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Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Gives Written Responses – “Part of a Rigged, Corrupt System”


The Manufactured Housing Institute has finally provided a series of written responses to concerns raised by a number of industry members.

MHI did so to via an email to their members, as they ask them to renew their annual membership dues.

Let’s make this hyper-simple.


MHI is part of a Rigged, Corrupt System that has Enriched a few Big Companies at a High Cost to Thousands of Independent Retailers, Communities, Producers, and others in Manufactured Housing.

The rest amounts to details and commentary.

‘We Want Your Money’ – 2018 MHI Membership, Infographic Fact Check

America is in a well documented affordable housing crisis. Manufactured housing is misunderstood, but when approached by the open-minded, its revealed as an obvious solution that is hiding in plain sight.   So how is it possible that manufactured housing is doing so relatively poorly,

when the National Association of Realtors (NAR),

NAR’s Yun – No Quick Fixes Spell$ Manufactured Housing Opportunitie$

and the National Low Income Housing Coalition – citing HUD data – have both said that over 8 million housing units are needed?

NLIHC CEO Responds on HUD’s Worst Case Housing Needs Report, MH Leader Reacts

How could HUD – which is the primary federal regulator for manufactured housing – not make manufactured housing a center-piece of their solutions for the affordable housing crisis?

HUD’s Belated, Blustering “Promotion” of Manufactured Homes

If MHI is supposed to be the industry’s leader they arguably must be leading in a problematic, error prone and/or corrupt fashion.  That’s what’s been alleged by several of their own members, by others in the industry, from MHARR and by MHProNews editorially.  MHI has finally responded to those concerns in writing.

MHI’s email to members yesterday has a number of written ‘responses’ to concerns from industry members (MHI didn’t name anyone specifically). Do yourself a favor. If you have any doubt that they are ducking, and dodging, read their reports, then read our reports linked below. See if they’re response actually addresses the issues raised by their own members, MHARR, others in the industry or MHProNews editorially. “We Provide, YOU Decide.” The other option – is MHI’s president and CEO, Dick Jennison, should agree to discuss/debate these issues in Louisville next week. He’ll be there, we will be there too. Why not? If they are right, why not discuss/debate in front of a live audience and video cameras?

So let’s spotlight the top lines of their document that is supposed to respond to the industry, and then underscore the obvious.


MHI is part of a Rigged, Corrupt System that has Enriched a few Big Companies at a High Cost to Thousands of Independent Retailers, Communities, Producers, and others in Manufactured Housing.

There are several among their own current and past members who believe that allegation to be so.  In MHI’s emailed responses yesterday, they utterly failed to address the meat of their specific concerns.


MHI – for those who know debating tactics – arguably used the old debater’s trick of appearing to answer, casting dispersion on their opposition, while ducking the key questions.

MHI entered a written debate.

Will they now take up our challenge for a verbal debate next week in Louisville?

Will their president accept?  Or will Richard “Dick” Jennison publicly duck questions, as Rick Robinson publicly did in Deadwood, 4 months ago?

Duck, dodge, distract, detract, and defame. What are they hiding? Why not do an authentic, public discussion that is also video recorded? If they are correct, they have nothing to fear. If they are hiding things, then they have every reason to keep making excuses to the industry and their majority of their own members. “Sunshine is the best disinfectant.” Let the light shine on MHI, open up their books, their records, their emails, their meeting minutes. All of it.


Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) SVP Rick Robinson Ducks Serious Industry Questions in Deadwood

Will MHI try to keep MHProNews from videoing their “presentation” in Louisville, to keep us from showing thousands of industry pros what they say, and what it really means?

More Are Waking Up to the MHI/Berkshire Hathaway Game

MHI apologists may never agree, but there has already been plenty of evidence, enough for objective, thinking professionals.

If MHI had serious, substantive answers, they would have given them, right?

Instead – MHI ducked, dodged, distracted, detracted, and defamed.

The rest amounts to details and commentary.

We’ve used the word allege because it’s the proper phrase.

MHI cited Belsky, as was previously reported by the Daily Business News. Have they’ve since overlooked or forgotten him? Or is that Belksy’s research and statements lead to problematic issues for MHI and Berkshire Hathaway?

At the same time, MHProNews and others have provided the industry’s investors, business owners, and thinkers with

  • documents,
  • direct quotes in context, positions they had to do u-turns on, under pressure,
  • and a track record of MHI’s documented failures and missteps.

MHI’s responses can be fisked in more details in the days ahead. But let’s keep it simple today.  Here’s the executive summary of the claims against them. There’s much more, of course, but if they could answer these issues – they’d go a long way in regaining credibility.

If they can’t or won’t answer these, that should be a RED FLAG for the industry.  The graphic below – if used as is – may be shared with others.  Immediately afterwards, there is the searchable text of the same material.  That will then be followed by links to the issues the bullets below raise.

So long as this graphic is used without alternation, authorization to share this is hereby granted. If MHI wants to fact check and reply substantively to the above and what’s linked below, by all means, let them have at it.


They ducked the specific and numerous allegations against them.

Instead, they call for ‘industry unity.’  They showed a flashy chart, hoping no one would fact check it.

We already did.  It didn’t take long. Because MHProNews already knows several of the facts that they’re trying to hide. See those graphics from MHI with our thumbnail analysis, above.


Executive Summary of how the Rigged, Corrupt Manufactured Housing Institute System Works, and How it Benefits Berkshire Hathaway Brands – Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt Mortgage – in Manufactured Housing, Plus some other Favored Companies.

We can summarize how the rigged, corrupt Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) system works like this.

  • Warren Buffett – chairman of Berkshire Hathaway – supports heavy regulators, like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
  • Berkshire Hathaway – with brands such as Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt and others – dominates the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), through dues and the executive committee.
  • MHI postures that they’re ‘fighting’ heavy regulations. But in fact, MHI has often supported new regulations (DOE), and supported heavy regulators – e.g: Pam Danner/HUD, etc.
  • On CFPB and the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, MHI postures wanting to pass the bill. But they declined an opportunity years ago to get the MLO rule lifted by agreement with the CFPB and non-profits. Who was harmed? Independents. Who benefited? Thousands of small companies struggled, faded, or sold out at a reduced value.  The big companies win. The big firms benefit by allowing the regulators to stay in place.  See Hoya Capital/Seeking Alpha data, report, and analysis. NAM, NAHB, and others have done similar research, with similar conclusions. ‘Sam Zell’s math’ previously reported, points to the same outcomes of heavy regulations that go unmitigated.


  • On Preserving Access, MHI counts emails or House passage, but ignores the lack of actual progress, which is the signing of a bill. By the time the bill passes (if it ever does), how many businesses have since sold out for less, or closed down?  Answer: Hundreds, if not thousands.
  • On the Duty to Serve (DTS) by the GSEs and chattel lending, 21st President/CEO Tim Williams (then MHI chairman) is on record saying it was a “waste of time.”
  • Williams admitted in front of a few dozen MHI members that they didn’t provide the GSEs the data they requested. In turn the GSEs used a ‘lack of data’ as their reasons for not doing a more robust DTS program. As MHARR reported, that’s a gift to Berkshire Hathaway’s brands, while harming consumers and independent communities, retailers, and producers of HUD Code manufactured housing.
  • MHI has failed for years to robustly and routinely defend the industry when it comes under unjust attack in media or research. Negative news about manufactured home communities, lending, storms, etc. are widely seen by industry members as one of several causes for the industry’s relatively low sales levels.
  • MHI was given several options other than Berkshire Hathaway brands to provide more lending to the industry. MHI leadership were introduced at the Introduction to Manufactured Housing Opportunities Day to those options.  They were introduced at trade shows.  How many of those alternative solutions did MHI embrace and promote?  Per our sources, zero.
  • MHI’s new videos promote exactly 4 favored, insider operations. What about the rest of the industry? What about the rest of MHI’s own members? In essence, MHI is promoting select members and all of the other members are paying for it.
  • All of this fits the Warren Buffett’s “the Moat” principle.
  • The monopolistic practices of MHI has been lamented across the political and economic spectrum. Examples are Democrats pushing CFPB and DOJ investigations of Berkshire Hathaway and their MHI mouthpiece.  Or pro-consumer, pro-business MHARR implying the monopolistic practices too.  CFED (rebranded Prosperity Now), NMHOA on the left – to past and current MHI members, such as Marty Lavin, Frank Rolfe, George Allen on the center/right have underscored several of these same points.
  • These bullets fit the facts from various MHProNews and MHARR reports over the course of several years.
  • None of these bullets were refuted by MHI’s recent, written response of 1.10.2018.
  • In fact, by calling for “industry unity,” they de facto point to how contraction leads to unity, but in the hands of the few.
  • Several of MHI’s pivots have only come after months or years of critiques by their own members, MHARR, others outside of their organization, and MHProNews/MHLivingNews. Once they pivot, they pretend as if that was their position all along.
  • This is in keeping with Warren Buffett’s stated belief that most don’t think long term and don’t learn the lessons of history. See links, quotes in “Perverse.”

Summary of the summary.

By routinely failing at protecting, educating and promotion of the industry,
by allowing a crunch of the historic credit (including owner financing/rent-to-own) options,
the industry shrank, benefiting the few.  Meanwhile MHI is touting their efforts.

Thousands do okay, fail, or are forced to sell. How is that possible in an era when over 8 million affordable housing units are needed, per NAR and the NLIHC?  How can some organization – given the industry’s legal benefits under enhanced preemption, and if Duty to Serve were both robustly enforced – how could some ‘professional’ organization do so poorly, so consistently?  Are they just poor at performance, or do their puppet masters benefit regardless if they get regulatory relief, or not?

LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC 2018.  All rights reserved, but sharing as is, without alterations, is hereby authorized. 2018 ©.  LifeStyle Factory Homes is the parent company to MHProNews.com and MHLivingNews.com.

Credit is the lifeblood of housing.” – Eric Belsky

There are multiple reasons to expect manufactured housing to do better than site built housing in the [current] decade.”

– Eric Belsky
Executive Director Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University.
Second quote from May 2000 issue of Modern Homes Development, per MHI.

— 30 —

average-shipment-per-decade-manufactured-home-posted-on-mhpronews-com d
MHI failure to help the industry thrive might be summed up in this one chart. There are a number of negative impacts for low volumes of new MH sales. One is that there are fewer used homes on the market. Image credit: Ross Kinzler – Wisconsin Housing Alliance.


Warren Buffett, “the Moat,” Manufactured Housing, Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt, Wells Fargo, NAI…


Maxine Waters Statement, Preserving Access Manufactured Housing Act 2017, Warren Buffett, Clayton Homes

Newspaper Names Clayton Homes, Clinton Foundation, Hillary Clinton In “Swamp After Storm” Post-Disaster “Corruption”

Bank Vault Door Closes on Manufactured Housing Lender

Related report, linked below. http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/els-sam-zell-compliance-costs-destroys-smaller-businesses-consolidation/

Killing Off 100s of Independent Manufactured Home Retailers, Production Companies – Tim Williams/21st Mortgage “Smoking Gun” Document 2

“Perverse”–Warren Buffett-Dodd-Frank, CFPB, Manufactured Housing, Loans, Independent Businesses Fact Check$

HUD’s Pam Danner Announces former MHI VP Lois Starkey Joining HUD

GSE’s Duty to Serve MH Rigged, Benefits 21st, VMF, Clayton, Buffett’s Berkshire, Harming Consumers & Independents, per MH CEO, Calls for Congressional Investigation

Shake Up at HUD Manufactured Housing Program May Stop Industry Overregulation, per MH State Association



Warren Buffett supported POTUS Barack Obama’s candidacy.  Obama’s administration gave us Dodd-Frank. Buffet also supported Sec. Hillary Clinton, saying he believed in her policies.  How could Tim Williams oppose his own boss?

There are several one-liners that MHI should try to answer. Warren Buffett, left, supported Hillary Clinton, who supported Dodd-Frank. Duh? Who does MHI think they are fooling? Credit Wikipedia. Tim Williams, right, credit, LinkedIn. Collage credit, MHProNews. http://www.mhpronews.com/industry-news/industry-in-focus/is-tim-williams-21st-mortgage-ceo-mhi-chair-at-odds-with-berkshire-hathaway-chairman-warren-buffett

“What the Hell?” “The Audacity of Hope” – Obama, Trump, Presidential Promises Kept, & MH

Misusing the legal system, says the Star Tribune in a report linked below, can be a criminal as well as a civil offense.

ICE Raids Ramping Up Nationally, MHC Arrest, & Manufactured Housing Employers Alert

There have been several accusations of monopolistic practices by MHI in favoring Berkshire Hathaway, and possibly others. The article below explains is that too could result in triple damages civil suits, and/or criminal penalties.

Lawsuits for Triple Damages – Anti-Trust, Anti-Monopoly Law, Manufactured Housing, and You

“Self-Evident Truths,” America, Investments, and Manufactured Housing

How can MHI’s president, or other senior staff, look at any industry member with a straight face, when Andy Gallagher apparently felt intimidated about possibly appearing to be taking a position different than MHI?


Andy Gallagher, “Ousting” Pam Danner, MHI, Clayton’s RVP, WVHI – “Transparency”

Manufactured Housing Institute VP Revealed Important Truths on MHI’s Lobbying, Agenda

There’s more, sadly, but true.  Let MHI try to fact check the above, instead of gloss over and then put their hands out, asking for money, when they’ve been accused of being complicit in the destruction of the value of thousands of manufactured home industry businesses.

Frank Rolfe: Pressured into Silence? Manufactured Housing Industry, and Journalism

It’s past due time for a debate.  They’re feeling the heat from MHARR, MHI members, and a number of others.

‘We Want Your Money’ – 2018 MHI Membership, Infographic Fact Check

If they managed to kill me tomorrow (not saying they will, or that they want to – just for dramatic effect – to make the point) or otherwise try to silence MHProNews, the evidence is still here on MHProNews, on MHLivingNews, with MHARR, and others quoted on our pages.

There are already, per Democratic lawmakers, investigations underway.

Why pay dues to a failing, sinking ship? Want more of the same?  It’s your money, your time.  Go right ahead.  It’s America.  But mark my words.  MHI is part of a rigged, corrupt system.  Let them debate me in public and prove me wrong in Louisville. ## (News, fisking, analysis, commentary, links to documents, allegations, comments from members, etc.)

We Provide, You Decide.” ©  (News, fact checks, analysis, commentary.)

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We agree with Warren Buffett on the value of the lessons of history, reading and research. Without those deep insights, the wool can be pulled over other people’s eyes. We respectfully disagree with Mr. Buffett’s politics.

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Kovach is the award-winning managing-member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC,
parent to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.
Both are #1 in their categories.

Kovach is one of the most endorsed and recommended MH industry professionals in all of manufactured housing.