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“Tangled Web” “Deception and Misdirection” – Havenpark Capital-Havenpark Communities, Fannie Mae, Manufactured Housing Institute “Displaced Inc” – MHAction, Warren Buffett, Embarrassing MHIndustry Blogger Fact Check

TangledWebDisplacementIncMHActionLogoGeorgeAllenManufacturedHousingInstituteMHInsiderMHVillageEducateMHCWarrenBuffettFannieMaeFactCheckMHProNews

The proverbial devil is often found in the details of what could be described as a tangled web of oddly interconnected players. To begin to frame this report and analysis, note that Capital Research Center (CRC) merits commendation for several useful research tools and insights. Among them is the wealth of information found on Influence Watch. Influence Watch makes researching nonprofits, their donors, and various connections easier than it would be in the absence of that data-rich and evidenced-based platform. No less important is CRC’s keen phrase “Deception and Misdirection” used in the periodic exposés they publish. Deception and misdirection may be applied to several matters occurring in Washington, D.C. and beyond. With respect to manufactured homes, the notion of deception and misdirection could be applied, for example, to documented Warren Buffett and George Soros “dark money” funded MHAction. The Tides Center backs MHAction, and the left-leaning Tides nonprofit has had for years a money trail that leads back to a Buffett-nonprofit.  MHAction appeared seemingly out of nowhere a few years ago. It is one of an array of ‘popup’ left-leaning nonprofits that arose in the wake of the collapse of the ACORN (The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN)) scandal tied to the Democratic presidential campaign of then Senator Barack Obama in the post-election 2008. MHAction recently published its latest apparent broadside against Havenpark Capital/Havenpark Communities and elements of that manufactured home community consolidator’s funding sources. An example of the pointed aim by MHAction’s “Displacement, Inc.” three dozen page research document is the following pull quote.

“…We use our stories to show how entities like Havenpark Capital, Enterprise Community Partners, and Fannie Mae have disrupted our lives for no other reason than to profit from us. We tell stories to create solutions to our shared struggles. We have to share our stories to keep the fight alive.” — Candi Evans, Golfview Mobile Home Park, North Liberty, Iowa, per Displacement, Inc.

In fairness, MHAction is largely quite correct in much that they report. For example, Havenpark is notoriously known for sometimes double-digit site fee and other rate hikes on short notice. One example from Displaced helps set the context for what follows.

About five months ago, we got a letter saying that another company bought the park, and that there would be new rules. They gave us a 30-day notice announcing that there would be a hike in the rent. Before, lot rent was very affordable: we paid $295 each month until the owner fixed the road about four years ago, when he increased our rent to $325. But when the new company [Havenpark] moved in, our rent increased to $467. They continue to raise the rent and add fees without any explanation. Just this month, our rent increased again to $499. I’m also charged $15 for my dog. The previous company didn’t charge us for owning pets.” Per Displacement that is a resident in Sunrise Village, Iowa City, Iowa. Perhaps it is no surprise that Representative Cindy Axne (IA-D) is co-sponsor on two bills that aim at manufactured housing, one of which has MHI as a stated supporter of the legislation.

 

“Predatory”-MHC Curbs-New U.S. Laws, One Supported by Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Would Impact “Manufactured Home Communities,” “Mobile Home Parks” Nationally – U.S. House Reps Axne Khanna Official Statements, Report, Analysis

“Predatory”, MHC Curbs, New U.S. Laws, One Supported, Manufactured Housing Institute, MHI, Impact, “Manufactured Home Communities”, “Mobile Home Parks”, Nationally, U.S. House Reps, Cindy Axne IA-D, Ro Khanna CA-D, Official Statements, Report, Analysis, Legislation, MHAction, Prosperity Now, ROC USA, National Low Income Housing Coalition,

 

What’s the proverbial rub with MHAction?

For openers, MHAction arguably often fail to state important information. For example. Their solutions – when carefully examined – have demonstrably failed to achieve the goals that they claim to desire. Evidence for that concern is found linked here and here. Nor does MHAction clearly acknowledge their ties to Buffett, Soros and left-leaning billionaires and deep pockets others that make their existence possible. MHAction leaders have declined to acknowledge that those ties may create an apparent conflict-of-interest that raises the concerns about a weaponized, stealthy agenda. More on much of that linked here and later below.

Next. When the contents of the 36-page MHAction “Displaced, Inc.” are placed in MS WORD and a search is done for the term “Fannie,” as in Fannie Mae, there are 45 results. When “Havenpark” is searched, there are 166 results found in Displacement, Inc. But what about a search for Warren Buffett? Or the Manufactured Housing Institute, which boasts having Havenpark and several Buffett brands as members? There are zero results in Displacement for that search reported by the MS WORD navigation tool. The evidence is demonstrated in the collage of screen captures, shown below.

 

DisplacementIncMHActionManufacturedHousingInstituteWarrenBuffettFannieHavenparkCapitalHavenparkCommunitiesSearch6.28.2021

 

By contrast, Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA-D) gets 3 mentions in MHAction’s Displacement.

Let’s note that this author in public comments in FHFA listening sessions with the GSEs has separated the wheat from the chaff from sources such as MHAction, and applied what is correct in a manner that would hold those guilty of problematic behavior to account while also aiming to actually solve the underlying problems.

The well-earned hits on Havenpark by MHAction, or anyone else who publicly decries their arguably “predatory” and well documented business practices, are fine on the surface.

But as noted, that does not mean that there are no problems with Buffett-backed MHAction, as MHLivingNews and MHProNews has apparently covered alone in manufactured housing trade media. For instance, MHAction pushes rent control as a solution, even though one of the larger MHI-member community operators, Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS), has publicly stated that they know how to navigate that issue. If ELS can, surely others are able to as well, as the report linked here details.

https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/predatory-rhp-properties-ceo-ross-partrich-announces-dozens-of-new-manufactured-home-communities-bought-unpacking-rhp-suns-shiffman-els-nader-frank-rolfe-resid/
https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/communist-chinas-beijing-replaces-new-york-city-as-having-the-most-billionaire-residents-carol-roths-insights-war-on-small-business-news-analysis/

 

What is seemingly overlooked by too many is that creating bad news can be a market strategy. Google on this date has over 650,000 results on this search: “bad news” “marketing strategy.” Putting those keywords in search yields a more focused result. Without the quotes there are about 302,000,000 results, per Google.

More on the “deception and misdirection” at work in manufactured housing that arguably aims to undermine white hat independents while benefiting black hat brands that are routinely members of MHI. For newcomers, note that not all MHI members are ‘black hats.’

That noted, let’s pivot to some items of concern by MHAction that point out one of several MHI members that arguably are a black hat predatory brand.

 

Per MHAction’s Displacement:

DisplacementIncHavenparkCapitalEnterpriseCommunityPartnersAffordableHousingManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingActionMHActionLogo
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. With the disclaimers as noted in this report, MHAction’s Displacement Inc is found at this link.

Across the country, manufactured home communities provide millions of people, including low-income families, seniors on fixed income, immigrants, people with disabilities, and those displaced from high-cost cities, with affordable homes and diverse and caring neighborhoods. In these communities, residents own their homes but rent the land beneath their homes from a common community owner. This critical source of affordable housing in rural and exurban areas is under attack. Over the past two decades, financial firms and real estate companies have been buying manufactured home communities out from under the residents. Their goal is not to make homes and communities more stable, accessible, or affordable. Their goal is to extract easy profit from low-income residents.”

Manufactured home communities provide affordable homes across the country. Almost three million households live in an estimated 45,000 to 50,000 communities.1 In these communities, residents rent or own their homes and separately rent the land beneath their homes from a common community owner or landlord. Residents pay lot rent to the community owner for use of the land beneath their homes and for common infrastructure and services. (“Lot rent” is referred to as “rent” throughout this report). This shared ownership structure, often called a land-lease community, has long been a critical source of affordable housing in rural and exurban areas and small cities.2 Manufactured homes cost half or less of a site-built house of comparable size.3 The lower costs have helped to provide affordable homes to low-income families, seniors, people with disabilities, immigrants, people displaced from higher-cost areas, and others in need of affordable housing options. The median household income of a family living in a manufactured home community is about $35,688 annually.4

Manufactured home communities are not just affordable. They are diverse, walkable communities of tight-knit, caring neighbors…”

The full MHAction document is found as a download linked here. Once more for emphasis, while their research is routinely correct, their so-called solutions are problematic and have been proven not to work as advertised. That noted, one more MHProNews pull-quote to make the next point.

But that sense of peace and comfort is under constant attack for many residents who live in communities bought by Havenpark Capital, a private real estate investment company that has purchased and operated manufactured home communities since 2016.5 (Havenpark Capital has since rebranded to Havenpark Communities.)6 According to resident reports, Havenpark is following the business model of real estate and private equity investors that have identified manufactured home communities as lucrative acquisitions from which to extract vast wealth at the expense of residents.7 The corporate buy-up of manufactured home communities is driving residents out of their homes and worsening residents’ health and financial security.8 The impact is devastating, especially on women, people of color, and seniors.”

Carefully read, that is an evidence-based and sobering claim.

But it can also be read in a manner that makes it seem like this problem is so widespread that all residents need to be “protected” against predatory behavior. That would not be accurate or fair. Thousands of independent community owners would never dream of, much less engage in, the type of tactics described by MHAction with respect to larger MHI members that are busy at the consolidation process. There needs to be a bright-line distinction between predatory actors, by name, and those who have not earned that label. That’s what MHLivingNews has done in reports like the one linked below.

 

https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/predatory-rhp-properties-ceo-ross-partrich-announces-dozens-of-new-manufactured-home-communities-bought-unpacking-rhp-suns-shiffman-els-nader-frank-rolfe-resid/

 

Additionally, it must be stressed that if MHAction and their allies are successful in this process, ironically, more independents will throw up their hands and sell out to the very firms that MHAction complain against.

To illustrate that concern, these notions were poised in an emailed request for comment to MHAction executive Kevin Border and attorney Liz Voigt.

On June 10, 2021, MHProNews addressed them in this fashion. The typo, regrettably, is in the original. The screen capture documents the message, the text of which follows that email’s image.

 

KevinBordenLizVoigt6.10.2021MHActionEmail
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.

— Text of 6.10.2021 Email to MHAction —

Voigt certainly has the right to associate with whomever she wishes to professionally or personally. That said, when her history is traced, she has clear ties to several on the left as well as with HUD. Her time with HUD could have given her an exposure to the types of legal solutions that the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has championed for years, which can be boiled down to enforcing existing laws. The Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA) and the Duty to Serve (DTS) Manufactured Housing which were part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) ought to be part of Voigt’s understanding of the manufactured home industry. Put differently, she has a background that could point to obvious solutions. But instead, she and her colleagues at MHAction are engaged in what could be described as a mix of accurately described problems followed by proposed ‘solutions’ that are proven time and again not to achieve the goal they claim. Who benefits from this pattern? Paradoxically, the very consolidators that MHAction claims to be battling against. Once the financial and historic ties are understood, the ‘tangled web’ of veiled agendas begins to come into focus. (Note: this image was not part of the email to Kevin Borden and Liz Voigt. Note 2:  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.

Kevin and Liz,

As you may recall, we are the largest and most-read trade media serving the manufactured home profession.  Our publications have cited your work previously, and we plan to do so again. On some issues, we share similar concerns, as our published comments to the FHFA on 3.25.2021 documented. That said, we want to pose a similar question to you that was posed to Color of Change (further below), which they declined to reply.

As you may realize, the Warren Buffett backed NoVo Foundation has been one of the largest funders of the Tides for some years. It is common for strings to be attached to the receipent nonprofit, in the form of reporting and the like, to document how those donated funds are used and if they are to be continued in the future.

The CFPB reports linked below reflects how much Buffett-led Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) owned brands dominate manufactured home lending, especially in land-lease communities. That in turn has implications for the equity and resale values of millions of manufactured home residents.

Against that background, our specific concerns we request your comments on are as follows.

1) While the facts you cite are routinely accurate, is your advocacy helping or harming Buffett and the big brands that are often Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) members?

  • Please explain your thinking on your reply to that question.

2) Isn’t it obvious that the Tides – and by extension, the NoVo Foundation – are both apparently okay with your sharp attacks and advocacy that by accident or design are arguably part of the Warren Buffett moat methodology?

3) If your advocacy is sincere, then why not couple your sharp attacks with solutions that are grounded in the enforcement of existing laws — such as antitrust, RICO, Hobbs Act, etc.?

 

  • Why not press for the FHFA and HUD to fully enforce the Duty to Serve manufactured housing by promoting lending that would be lower rates and better terms for current and future manufactured homeowners?

 

  • Why push for ‘solutions’ that may be years off, and which in New York, Delaware and elsewhere have not yet accomplished the goals you and others claim to seek?

 

  • Why not press lawmakers and public officials to investigate the Berkshire brands in a transparent fashion, and have public officials do the same with MHI?

 

Please type your reply below each question above in your response for our mutual accuracy in handling.  Note that we plan to report either way, so your feedback should be useful to you and your followers.

While we welcome written feedback on other linked topics, those inquires above are our specific asks today. If something is off the record, please so indicate in your reply.

Thank you.

Tony

## End of body of email to MHAction. ##

 

A similar message was sent to the Color of Change nonprofit. While receipt of those messages were de facto confirmed, each declined comment.

That’s no surprise. Because if the ploy becomes widely understood, then their apparent effectiveness on behalf those that they purport to oppose might be diminished.

But in fairness, such two-faced paltering – a mix of the true and misleading – mixed with deception and misdirection behavior is not limited to MHAction.

The other side of the coin should not be limited to Havenpark. But rather, beyond looking at what corporate players such as Havenpark might say, keen researchers should look at the level of involvement that attaches to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).  The disconnects between MHI’s claims and what their members are saying and doing are illustrated in reports like the one linked below.

Fresh Insights from Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Member Community Consolidator Undermines MHI’s Claimed Agenda – Publicly-Traded Manufactured Housing Properties Inc (OTC- MHPC) Investor Pitch by MHI National Communities Council (NCC) Member

 

GeorgeFAllenCommunityInvestorEducateMHC-ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIawardwinnerMHProNews
Allen is proudly holding a Manufactured Housing Institute award. Note that not all MHI members have a problematic history. That noted, Allen and several MHI board members and member brands have a stunningly embarrassing history of legal, regulatory, and mainstream media spotlights that revealed problematic behavior. Once the nature of MHI, Allen and others in that orbit is understood, greater clarity on what has caused years of underperformance in manufactured housing begins to emerge.

Havenpark and other consolidators – numbers of which are “predatory” too – are routinely MHI members. Some are MHI members and/or members of an MHI “state affiliate.” Given that MHI has a so-called code of ethical conduct, how does that dynamic work in practice? Because, as noted above, while MHAction has an apparent agenda in their so-called ‘solutions,’ their factual claims are routinely accurate. So, once more, with paltering – partial truths – deception and misdirection in mind, let’s probe how MHI and their ‘amen corner’ operates.  That will be done via the recent example of longtime MHI member and blogger, George F. Allen, a retired Marine officer.

George Allen claims to be a defender and advocate of independent manufactured home communities. Here is how he describes himself and his goals on his own blog in his own words.

The following is a common phrasing, pulled directly from one of Allen’s blog posts. It is a multi-year routine for this blogger to repeat this formulaic opening to each one of his typically weekly posts. Spacing errors and typos are in the original. “Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.

This blog posting is sole national advocate, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter, education resource & online communication media for North American land lease communities

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Online media goal? Inform, opine, transform & improve manufactured housing shipment & land lease community lifestyle! “

Allen is also listed as a “contributing editor” with MHInsider, which has clearly documented ties to MHI. See the illustration below. It is fair to say that MHInsider does not publish content that calls into question MHI’s policies or performance.

 

MHInsiderLogoMHInsidermastheadGeorgeFAllenContributingEditorDrLesliGoochPhDMHICEOContributorManufacturedHomeProNewsMHProNewsFactCheckAnalysis
The top half of the MHInsider masthead is shown above. The bottom half is shown below. 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.
MHVillageLogoMHInsider
The bottom half of the MHInsider masthead is shown above.  Note that MHProNews, on several occasions, has offered opportunities for those fact-checked to respond in writing. One such recent response by Allen is shown below. But often, those fact-checked will demure.  While we get typos, our reports carefully seek to lay out the facts and evidence in a manner that others could retrace the steps and see for themselves the accuracy of the claims made.  Then, a common sense analysis is applied to the facts revealed. This methodology takes time, but it is perhaps the most effective way to demonstrate in a convincing manner what has gone wrong in the most proven affordable housing solution in modern America.  Manufactured housing at this time is operating at perhaps some 30 percent of its prior 1998 high, and at about 20 percent of its all time highs.  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.

When carefully examined, Allen’s claims prove to be anything but connected to the interests of manufactured home community owners. For more details on the broader issue of MHI’s amen corner, including Allen, see the postscript of the report linked below.

 

“Legitimate” – American Capitalists, Chinese Communists, U.S. Media, Education, Politics – ‘Mystery’ of Affordable Housing and Manufactured Housing Gone Awry – plus Sunday Weekly Manufactured Home Headlines Review

” It seems to me that education has a two-fold function to perform in the life of man and in society: the one is utility and the other is culture. Education must enable a man to become more efficient, to achieve with increasing facility the ligitimate goals of his life.”

After several possible examples periodic pressure by reporting revelations to live up to his claimed mantle, Allen recently published two blog posts that bring up the issues caused by Havenpark by name, as raised by MHAction. Note that two results on Allen’s blog are in roughly the last 5 weeks. Prior to those recent mentions that followed several nudges by MHProNews, Allen only mentioned them once at that was two years ago.

 

HavenparkSearchGeorgeAllenBlog3
No endorsement of Allen is implied by quoting him or his blog. Quite the contrary, Allen arguably employs paltering, deception and misdirection himself. While during recent years he may seem, at times, to be calling into question this or that MHI member, a closer look at his history reflects that he may have given de facto if not actual cover for problematic behavior in the past, both claims evidenced from his own blog. Without the lens of history and the passage of time, some of Allen’s, MHI’s, MHAction’s et al methods could be missed. But with time and a careful look at claims vs. outcomes, sobering realities emerge.

 

Allen recently postured bemoaning Havenpark’s practices, but then fails to clearly tie up the demonstrable fact that Havenpark are an MHI/National Community Council (NCC) member. While he lightly, and obliquely, references the organizations (MHI/NCC) that he has long been a member of, he does not do so by name. Nor does Allen point out – as the above outline and linked reports have – that apparent ties between Buffett’s donor bucks and MHAction. Indeed, upon close inspection, Buffett led Berkshire-Hathaway owned brands dominate numerous state associations, as well as MHI. Who says? A state-association affiliated with MHI that is a member of the Manufactured Housing Executives Council (MHEC).

 

What that MHEC member did not specify is are the reported reasons why there are significant levels of attrition and consolidation.

 

Put differently, Buffett bucks are on both sides of what look like battle lines. This methodology was previously used by Buffett-backed groups in the battle over the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act. Millions were spent during the Obama-Biden years in a vain attempt to move the needle on a bill that President Obama reportedly said he would veto if it somehow managed to hit his desk. Buffett’s backing of President Obama is a well known reality too.

Rephrased, for over a decade, Buffett’s influence has been on both sides of the issues that have thwarted manufactured homes during an affordable housing crisis. The result? That and other “moat” schemes have made it possible for Clayton Homes to move from about a 13 percent to 50 percent market share between 2003 and 2018. Buffett’s price lending benefited too, as the CFPB documented in an exclusive statement to MHProNews associated with their recent report on manufactured home lending.

 

CFPBNewEvidenceCaseVsWarrenBuffettRacistPredatoryIronTriangleSabotagingMonopolyBerkshireHathawayClaytonHomes21stMortVanderbiltFinManufacturedHousingInstituteLogosMHProNews
https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/masthead/cfpb-gives-new-evidence-of-predatory-iron-triangle-sabotaging-monopoly-racist-case-against-warren-buffett-led-berkshire-hathaway/

 

None of this is new to longer term MHProNews/MHLivingNews readers who pay attention. For instance, our platforms alone have published the concerns raised by Samuel “Sam” Strommen at Knudson Law, referenced in the email above to MHAction and which is referenced by MHI’s purportedly slippery “deception and misdirection” side-kick, blogger Allen.

 

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

 

Negative News and More Regulations Can Be Useful to Larger Manufactured Housing Companies

It is worth noting that Allen mentioned Havenpark on Saturday, June 8th, 2019 took one of several thinly veiled hits on this publication’s coverage of the Manufactured Housing Institute and their various dominating brands. Note how Allen muddies the waters as he attempts to straddle the fence in a manner that protects his ‘brand’ without calling into serious question MHI and some larger community members.

Per Allen in June 8th, 2019:

In fairness to MHInsider, at least they have mentioned Dan Urness. One of their own contributors, George Allen, on his own blog has not mentioned this latest chapter in the periodic drama of MHI member Cavco’s ongoing issues with the SEC. When MHI’s leadership are carefully examined, it is stunning how often they are tied to problematic issues. at all, per the search result on this date using his site’s search tool. Oops. NOTE: 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.

Then described how U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, with Iowa representative Dave Loebsack, recently wrote to private equity firm Havenpark Capital, of Utah, about that firm’s 58% ‘rent increase’ at Golfview MH Court, i.e. springing rental homesite rates from $315 to $490/month.

Well, since then, Senator Warren has sent additional ‘demand for information’ letters to other private equity firms, all relatively new to investing in the land lease communities; including, but now wholly listed:

  • Stockbridge (CA): YES! Communities
    • Federal Capital Partners (MD): Horizon Land
    • Brookfield Asset Management (NY): RHP Properties
    • Blackstone (NY): Treehouse Communities
    • TPG Capital (NY): RV Horizons, now in part, ImpactMHC
    • The Carlyle Group (NY)
    • Apollo Global Management Group (NY): Inspire Communities
    • Centerbridge Capital: Carefree Communities

In that same post, Allen quotes an unnamed source to say this “Another Point of View…”

Combined, these companies [presumably those named in the bullets above] have stepped forward to invest millions (probably billions) of dollars to preserve and improve affordable manufacture home communities in America. At the same time, the federal government has imposed costly mandates that pushed Mom & Pop operators to sell or close their communities. As you know, manufactured housing is a federally-regulated production product. A more fruitful inquiry might be why the federal government has abandoned these homeowners by making it nearly impossible to go to a federally-regulated bank for an affordable home mortgage.”

Says Allen in reply to the above from his blog, as he worms through the various issues…

Well, how would you respond to this Another Point of View? Me? I’m uncertain these private equity firms have indeed ‘preserved and improved affordable land lease communities’. In some cases, sure; but otherwise, no. That jury is still out deliberating. And, I’m unsure what ‘costly mandates’ are being referred to here? Since rent control is usually a local or state statute, maybe we’re talking about tightened financial regs per CFPB; also stricter reporting regs relative to wastewater treatment effluent and potable water supply. But the writer has a point where lack of even reasonable access to chattel capital for new manufactured housing loans continues to be a major challenge for the industry and realty asset class.”

After John Oliver, the Private Equity Stakeholder Project (the later of which also has Buffett-buck ties), and other exposes, Allen dares to say: that “Me? I’m uncertain these private equity firms have indeed ‘preserved and improved affordable land lease communities’. In some cases, sure; but otherwise, no. That jury is still out deliberating.” Allen straddles the fence. But the evidence was already clear cut when he punted on holding Havenpark and others properly to account when he had numerous opportunities to do so. By contrast, since the ‘aha’ light came on, MHLivingNews and MHProNews have consistently held the corporate powers – and their favored MHI association – to account.

 

HBOJohnOliverLastWeekTonightMobileHomesVideoManufacturedHomeCommunitiesFactCheckMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMastheadTonyKovach
Sources in Allen’s orbit periodically provide MHProNews various insights. They have credibly evidenced that Allen is a reader of our platforms. That means, he may well have read this report above, which documented in a methodical and evidenced-based fashion the clear ties between problematic brands Oliver ripped for predatory behavior, and membership in the Manufactured Housing Institute. https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/hbos-john-oliver-on-last-week-tonight-mobile-homes-video-manufactured-home-communities-fact-check/

Allen’s periodic meetings are often sponsored by companies that use his gathers as networking opportunities to buy out independents. Allen has effectively said so, though not too directly, himself. Allen is not going to bite the hand that feeds him, as a client of his told MHProNews:With George, it is AAA. All About Allen.” No surprise, as in so many cases it is all about ‘following the money trail.’ Follow the money, see who benefits and who is harmed, and the clarity of the tangled webs begins to emerge.

 

CheckYourFactsQuoteFollowTheMoneyQuoteSharylAttkissonPhotoQuotableQuotesMHProNews6

 

 

But earlier in that same blog post quoted above, Allen underscores his true colors. He praises MHI for their part in the Innovative Housing Showcase (IHS) in 2019. Never mind that informed sources told MHProNews that it was MHI members that made that move, and had to drag MHI along. Such facts would be inconvenient for Allen’s slippery “deception and misdirection” attempted deflect and defense of MHI/NCC.  Said Allen, after (wrongly) praising MHI: “Still, this question begs answering: Where were sister national manufactured housing entities and favored press representative?” That first part of that is an Allen-esque reference to the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR). MHProNews asked MHARR about that at the time. MHARR advised MHProNews that no MHARR members opted to participate, but they were asked if they wished to do so. Perhaps they did not want to share the stage with MHI members, did not feel the cost was worth it to them, or whatever other motivations may have prompted them not to attend. Note that Clayton Homes did not participate either. While the motivations for these decisions not to engage with the Innovative Housing Showcase (IHS). For whatever reasons, MHARR members and the vast majority of MHI members did not opt to engage in that fashion. Meaning, Allen’s barb misses the mark when it is carefully examined based on available additional information.

The second part of that Allen question “…and favored press representative” is a thinly veiled shot by the ex-Vietnam veteran at this platform MHProNews/MHLivingNews.  That phrase, “…favored press representative” is an interesting choice of words. While we are not favored by MHI at this time, however, it is well documented that both of our pro-industry, pro-consumer trade media were previously praised by MHI leaders. As a disclaimer, MHI, MHARR, and several of the brands we report on have been or are MHProNews sponsors. Some MHI members still sponsor, but they do so indirectly. Our trade reports follow the evidence, facts, and apply the expert insights that routinely stand the test of time.  That may explains why this is the runaway largest and most read trade media in manufactured housing. Allen – in that sense – is thus correct in saying we are “favored” by industry readers, because the data supports it.  Allen, MHInsider and others – given several opportunities to disprove that, routinely – and wisely – decline.

 

 

Back to Allen’s June 8th, 2019 post.

GeorgeFAllenCommunityInvestorEducateMHC-ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIawardwinnerMHProNews
Allen’s claim at the left is contradicted by reports from other MHI members to MHProNews. But those followers of his that may not read our publication may not realize that misleading if not deceptive claim about MHI. Similarly, Allen – knowing that many of his followers are Trump-MAGA supporters – invokes the 45th president. Oddly, and tellingly, the data demonstrates that following IHS, manufactured home industry shipments continued their modest decline.

Point? To the best of anyone’s recollection, this was the first time in 70+ years of manufactured housing history, our type factory-built housing was on display, for thousands to see and visit! Yes, MHI had to scramble to get these homes in place, but they did – and the manufactured housing industry will benefit from their largesse. Anecdotally, even NAHB members wandered over to walk through the three HUD-Code homes, thinking they were site-built. And an unintended (positive) consequence of being displayed near expensive prototypes of innovative housing, was how, by comparison, manufactured homes are much more attractive, spacious, and affordable!”

While it is true that there are potential positives that could be pointed to from that event, manufactured housing finished 2019 down once again. That is the data-point where the rubber meats the road. But facts are no deterrent for bloviation by some.

So, just as many American citizens would like to see the secular press/media ‘back off’ its’ ongoing criticism of President Trump – and start ballyhooing his successes, the naysayers targeting the New Type manufactured housing would also do well to back off their persistent criticism, and commit now to participate in next year’s INNOVATIVE HOUSING SHOWCASE, all the while, encouraging positive trade press coverage of manufactured housing.”

Translation of Allen’s missive? In his view, it is a mistake for MHProNews, MHLivingNews – or for that matter, MHARR – to criticized MHI. He attempts to link criticism of Trump as being akin to criticism of MHI.

Again, never mind that each of those controversial community brands Allen named with those bullets quoted above are MHI members, and/or have other ties to MHI and their dominating brands. Facts that are inconvenient are blown aside by Allen’s bold red herring tactics.  Indeed, per sources, MHI – whose leaders reportedly have no actual love for Allen – brought him ‘back’ into their fold in part to act as a foil for this publication. That move has largely failed, as our domination of industry news continues despite Allen’s missives.

 

 

Moving Toward the Conclusion of this Masthead Commentary…

Sir Walter Scott is credited with writing in 1808: “Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” No Sweat Shakespeare says: “’Oh what a tangled web we weave/When first we practice to deceivemeans that when you lie or act dishonestly you are initiating problems and a domino structure of complications which eventually run out of control.”

Abraham Lincoln had a similar insight.

 

By carefully tracking the various statements and claims, past or present, by Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, MHI, et al, MHProNews is able to demonstrate the apparent disconnects between their prior claims and their later deeds.

 

The fine folks behind MHI, Allen, MHAction, et al have been playing rope a dope for years. It frankly worked for some time, until certain sources began to provide keen tips to MHProNews. When MHProNews began to expose those concerns, MHI responded by inviting this writer off one of the Suppliers Division board, which industry peers had elected me to serve on. That wasn’t enough, as we kept asking questions and pressing what should have been obvious concerns. MHI then invited our firm to depart MHI all together in writing, under the guise that they did not have a category for media. That is obvious nonsense, as they have others who publish as members. What it amounts to is that MHI wanted only cheerleading media.

 

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Its slick. Razzle Dazzle. Smoke and mirrors. They say all sorts of sweet sounding words, but if it were true, why did the industry experience a 2.5 year downturn during an affordable housing crisis? Smoke and mirrors!
ExposeLeadershipTeamDarrenKrolewskiPhotoDatacompMHVillageMHInsiderLogosMarketingClaimsFactCheckInfographicAnalysisMHProNews
Following reports and fact checks like the one linked below, MHInsider began to mask the viewership of their blog posts. They were frankly embarrassingly low, which explains why they hid the data. When readership is low, why do they publish this then? Sources indicate that hard copies of the MHInsider is provided to certain potential or actual investors. That raises several possible legal issues, which merits a separate report. That said, showing their images and logos should not be construed as an endorsement, as the fact-check and analysis below will make clear. https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/masthead/expose-darren-krolewski-datacomp-mhvillage-mhinsider-marketing-claims-fact-check-infographic-and-analysis/

 

Mark Twain was right. It takes more time and effort to demonstrate the lie, “deception and misdirection” that it does to spin the con job in the first place. That noted, Lincoln and Scott were right. Given enough time and enough rope, those who aim to dupe others have an ever harder time keeping the truth straight.

The simple fact that manufactured housing – the most proven form of affordable housing in America, which has been underperforming since the dawn of the Berkshire era to the benefit of a few and at great cost to the many –

 

CFPBNewEvidenceCaseVsWarrenBuffettRacistPredatoryIronTriangleSabotagingMonopolyBerkshireHathawayClaytonHomes21stMortVanderbiltFinManufacturedHousingInstituteLogosMHProNews
https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/masthead/cfpb-gives-new-evidence-of-predatory-iron-triangle-sabotaging-monopoly-racist-case-against-warren-buffett-led-berkshire-hathaway/

 

Allen likes to do ‘magic tricks.’ He’s quite good at them.  Which is to say, Allen is good at the old slight-of-hand. The case can be made that Allen and MHI have more in common than what separates them.

Allen’s own words hoist him on his own petard. MHAction has been in some ways more clever. But both, when carefully examined, are revealed to be employing paltering, deception, misdirection and a select use of evidence.

 

Summing Up

There are years of third-party reports and evidence that supports the case for a more widespread use of modern manufactured homes. The industry has been underperforming. Buffett-led Berkshire, per Kevin Clayton, would give him “plenty of money” to do anything that Clayton wants and needs. But what they have done is not what has benefited the industry’s independents. Who says? Ironically, Kevin Clayton.

 

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https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/masthead/dems-provide-revealing-clayton-info-kevin-clayton-ceo-clayton-homes-federal-testimony-yields-apparent-agreements-with-mharr-concurs-with-manufactured-housing-institute-berkshire-hathaway-fhfa-and/

 

An elected official cancelled on speaking to an Allen, making a polite excuse of a scheduling conflict, when his office learned about the various controversies involving Allen and his so-called education.

 

If MHAction cared so deeply about ‘victims’ of ‘predatory companies,’ where were they on this issue? MHProNews knows from multiple sources that MHAction was aware of these events, but opted not to act on behalf of those residents. George Allen has direct ties to Tom Lackey, who has been showcased by MHVillage, George Allen, and others.  State officials probed Lackey’s business practices, which have ties to Allen’s “education.”  Tangled web? Learn more, linked here.

 

MHI’s and Allen’s so-called education and promotion has magically managed to cause new HUD Code manufactured home shipments to slide for most of the last 2½ years.

 

Facts and evidence matter. The 2.5 year overall downward trend finally reversed in March 2021, but the data is preserved at this link here. https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/years-of-state-national-level-manufactured-housing-factual-data-find-your-states-production-shipment-info-here-troubling-manufactured-home-affordable-housing-trends-issues-and-fact-checks/

 

It was not until the superheated demand for housing in the last two months of data reporting that manufactured housing began to reverse that downward slide.

 

https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/masthead/manufactured-housing-production-improves-in-2-of-3-categories-official-april-2021-data-trends-mharr-manufactured-home-pro-news-analysis/

 

These are troubling facts. Each of these claims is documented. MHI and their would be defenders like Allen or others won’t touch these claims. Why? Perhaps because MHI’s loyal member Andy Gedo tried it a couple of years ago. After making several useful admissions in the public debate, Gedo bowed out gracefully.

 

https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/debate-current-former-manufactured-housing-institute-members-battle-over-clayton-homes-mhi-other-key-member-activities-and-industry-performance/

 

Our nation and our industry are being subverted from within. Who says?

  • Regarding America, how about the 45th President of the United States, President Trump?
  • About our industry? How about one of the longest serving members of our profession, and an ex MHI VP, Danny Ghorbani?
  • Or a prior MHI President and CEO? Or the executive director of the Modular Home Builders Association?

 

The list could go on, but the point is made. Yes, “Displaced” has vexing facts that merit investigation and effective action, such as what Strommen suggested. Market rigging can be illegal. Causing massive economic harm to millions, and taxpayers, may be criminal – said Strommen.

 

https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/machine-of-human-suffering-berkshire-hathaways-clayton-homes-manufactured-housing-institute-attorneys-response-to-allegations-felony-abuses-knudson-law/

 

The time is long overdue for public officials to use their subpoena powers to bring forth the documents and testimony under oath that would bring these horrors to a just end. MHAction is correct about the problems, even though they are wrong about the solutions.

It took a populist movement to bring a big antitrust push in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It may happen once again. ###

 

 

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https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/masthead/4-quick-documented-examples-of-manufactured-housing-institute-leaders-publicly-ducking-out-on-explaining-their-performance-or-lack-thereof-els-howard-walker/

 

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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

 

Related References:

The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which can be accessed by clicking on them.

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https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/masthead/june-is-national-homeownership-month-nar-nahb-p-e-p-and-manufactured-housing-institute-factual-evidence-based-curious-eye-opening-comparisons/
https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/updated-mobile-homes-manufactured-homes-conventional-housing-comparisons-data-and-infographics-2021-third-party-researched-facts-from-trailers-to-affordable-modern-manufactured-housing/

 

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https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/dominating-manufactured-housings-top-50-2020-year-in-review-by-manufactured-home-professionals-news-analysis/

 

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