Modular homes in the news 100922 presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.

We begin with these stories:

EVER NOTICE that reports of crime don’t often mention the construction method of where the event occurred, unless it happened in a “mobile home?” Just this week, a half dozen or so stories have come through the wires on crime, fires or other events that specify the type of home in the headline or text. The worst came Tuesday from Southern Maryland Online with the title of “Puppy Perishes in Manufactured Home Fire.”  [Erin, don’t read the website; it will be for the print version only.]

The type of home is not referenced in the article, only in the title. If you see a story that unfairly depicts manufactured home products, or incorrectly uses the words “manufactured”, “mobile” or even “modular”, let us know. We’re actively working to help inform the media on proper use of terms and to help fairly portray manufactured housing products in reports.

THE COMMERCE DEPARTMENT’s U.S. Census Bureau today released data on new residential construction in August 2010.  Permits for new housing units rose 1.8 percent in August. The increase centered on multi-family permits. Analysts expected little change in total permits. Housing starts increased 10.5 percent to its highest level since April, well above private-sector expectations. “Today’s data on housing activity is welcome positive news,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “We’re headed in the right direction, but we know that the housing market is tied directly to jobs and incomes. That’s why this administration will continue to pursue policies, such as the new business investment tax break, that will spur growth and help put more Americans back to work.”

Manufactured Homes in the News…

ACCORDING TO THE HERALD TRIBUNE in Sarasota, Florida, last week, taxes were going up about 18 percent for residents of Bay Indies Mobile Home Park. This week, they are going down. That’s after a resident outcry was heard loud and clear by the Sarasota Country Property Appraisers Office. The 2010 estimated value has been lowered from $42.2 million to $38.3 million. Staff members visited the community to confirm the vacancy rate was about 10 percent, negatively impacting income projections.

ANTHONY WESTBURY, a columnist for Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers, told the story recently about Jean Donohue, a former resident of the Pleasure Cove Mobile Home Park in Fort Pierce, who was evicted when the community closed. According to the report, Donahue wasn’t alone; 180 others—mostly elderly, many in poor health and with little in the way of savings, lost their homes. The plan was to build 900 townhomes on the site, but that was at the peak of the development boom. The plan didn’t materialize and the property was repossessed by the bank. Today it’s an empty lot. Donohue now lives in another manufactured home at a community called Golden Ponds in St Lucie County. She was one of the lucky ones. As Westbury commented, 180 lives were disrupted and several deaths may be attributed to the stress from disruption. “What a waste,” he wrote.

“More Manufactured Housing in the News”

But first, this podcast of News at Noon is sponsored in part by: – Lifestyle Driven Designs by Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber. Furniture, Decors and Model Homes designed for your budgets and your customers’ lifestyles.

Email them at, visit them on the Web at or call 214-941-8341.

Now, back to our stories.

FROM THE WINNIPEG FREE PRESS comes the story of Keith Bowes, who according to the article, built his first mobile home 61 years ago and is owner of Bowes Polar-King Homes on the Trans-Canada Highway. A phone call, however, confirmed the company produces manufactured homes. In the article, Keith Bowes said the homes he manufactures can easily hold up to a Manitoban winter. This is because manufactured homes are insulated on the bottom—where a third of the energy often escapes. As to why—in a city like Winnipeg, with an extremely low vacancy rate for apartments—more mobile home parks aren’t opening up with more people buying the units, Bowes said he knows the answer. “People just don’t know the facts,” he said.”Ours are built for our climate.”

NEBRASKA’S YORK NEWS-TIMES reports that hometown plant manager at Champion Homes, Jerry Haggadone has been inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame Class of 2010 on August 2. Haggadone worked just short of 45 years with the company in numerous management positions. He has been a key leader in getting legislation to bring Modular Homes into acceptance throughout the North Central region.  He served for over 22 years as a Kansas City MH Show board member and helped to establish the Omaha MH Show.

Also inducted were:

Jim Boyts, Skyline Corp, Elkhart, IN, housing manufacturer

Morris Hylton, Jr. Hylton Homes, Ivel, KY

Jess Maxcy, California MHI, Rancho Cucamunga, CA

Jeff Wick, Wick Building Systems, Mazomanie WI

Bill Garpow, Executive Director of the Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association was introduced as Chairman for the next two year term. The RV/MH Hall of Fame, established in 1972, has honored more than 300 industry leaders. It maintains a museum and library of industry history and archives at its 80,000 square foot headquarters in Elkhart, Indiana.

Modular homes in the news…

BCPROGRESSNEWS.COM ran another story on the new homes coming to a site on School Street in Chilliwack, British Columbia. The 33 modular housing units begin to arrive this week. Chilliwack was one of six B.C. communities to be awarded a share of the 330 modular units used to house Olympic athletes in Whistler during the 2010 Winter Olympics. The L-shaped building on School Street will eventually have 11 apartment units on the second floor and 22 units on the top two floors for adults challenged with mental health and addictions. The ground floor will feature office space for Youth Services and other amenities.

FOLLOWING A HIGHLY PUBLICIZED DISPLAY at the World Financial Center in New York City, the Country Living 2010 House of the Year has moved to Crystal Springs Resort in Hardyston, New Jersey.  The home has been reassembled and will re-open on September 24th as the Country Living Green Modular Home Design Center at its new and permanent “country” location. Surrounded by thousands of acres of preserved woodlands and lakes, the design center will be open to the public daily. Promoters say the Country Living Green Modular Home collection offers a range of historically-inspired designs that reflect the comfortable, warm and inviting style found in the pages of the magazine.

In Market News…

IT WAS A SEESAW OF A DAY on Wall Street Tuesday with the Dow ending up seven points in the green. A statement by the Federal Reserve today indicated the pace of recovery in output and employment has slowed in recent months. Also Tuesday, the Labor Department revealed the employment picture has gotten worse in 27 states including Michigan, California and Nevada. After Kentucky and Georgia joined the list, 13 states had unemployment rates above 10% in August, as opposed to 11 the previous month. Manufactured housing stocks were mostly lower, but that didn’t stop Barnes Group and Skyline Corp for logging small gains. The manufactured housing composite value was down a half of a percent.

“On behalf of Production and IT Manager Bob Stovall, Editor L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, Associate Editor Catherine Frenzel, INdustry in Focus reporter Eric Miller, and the entire writing and support team, this is Erin Patla. G’day!”

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