Nathan Smith, Prior MHI Chair, MHI Gov’t Relations Chair, SSK Communities vs. Lesli Gooch Manufactured Housing Institute SVP Position Statements

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIIndustryHasntAlwaysBeenForthrightWithItselfNathanSmithSSKCommunitiesPriorMHIChairGovtRelationsChairMHProNewsNathan Smith is often described as a jovial, successful professional.  He has attracted significant attention inside and outside of the manufactured housing (MH) industry. His SSK Communities are large enough to make the top 50 list among manufactured home community (MHC) operators.

So, when Smith speaks, MH industry pros listen.

Smith has become a serious player in the Democratic Party, but has told MHProNews that he has and is willing to support candidates from either the GOP or the Democratic political parties.

Smith has been active in a number of state associations, including Kentucky and Indiana.

But he is best known for his activity at the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), as a previous executive committee member, MHI’s Chairman, and as chair of their important Government Relations (GR) committee.

Smith has praised MHI’s staff on several occasions, verbally and in writing.

So, industry professionals will find the numerous disconnects between MHI’s Senior Vice President (SVP) Lesli Gooch, Ph.D. and what Smith said in this exclusive MHProNews video interview noteworthy.

Smith says in his own words that “the industry” – clearly speaking in the context was MHI, and using a common euphemism MHI applies to describe its self-described representation of the industry as a whole – has often not been “forthright” (i.e. honest) with itself.


Didn’t MHI fail to be proactive in the issue raised in the latest Masthead blog? See that, linked here. The Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act is being discussed in the video, among investment, general industry, and other topics. Still image from video below, credits Manufactured Homes,

Specifically, MHI has often not been “proactive” says Smith, in dealing with issues facing the manufactured housing industry.

While a statement like that may seem expected from the independent producers’ trade group – the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) – to hear that so candidly from MHI’s then chairman is noteworthy.

Further, the partner in SSK Communities has made a strong statement that Gooch took exception on with respect to a video interview that Marty Lavin did with MHProNews.  Yet, Lavin and Smith made very similar points about the impact of CFPB regulations on manufactured home consumers.

Gooch vs. Smith – Disconnects

Gooch didn’t want to stress the under $20,000 loan point in promoting Preserving Access.  She wanted to promote instead a later revision made by MHI’s GR, to focus on lending in the under $70,000 loan range.

Was that a reactive move by Gooch?  Something that Smith said he wanted MHI to avoid in the future?

Another disconnect within MHI is their promoting their D.C. fly-in, which recently took a reported 60 percent drop in attendance from last year.

Smith advocated for something similar to what MHI/NCC member Frank Rolfe has too, as the video below reflects. Rolfe, as regular Daily Business News readers know, has stated that Preserving Access is a waste of time, based upon what his representative told him.

But perhaps the biggest bombshell in this 2 minute, 16 second video is Smith’s closing statement about manufactured home communities.  Some would call his comment an admission.  While it was delivered as a joke, wasn’t Smith making a point in a humorous way that he clearly believes in?

To see a more detailed review of the issues raised in this video interview with Nathan Smith, and a surprising admission by MHI President and CEO, Richard A. “Dick” Jennison in an approximately 20 second video, please click here.

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