In less than 2½ years, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) first built, and then recently revised their website. MHARR states clearly that their mission is to support independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes. So for the vast majority of the industry, why should MHARR’s new website matter?
That’s a fair question, and one that needs to be pondered, because the lessons from the MHARR website are many. They go well beyond the organization’s strict limits, because they have been picked up by mainstream news outlets such as the Washington Post, Housing Wire, and the Digital Journal. Meaning, they have influenced the understanding of manufactured housing industry related issues.
MHARR and their website has also been spotlighted in Congressional discussions and by other federal agencies. And of course, they have been discussed by other manufactured housing industry trade groups, trade media – like MHProNews, MHLivingNews, but others too – including bloggers, and more.
Both the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and MHARR for years had MHProNews publish virtually all of each group’s respective emailed updates. For whatever reasons, MHI often did not publish on their own website what they did through our platform on MHProNews. Hold that thought.
When MHI stopped asking MHProNews to publish their emailed updates, at the time it may have seemed odd. Hold that thought too for a moment, as we will return to it shortly.
By contrast, since MHARR has had their website, virtually every item they email out to their members also gets published online, so that all may see it. If an organization is serious about a policy position, why would they or any other want to hide or limit it?
That said, let’s circle back to the MHI points left hanging earlier. Given the fact that MHI has often said several things to their members, but has failed to promote – or prominently promote – those same issues, even on their own website, that begs the question.
- Why the lack of transparency by MHI? If they are sincere about a given statement, why is it missing from their own website?
- Why – by contrast is MHARR willing to allow anyone to examine their writings?
- If an organization is serious about their policy positions, which makes the most sense if a trade group wants to persuade and influence others?
Put or viewed differently, when MHI stopped having MHProNews publish their emailed news updates, was that a subtle signal of deceptive behavior yet to come? By contrast, MHARR news continues to be published here.
With that tee-up, here is MHARR’s announcement about their website version 2.0. It will be followed by one more item of analysis and commentary, plus some of our customary related reports.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: MHARR
MHARR ANNOUNCES NEW WEBSITE
Washington, D.C., September 9, 2019 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing producers of manufactured housing regulated under federal law by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today the establishment of its new internet website, which can be found at www.manufacturedhousingassociation.org.
MHARR, which was formed in 1985 to represent the views and interests of independent manufactured housing producers, primarily in relation to matters involving regulation by HUD and other federal agencies, has, in recent years, branched-out into other areas affecting the production and sale of federally-regulated manufactured homes, including, but not limited to, discriminatory zoning and placement restrictions, and efforts to expand the availability of consumer financing for purchases of manufactured homes.
The MHARR website, which will be open to both members and the public on an equal access basis, will feature regulatory comments and correspondence, industry trade press articles, production reports and other news and information pertaining to the manufactured housing industry and MHARR’s efforts in Washington, D.C. on behalf of smaller industry businesses.
In Washington, D.C., MHARR President and CEO, Mark Weiss, stated: “MHARR is extremely pleased to offer this website to both our members and the public, in order to highlight the benefits and advantages of inherently affordable HUD Code manufactured homes. It will also provide accurate and factual information to federal decision-makers, other industry members and the public at large regarding MHARR’s ongoing efforts to ensure fair and reasonable regulation of the industry, financing parity with other types of housing, the inclusion of manufactured housing in all relevant government housing programs, and the availability of high-quality and durable manufactured homes at a price that is affordable, without subsidies, for Americans at every rung of the economic ladder.”
Weiss continued: “MHARR’s website will be updated with new information on a regular basis and will fill what is now a significant void for the industry, government and elected officials, as well as the public at large, in that it will offer specific, detailed information on key regulatory and related issues from the unique perspective of the industry’s traditional core of smaller businesses. That information, moreover, will not be hidden behind ‘membership walls,’ or other restrictive devices.”
The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing.
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MHARR’s content had an impact on manufactured home industry discussions even when it was just being published on the now-defunct Journal of Manufactured and Modular Housing, or now for nearly a decade here at MHProNews. But the prudence of having their own website became clear, precisely when the Journal stopped publishing. Years of content from MHARR that predated MHProNews is no longer available online. That’s a loss of history, organizational or institutional memory, and more.
MHARR’s website is arguably continuing to have an impact on policy discussions in Washington, D.C., as the report below reflects.
Another way to contrast what their new website means for MHARR vs. MHI or the National Association for Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) is the insights from the screen captures below.
On the topic of enhanced preemption, MHI claims to support it. But they are essentially invisible on their own website, even though they have about a two-decade head start online. By contrast, MHARR dwarfs the MHI results on this and other key topics.
That’s food for thought on your second episode for manufactured housing’s runaway most-read “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)
Submitted by Soheyla Kovach for MHProNews.com.
Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com. Connect with us on LinkedIn here and here.
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