engagement. MHProNews walks the talk. 

lead a panel discussion for MHI on that topic, which we repeated for certain state trade events too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which brings us to P.E.P.

 

Protect. Educate. Promote. = P.E.P. and MHI

The case can be made that MHI, despite the pledge of then MHI Chairman Nathan Smith to turn the association around from being a “reactive” into a “proactive” trade group, there are no obvious indications that such has come to pass. Evidence on that will follow further below.

As measured by their own statements and claims, MHI has clearly and sadly failed for year after year. Why sadly? Because they claim to be working for the growth of the industry. MHI leaders have literally made such claims under penalties of perjury for years.

Hold those thoughts, and let’s dig deep enough to share a few specific examples on each of the P.E.P. points individually. Then, this Masthead will turn to some possible and practical solutions that can advance the interests of the majority of the industry, instead of a minority.

Let’s begin a brief P.E.P. review in reverse order.

PEP-P.E.P.-Protect-Educate-Promote-mhassociationmantra-postedmastheadblog-MHProNews
A MHEC member’s statement.

Promotion

In fairness, in terms of “promotion” – MHI has social media. MHI have produced some quality videos. They have produced several video and other collateral items apparently designed to promote themselves while retaining and attracting new members.

  • That said, where is the serious national promotion campaign that was promised a decade ago by Kevin Clayton CEO of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) owned Clayton Homes?

On something as common sense and basic as June being National Home Ownership Month:

  • during an affordable housing crisis, MHI has let the boat sail without a public news release.
  • They have let this month start without arranging with mainstream media a series of interviews that may have brought more consumers to traditional manufactured home retail centers, selling communities, developers, or any outlet that sells new manufactured homes.
  • The evidence for fact that is in the screen capture shown above and another one linked here.

Furthermore, Clayton Homes, Skyline-Champion (SKY) and Cavco Industries (CVCO) backed MHI witnessed 2½ years of steady decline during an affordable housing crisis and a steady mainstream housing boom.  That 2½ year-over-year decline reversed in March 2021.  But that uptick in March was arguably not because of anything that MHI did. Nor was it due to what MHI award winner Marty Lavin has called their “big boy” backers that dominate the trade group can claim to have positively done.

Rather, publicly traded firms have indicated there is so much demand for housing, that it seems that the years of repeated ‘oversights,’ misses, and methods used by MHI and their backers to purportedly hobble the industry could no longer contain the strong sales demand in March. Time will tell how sustained that will be.  New data for April 2021 will be posted on the Daily Business News section of MHProNews later this week.

 

Educate

Education and promotion can go hand in hand. Protection can also be aided by education. But each of these are distinct categories that a good PEP strategy should cause to coordinate for industry advancement.

In fairness, MHI can point to educational material on their website. MHI has produced some infographics. They have some information about tornado safety or other common consumer concerns. MHI has manufactured home shopping tips. They have videos that promote, and if they are done well, they can also educate. They also do what they call educational seminars.

That said, MHI’s education did not lead to increased sales. When MHI’s videos are examined, the view count is nominal. Some break into 4 figures after months or years online. It is as if they make them for limited goals, like showing them off to members, instead of making them for widespread public use. MHI has a budget with millions of dollars and millions of dollars in reserves. Can’t they afford press releases or promotions for their own videos?

Ponder that the few hundred or thousands of views on MHI videos in comparison to the John Oliver’s April 2019 improperly dubbed “Mobile Homes” viral video satirical hit on the industry.

  • Oliver’s video topped 8 million views in a few months, and still gets views since then. As MHLivingNews has noted, each of the firms mentioned in Oliver’s satirical attack can be tied back to Berkshire Hathaway or has some engagement with MHI.
  • Tiny house videos can have millions of views in a matter of weeks.

Rephrased, what passes as education or positive information from MHI is comparatively swamped by an ongoing torrent of routinely negative news. And as noted about the analysis of Oliver’s viral hit piece, perhaps among the more stunning revelations are that MHI members are often those involved in the negative news reports.

 

 

Tiny house promoters demonstrate P.E.P. in action. The tiny house video posted in this linked report has had some 2.5 million views. That doesn’t happen on all tiny house videos, but millions of views does occur for numbers of their videos.  Does MHI not have the ability to do the same?  https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/not-renaming-manufactured-homes-redefining-manufactured-homes-tiny-house-lessons-learned/

 

This isn’t conjecture or mere opinion. These are evidence based facts. Let’s look at the P of Protect.

 

Protect

It was MHI member Joanne Stevens, a unit leader for a Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) owned Iowa Realty manufactured home community brokerage firm, that said that the industry was not prepared for the negative media that followed the sale of communities where site fees (i.e. “lot rent”) and other pass through charges skyrocketed after new companies (often MHI members) had bought them. A torrent of negative media resulted.

https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/open-letter-kurt-kelley-joanne-stevens-frank-rolfe-manufactured-housing-review-about-senator-elizabeth-warrens-request-for-information-from-manufactured-home-community-owners/

 

  • As noted, it was Tim Williams at 21st – speaking for MHI – who said that there was a case to be made to respond and refute every negative news article. Williams also suggested in that same exclusive to MHProNews that there would be a positive follow up with PBS. Really? Did you ever see that claim fulfilled?
  • It was Frank Rolfe that ripped Nathan Smith for his then SSK Communities class action lawsuit by residents and the negative news that followed. Rolfe argued that such negative news put all community operators at risk.
  • Rolfe also said that he had never seen anything like a trade group that acted like MHI in ducking bad news or failing to promote good news. He unfavorably compared MHI to the billboard industry association which he claimed aggressively protected and promoted the interests of their members.
  • While Patti Boerger was still VP of Communications and Marketing with MHI, she was invited to attend and address a panel discussion in Tunica during a trade show. The broad topic was to address industry issues and concerns. She declined. Rolfe – before the years of more recent series of controversies about he and his partner – accepted the invitation as did Bob Crawford, then president of award-winning Dick Moore Housing. Dick Moore has been one of the top independent sellers of mobile and then manufactured homes in the U.S. for decades.
  • While Rick Robinson was still MHI’s general counsel, when asked by this writer for MHProNews a question at a Deadwood 5 state association meeting, the MHI VP replied he was not taking any questions from the press.

Those are all indicators of the difference between claims, posturing, and positive action. But perhaps more important are the following.

Protect” is normally understood to mean protect the industry from regulatory challenges and from negative media or public officials, etc. In fairness, a MHEC member told MHProNews off the record that a ‘good association does not protect bad actors.’ True enough. But when the bad actors are association members, then what?

MHI gave – on paper – an oblique but public answer almost 2 years ago. After months of public pressure from MHProNews, MHLivingNews and the ongoing efforts from their smaller production-focused trade rival MHARR (Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform), MHI published in July 2019 a “Code of Ethical Conduct.” How has that code worked in practice?

  • MHProNews periodically checks with an MHI board member: has there been any enforcement activity under their code of ethical conduct? The answer? “No.'”
  • MHProNews has periodically checked with an MHI state affiliate or MHEC member, and asked the same thing. “None that I’ve heard about.”
  • This goes to the concern that Lavin has wryly noted. Lavin stated for years, it is more important to pay attention to what people do than what they say. Meaning, if MHI says something do they then later do what they said? As this and other fact checks have demonstrated, the common answer is no.

We could pound on the fact that millions of dollars were spent by MHI to try to pass “Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act.” After millions, the bill never passed into law. This writer and our publications spent time and money trying to support that effort too. However, while still an MHI member, we also made the point several times in meetings that there were better ways to promote their bill. As in the case of the Williams/21st example above, those offers were routinely met with polite statements, but in fact they were ignored and never implemented. Before our firm parted ways with MHI, for some time MHI paid to have signs placed at their meetings that reporters and journalists were not welcome. While they denied they were aimed at MHProNews, others who were and are members thought that was exactly what they were doing.

As a member, in raising questions that they had no good answer for, their ultimate reply – after years of praising our pro-industry work – was to part ways.

While and after being an MHI member, MHI had inside and outside attorneys’ issue written threats to MHProNews. When challenged, each time they backed down.

But one point is this. If this is how they behave toward our organization that while we were members were featured speakers at MHI events, and were often praised for our pro-industry work, what did their behavior reveal about their actual thinking?

Our instance should not be the center of attention, but it is a useful example. Because as MHProNews and MHLivingNews has argued for years, MHI has failed at their own claims numerous times.

That is why MHARR – which is not a post-production or P.E.P. promotional style trade group, but rather a regulatory advocacy focused group – has encouraged MHI members for about a decade to form their own post-production trade association. Naturally, MHARR encourages HUD Code manufactured home producers to be members of their organization, to strengthen their efforts. More on that later.

 

Two Major Recent Examples of “MHI in Action”

Before turning to two major recent examples, let’s dot the i and cross the t on the so-called image issue or ‘stigma.’ That image or stigma exists in good measure because MHI allows bad behavior that stirs up news to overwhelm good news.  If MHI wanted to do so, every bad news story that does not involve their own members could be turned into an opportunity to convey the evidence-based counterpoints to whatever the issue happens to be. Who said so? Tim Williams at 21st. That would be in keeping with all three parts of P.E.P.

That said, let’s look at two significant developments that occurred in less than a week.

 

CFPB Study of Manufactured Home Lending Lessons

The new CFPB study on manufactured home lending is several ways an indictment of not only MHI, but also of their key members and elements of the federal government too.  But if MHI does not properly respond, and so far, it has not done so publicly, then this could be the next round of Preserving Access style push-back by the industry’s opponents that understandably bemoan so-called predatory practices.

A deep dive on the CFPB report follows the screen capture of some of the headlines already emerging, all while MHI stays silent. This is one more example of what Joanne Stevens ironically pointed to as noted above. It is one more example that makes clear that what Nathan Smith and both Tim Williams and Elizabeth Birch, among others, are arguably full of hot air.

 

CFPBmanufacturedHousingHMDAdata5.27.2021ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHProNewsFactCheck
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https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/claytons-racist-lending-credit-unions-aba-react-mhi-mute-on-manufactured-home-loan-expose-greater-risks-to-black-indigenous-and-hispanic-families/

 

In this latest CFPB report, MHI has paradoxically proved Danny Ghorbani, Mark Weiss, and MHARR right.  Ghorbani was MHARR’s founding president and CEO, and previously served for years as an MHI vice president. His able successor Mark Weiss took the trade group digital, while maintaining their ongoing efforts that Ghorbani and their members made possible.  Those two have more institutional memory than all of the roughly one dozen staff members at MHI combined.

 

HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge Televised Hearing

MHI stated in writing that they coached Senators Tim Scott (SC-R) and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-D) to ask certain questions during a recent HUD hearing that was televised on CSPAN.  Let’s be clear that Scott and Sinema are not to blame for doing what MHI asked them to do. The responsibility for what follows and is linked below lies solely which MHI, because they can not have it both ways. MHI wanted credit for their televised exchange with Secretary Fudge. That means MHI alone should get the responsibility for it.

 

https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/actionable-manufactured-housing-institute-paradoxically-surprising-written-admission-involving-hud-secretary-marcia-fudge-senators-scott-and-sinema-plus-sunday-manufactured-home-pro-weekly-headli/

 

The deep dive linked above makes it clear that MHI blew a golden opportunity.

But this is not the first time. It is only the most recent example.

What makes this one significant is that MHI tried to take credit for massive missed opportunity in writing. They own it. In brief, MHI could have had Senators Scott or Sinema ask about what Secretary Fudge is doing to have their Office of General Counsel promote the full and routine use of “enhanced preemption” to overcome zoning and placement issues. That existing law – if fully and properly implemented – could cause sales to soar. Factual evidence for that is in the enforcement of preemption for ADUs in California. Sales soared. Manufactured housing already has a law that should do this nationally. MHI is aware of it. So, why doesn’t MHI – with all of their ‘clout’ and ‘access’ press to have that MHIA law enforced?

 

https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/manufactured-housing-institute-mhi-reviewing-biden-housing-plan-mhi-coalition-partner-national-housing-conference-exposes-mhi-claimed-manufactured-housing-leader/

 

The irony, as MHProNews has said and Danny Ghorbani recently doubled down on, is this. When MHI touts their photo opportunities and videos with key public figures, that proves they have access. But it also proves how they have used that access.

MHI can’t have it both ways.

 

MHI proposes? Why not insists? This is a law that is supposed to regulate HUD’s behavior for manufactured housing. If MHI has so much clout, and they certainly should and do, then why don’t they insist that this law and others that would benefit manufactured housing gets fully and properly enforced?

MHI repeatedly claimed clout, postured for cameras, and then send their readers “MHI in Action” or “Housing Alerts.” But what those do when the trends are carefully examined prove they did something measurable for the industry in terms of the sale of more homes.

As 2020 drew to a close, MHProNews ran a report that include this simple point.

 

https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/fhfa-gses-high-cost-to-minorities-all-americans-due-to-asserted-failures-to-follow-duty-to-serve-affordable-housing-existing-federal-laws/

This is from an MHI promo in 2017. About four years have gone by. What has MHI done that can demonstrate their clout? Or have they used their clout to the benefit of consolidators?
https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/foot-dragging-rigged-system-manufactured-housing-lending-comments-to-feds-by-various-professionals/

 

MHI Can Not Have It Both Ways, When They Claim Leadership and Prove Wasted Access

The leaders of MHI staff and main board are intelligent people. They are routinely well educated. They often have a track record of reasonable success. Years of evidence is now in hand. They have demonstrably failed to deliver on what Smith, Williams, and Kevin Clayton promised.

It is simply not believable to think that MHI leaders can keep missing the same things, year after year. In hindsight, did Tim Williams/21st – when he admitted during an MHI meeting that they has ‘missed’ the opportunity to stop the SAFE Act in the harmful form it emerged – was that sincere, or a head fake?

PEP points to several revelations that years of evidence and documentation by MHProNews should now make obvious. In no specific order of importance:

  • The Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA or 2000 reform law) and the Duty to Serve (DTS) Manufactured Housing Provision of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) were well crafted bills that gave manufactured housing tools to overcome zoning and placement hurdles AND to provide a securitized route to get lower cost manufactured home lending.
  • If DTS were properly implemented, the CFPB report on 5.27.2021 would likely have read quite differently. Instead, it is in some measure a black eye that makes Clayton and company look racist. But because Clayton, 21st and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF) were not specifically mentioned in the press release, the entire industry is made to look predatory and racist. Who owns that? Certainly the obvious answer is the Berkshire brands, their allies, and MHI.

But there has been other recent revelations from MHProNews that should be considered.

Instead of posturing and talking about problems, MHI arguably has the ultimate tool for access. MHI and what Lavin called their big boy masters count as their members some powerful corporate interests. We often point to Warren Buffett led Berkshire. Buffett and Berkshire (BRK) bring along major Berkshire stockholder Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation. They in turn have an array of nonprofits and media resources.

But others operating in manufactured housing include Apollo (APO), Blackstone (BX), Brookfield (BAM), Carlyle Group (CG), and more.  These are each financial giants. Just look at the facts:

  • Apollo Global Management (APO) reported $414B of assets under management (AUM) at the end of June 2020.
  • Blackstone Group (BX) Assets under management (AUM):$619 billion USD (2020).
  • Brookfield Asset Management (BAM) Assets under management: $602 billion USD (2020).
  • The Carlyle Group(CG) reported AUM of $245.769 billion (2020).
  • Berkshire Hathaway (BRK), per Wikipedia, had total assets of $817.729 billion in 2019.

Let’s put those in numbers in perspective. If there were no antitrust or other regulation to stop them, any one of those firms could buy up all of the manufactured home production and retail many times over.

But there is yet another way to frame that list. If any of those firms wanted to open up new production and retail centers, they could do so. Given the affordable housing crisis and the huge demand for quality affordable homes, what would keep them from doing so?

But let’s return the focus to Berkshire, Buffett, and Bill (Gates). Gates and the Gates foundation are a large stakeholder of Berkshire stocks. But Gates also has assets well beyond his BRK interests. Either one of the two Bs – Buffett and Bill – could have called or messaged Barack or Biden from January 2009 to January 2017. Like it or not, Biden is in the White House. Buffett or Bill could contact the White House, or HUD, or FHFA, the GSEs, etc.

 

https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/3bs-bill-buffett-biden-what-if-warren-buffett-bill-gates-joe-biden-affordable-manufactured-homes-potential-analysis-ugly-plus-sunday-weekly-headlines/

 

When the evidence is examined, it is absurd to think that they want to see the industry grow at this time.  There must be some wink and a nod agreement. There are items that could be pointed to, but the most obvious is the outline and report linked above.

 

The Truth Has Been Hiding In Plain Sight

Restated, what recent events and years of evidence-based reports, fact checks, accurate quotes, candid analysis, and commentary like this has systematically done is demonstrate that MHI became a shrewd ruse. 2 decades ago, and 13 years ago, MHI joined MHARR in passing key provisions of two good laws.  MHI said as much about the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) of 2000. MHI claimed during the Jennison era to want to sit down and work things out with MHARR. What happened to that former MHI president and CEO’s claim?

  • Time and again, MHI has proven MHARR’s concerns to be correct.
  • MHI and the big boys have proven Marty Lavin’s statements to MHProNews to be accurate too.
  • Lavin bluntly said that MHI operated for the big boys, not for the other members unless the big boys interests joined with those smaller members.

But beyond the obvious, there are evidence-based research from outsiders looking in.

  • MHI has demonstrated that they are part of what Samuel “Sam” Strommen from Knudson Law called part of a “machine of human suffering.”
  • Strommen has no axe to grind in our industry. He was and remains an outside legal researcher looking in, and in a heavily footnoted document made his case that MHI and their key members could be charged with RICO, “felony” antitrust, market manipulating and deceptive trade practices, and possibly other violations of law.

 

Back to National Home Ownership Month

During June and the start of national homeownership month, it seems that MHI could not be bothered with any of the three parts of Protect, Educate, and Promote (P.E.P).  With about a dozen people on staff, none could be bothered with so much as a tweet or a Facebook post, per the fact check linked here at earlier today on 6.2.2021.

Indeed, when years of our research, reports, and that of MHARR or others have apparently demonstrated this beyond any reasonable doubt.

  • MHI is a tool for the industry’s major brands to consolidate independents and to keep possible new competitors from entering into this profession.
  • If MHI and their major brands wanted DTS implemented by the GSEs, a few calls or messages from the office of Buffett or Bill could get that done any time.

We have given Berkshire, Clayton, 21st, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF), MHI, and their respective inside and outside counsels repeated opportunities to explain or disprove these concerns. They declined.

The only person that would seriously debate on MHI’s behalf was Andy Gedo. Before tossing in the towel, Gedo helped make our case.

 

https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/warren-buffett-declared-class-warfare-buffett-says-fellow-billionaires-were-winning/

TheWarrenBuffettDefinitionOfGoodManagementIsClearIfYouHaveEffectiveCompetitorsYouAreDoingItWrongQuoteClaytonHomesManufacturedHomeProNews

WarrenBuffettTheMoatQuoteMemeManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNEwsMHProNEws

By working in subtle – or bold – ways to subvert manufactured home industry performance, it may escape the notice of ethical regulators and public officials. It also acts as a barrier of entry, persistence, and exit. It allows Buffett and his allied brands at MHI to acquire assets at a reduced value.

 

Do not forget, the CDC defined a parasite as something that feeds off the host body. The numerous reports we have published on various aspects of sabotaging monopolies and other third-party research evidence only further proves our contention that MHI is arguably a fraud. Years of fine third party research that should be celebrated on the MHI website are entirely missing. Their P.E.P. failures are too many to list here.

 

https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/hud-builders-nahb-innovative-housing-showcase-operation-breakthrough-systematic-aristotle-thomism-testing-jas-schmitz-claims-of-sabotaging-monopolies-todd-m-richardson-hud-pdr/

 

For any MHI member reading this, you might carefully read this link here; why? Because outside attorneys say that if a plaintiff’s case or class action is brought against a trade group for certain practices, members may that did not protest against problematic behavior may be liable too.

Do not let MHI and their big boy masters sink your ship, as they have been accused with plenty of evidence of sinking so many others.

 

Summary, Conclusions, Possible Next Steps

When MHI in their own words and access to power brokers are measured against their actual performance, the “shell game” charge by MHARR begins to ring true.  As MHARR wryly slammed, when it comes to MHI robustly fighting for the zoning that is already federal law, instead, they are switching to the failed years of failure of their CrossModTM scheme. MHI, time after time, do not cut the mustard on any of the three P.E.P. standards for their type of trade group – Protect, Educate, or Promote.

With the above and linked in mind, in no specific order of importance, the following.

  1. If you are a white hat MHI member, to avoid possible liability, at a minimum you would be wise to publicly protest and/or question in writing their performance. Then talk with your peers that are not one of the relatively few dominating brands at MHI. Why talk to the smaller brands? Because MHI’s own publicly traded firms have paradoxically confirmed what MHProNews claimed in 2020, namely, that MHI is Buffett’s buffet. It is apparently where smaller firms go to get gobbled up.
  2. You should read the recent and roughly 500-word executive summary linked here on the WND NewsCenter for possible next steps. If you’ve read it before, read it again in the light of this report. There are laws that exist that the correct effort could bring about enforcement action that Sam Strommen and others have recommended.
  3. Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association (AMHA) Executive Director JD Harper raised the notion of another trade group years ago. So did Dick Moore and Bob Crawford. MHARR has encouraged a post-production trade group that they could collaborate with to advance the interests of consumers and independents for years. The good laws needed – MHIA and DTS – already exist. The happy talk about more passing more laws or giving incentives to local jurisdictions is unproven nonsense. Besides, given good existing laws that are manipulated or go unenforced – passing new laws when existing ones are ignored or manipulated are a fool’s errand. NAMHCO formed precisely because MHI did not provide the claimed representation. The NAMHCO idea was fine. But what NAMHCO arguably missed is that they hired an ex-MHI VP and then collaborated with MHI. Why team up with the people they just left? In hindsight, that clearly made no sense. As Warren Buffett has correctly said, you can not make a good deal with a bad person – and that goes for bad organizations too. But NAMHCO demonstrated several useful things. A new trade group can be started. Indeed, it should be started, but it should be done properly with the types of safeguards that has kept MHARR true blue to their members for decades.
  4. If you are an independent producer of HUD Code manufactured homes, you should check in with MHARR about membership. Where would the industry be if MHARR had not been fighting those who are undermining the industry from within? Look around the MHARR website. It is clear that they are fighting a two-front war: one against regulators, one against the dominating brands at MHI.  There is much good and profitable news that could be accomplished through that proven vehicle. Keep in mind that the MHIA, for example, was MHARR’s brainchild and one of several David vs. Goliath accomplishments.

Or, you can do nothing and get more of the same.

For employees of the major brands, keep the Walmart Effect in mind.

 

https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/what-is-the-walmart-effect-undocumented-workers-and-how-that-influences-affordable-housing-seekers-and-manufactured-homeowners/

 

The case can be made that the Walmart Effect at Clayton is already underway.

 

https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/kevin-clayton-praised-evil-genius-warren-buffett-buffett-defends-roadkill-u-s-workers-merit-govt-pay-for-policies-berkshire-allied-brands-profited-from/

 

An MHI board member told MHProNews that their organization operates more “like a secret society” now than it did some years ago. If you are not an MHI big boy insider, they may smile, pass out meaningless awards, sound important, do little or nothing that benefits the majority of members, and then take your money year after year by the millions.

MHI may have one or more members offer to buy you out. But common sense will tell you that those who have walk away power, even if you wanted to sell out, will get more than money than those who get lulled into complacency by people who have a hidden agenda. Who says? Donald Trump before he became president in his famous Art of the Deal.

Walk away power is important.

June’s National Homeownership month and recent events have apparently closed the evidentiary circle. MHI has demonstrated who they are working for – consolidators who praise them. Consolidators who often publicly say that they want to consolidate the industry.

For public officials, advocates, or other interested parties, this is – as Strommen aptly argued – an apparent “felony” antitrust, RICO, market manipulations, and possibly other legal violations.

 

 https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/bombshell-buffett-berkshire-clayton-homes-21st-vanderbilt-specific-mhi-members-ripped-felony-monopolization-of-the-american-manufactured-home-industry/

 

For those who feel pressured into staying at MHI, that’s not how a good trade group works – that sounds more like protection racket, doesn’t it? Once more, think RICO.

When we left MHI, many of our readers know that the powers that be threw everything they could think of at us. We are still standing, and in hindsight, their efforts against a member they had praised for years only proved that we are over the target. If we can do way away, you can too.

When MHProNews contacts a public official, nonprofit, a trade group, a company, or others in media, we routinely get a reply. Those are often timely and serious answers to whatever our inquiry or inquiries may be. As this is being written, MHProNews has several inquiries out, which includes federal officials. Some replies have already come in, but some information gathering is also taking place. MHI and their big boy members used to reply quickly, as is evidenced above and linked herein. The fact that they now duck and dodge speaks volumes about them, and about us.

Yes, it has cost us some clients to part with MHI. Yes, some have tried to twist our efforts into meaning something other than what it is. Our thinking has always been to grow the industry in sustainable ways that treat customers properly.

 

MHI has postured many things. But what has been postured has not been achieved. The evidence indicates that Clayton Homes backed MHI has failed to get zoning, placement, lending, and image issues resolved. That harms manufactured home owners by the millions. The CFPB fresh data makes a similar point. Buffett and/or Bill have the clout needed. The logical conclusion is that they do not wish to exercise that access and influence in a manner that would benefit independents and millions of homeowners.

 

Paradoxically, MHI’s prior President and CEO – one that MHARR worked with successfully on certain issues – Chris Stinebert made similar points.

Facts can be manipulated, or spun, but true facts do not lie. Others are entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts. Without changing the course by pro-active effort, the industry’s remaining independents can only expect more of the same. That would be harmful to the interests of consumers, taxpayers, and most others who are not trying to turn us into a feudalistic society of big corporate masters vs. smaller firms and individuals hoping that their masters will not pull their plug like they did thousands of others in our profession.

 

RippingOffAmericanDreamFeudalismRisingWarrenBuffettBillGatesGeorgeSorosJeffBezosMarkZuckerbergPhotosBillionairesRiggedSystemMHLivingNews
https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/ripping-off-the-american-dream-feudalism-rising-warren-buffett-bill-gates-george-soros-other-billionaires-and-rigged-system/

 

MHI’s behavior in recent weeks, with their latest misses in PEP for June’s National Homeownership Month 2021, should make it clear that they are what we satirically labeled them some time ago. The Monopolistic Housing Institute. The Manipulative Housing Institute. The Machiavellian Housing Institute. Thanks, MHI for proving our points and for demonstrating again the Strommen, Schmitz, Lavin, MHARR, and others have each made demonstrably valid points.

 

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Stay tuned for more of what is ‘behind the curtains’ as well as what is obvious and in your face reports. It is all here, at the runaway largest and most-read source for authentic manufactured home “News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Affordable housing, manufactured homes, reports, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. Third-party images or content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.) (See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them.)

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All on Capitol Hill were welcoming and interested with the discussion of manufactured housing related issues on our 12.3.2019 meetings. But Texas Congressman Al Green’s office was tremendous in their hospitality. Our son’s hand is on a package that included the Constitution of the United States and other goodies. MHProNews has worked with people and politicos across the left-right divide.

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.

http://latonykovach.com

Connect on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

 

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