There is significant effort invested in comparing positions and actions by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and the smaller, but feistier watchdog and advocacy efforts at the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR). Against the backdrop of that routine drumbeat of MHI efforts vs. MHARR’s decades of consistency, it may be useful to step back and invest a few minutes to compare instead MHI vs. the Modular Home Builders Association (MHBA), led by Executive Director Tom Hardiman. What could that point of comparison be between MHBA and MHI? A reasonable example could be the significantly different response by MHI and MHBA to the announcement of the Biden housing plan.
MHI said this in their email to members on the topic of the Biden plan for housing and other measures.
“…MHI is currently reviewing the provisions of the proposal to identify opportunities for manufactured housing and areas of concern for our members.
Below is a high-level summary of some of the major funding areas in the plan that are potentially relevant to the manufactured housing industry:
- Produce, preserve, and retrofit more than one million rental homes through a combination of tax credits, formula funding, grants, and project-based rental assistance.
- Build and rehabilitate more than 500,000 homes for low- and middle-income home buyers, including through the passage of the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act.
- Eliminate exclusionary zoning and harmful land use policies by establishing a new competitive grant program to award funding to jurisdictions that “take concrete steps to eliminate such needless barriers to producing affordable housing.”
- Extend and expand commercial efficiency tax credits for weatherization and establish a $27 billion Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator focused on mobilizing private investment for distributed energy resources; retrofits of residential, commercial, and municipal buildings; and clean transportation.
- Prioritize building “future proof” broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas so that the nation reaches 100 percent high-speed broadband coverage.
- Prioritize support for broadband networks owned, operated by, or affiliated with local governments, non-profits, and co-operatives.
- Promote transparency and competition among internet providers, including lifting barriers that prevent municipally-owned or affiliated providers and rural electric co-ops from competing on an even playing field with private providers, and requiring internet providers to clearly disclose the prices they charge.
- Reduce the cost of broadband internet service and promote more widespread adoption by working with Congress to find a solution to reduce internet prices for all Americans, increase adoption in both rural and urban areas, hold providers accountable, and save taxpayer money.
Water Infrastructure Components
- Replace 100 percent of the nation’s lead pipes and service lines by calling on Congress to invest $45 billion in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and in Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN) grants.
- Upgrade and modernize America’s drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater systems, tackle new contaminants, and support clean water infrastructure across rural America.
In fairness, MHI has reasonably summed up in the above several of the points from the Biden plan. But a reasonably summary is not the same as fisking or unpacking said summary in an analysis that reveals why this plan appears on several levels to be bad for the interests of manufactured housing independents and the vast majority of all consumers. Hardiman’s analysis of the same plan, shown below, will illustrate that point vividly.
So, what did the MHBA say on this same topic that MHI addressed above? Let’s look from Hardiman’s public blog post on the ModularHousing.org website.
Ronald Reagan once quipped “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, I’m from the Government and I’m here to help.” Never have those words rang truer than when I read the White House release on the American Jobs Act and the administration’s plan to deliver affordable housing.
The plan proposes to pair $213 billion in direct funding with more than $100 billion in new and expanded tax credits with bipartisan support to build and modernize housing across the country. Specifically, the plan would expand access to federal subsidies that enable the construction or rehabilitation of more than 1 million affordable rental housing units. A significant portion of those funds would bolster the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program (LIHTC), the primary vehicle to address affordable housing in our country.
Let’s pause right there to address the elephant in the room. The LIHTC Program has not been able to meet anywhere near the need for affordable housing in this country. In our own white paper published in 2019, we cited a report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition in which they reported:
A shortage of seven million available and affordable rental homes for America’s Extremely Low-Income (ELI) renters in its annual report, “The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes 2019,” released on March 14, 2019. This shortage leaves only 37 available and affordable homes for every 100 ELI renter households. The Coalition found that no state or major metropolitan area has an adequate supply of rental housing for its poorest renters.
So, the Administration’s answer is to dump more tax-payer money into a program that is not working. But that’s just the beginning of the problem. In the release, the plan calls for a requirement for employers to pay workers prevailing wages; enter into project labor, community workforce, and local hire agreements; and use workers from registered apprenticeships and other labor or labor-management training programs.
Did you know that the prevailing wage rate for a carpenter in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania is $55.54 with fringe benefits? Given the extreme labor and housing shortage, how will forcing contractors to pay inflated unions rates do anything to help address affordability? Short answer: it will not. It will simply drive developers away from the LIHTC program and construction of affordable housing units altogether. The projects simply will not pencil out.
But we’re not done yet. Yesterday Biden’s Commerce Department leaders also announced their desire to double the tariffs on Canadian lumber from 9% to 18.32%. Does anyone in D.C. realize what has been happening to the price of lumber over the last year? How does adding 9% to the cost of Canadian lumber make housing more affordable. Once again, it does not!
We have been working with various state housing authorities to encourage incentives for developers to be more innovative and efficient. Give them points for tax credits for things like delivering housing in a shorter amount of time, at less costs, or with less environmental impact. Put it back on the developers to drive the innovation and create the efficiencies. But not this!
I’ve been in the government affairs arena for many years. I don’t think I recall any proposal as counter intuitive to its goals as this one. This proposal if passed without changes, will absolutely lead to less housing options and more homeless families. These families do not care about political payoffs to organized labor – they need real solutions. And there are few to be found in this proposal. ##
Hardiman didn’t provide it, but here is the Gipper making that famous quip as recalled via YouTube.
Using our own time-tested and proven discernment methodology, MHProNews noted at the time in our initial report and analysis on this subject, what is there for MHI to study? Properly understood, the outline MHI provided includes several reasons to reject the plan and/or push for major changes. For instance, support for housing subsidizes is to financially support manufactured housing’s competitors.
But MHI is so into this so-called coalition of theirs which benefits others, but it has demonstrably failed to get existing laws that benefit manufactured housing enforced. MHI’s window dressing is thus worthy of this compare and contrast with the Modular Home Builders Association (MHBA). Hardiman clearly goes after the weaknesses of the plan. By contrast, MHI is arguably paltering. Paltering is a mix of truth and misleading information.
More Information, MHProNews Analysis and Commentary in Brief
To frame what follows form the MHI vs. MHBA, let’s note first that a short summary of a comparison between MHI and MHARR would be this. MHI and MHARR often appear to say similar things in their comments and letters. But MHARR is consistent, and their statements and actions line up. MHI, arguably is not consistent and they are arguably duplicitous in a fashion that benefits larger firms while harming smaller ones and consumers. We’ve done several reports on that topic, with a few examples linked below. As many writers and thinkers have said, follow the money trail and pay more attention to the deeds then the words. That becomes notably in cases like the purported paltering, deception and misdirection routinely deployed by Clayton Homes and big-brands dominated MHI. The contention that MHI has demonstrably dodged for years is doing is providing cover and buying time for consolidation to occurred.
Now, with MHBA vs MHI. MHI claims to represent all segments of the factory home building industry. MHBA says they are focused solely on modular home builders. While MHBA shows periodic respect for HUD Code manufactured homes, they present the view that modular building – while more costly – are more durable, have more finance options, appreciate, etc. More on that further below.
To the specific comparisons between MHI and MHBA, in no specific order of importance, are the following.
- MHBA’s Hardiman doesn’t hide his thoughts from public view. If a lawmaker, regulator, media, researcher, or others wants to logon and look at what Hardiman thinks, they can see what he’s said on the MHBA blog.
- By contrast, MHI routinely hides their comments from the public on their own website. More specifically, MHI sends out an email to members that say whatever. That same topic is routinely not to be found on the public side of the MHI website. After years of such fact checks, the MHI behavior allows them to posture for their members/readers, while failing to do the actual lifting needed on the subject in question.
- MHBA doesn’t bother in the Hardiman’s blog post to give a cut-and-paste rundown on what the Biden housing plan says. He mentions areas of concern, and then goes to an analysis that explains why MHBA opposes the plan based upon the historic pattern and logic of the issue.
- By comparison, MHI is playing politics.
Specifically, MHBA – citing the same broad plan – noted this:
- “A shortage of seven million available and affordable rental homes for America’s Extremely Low-Income (ELI) renters in its annual report, “The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes 2019,” released on March 14, 2019. This shortage leaves only 37 available and affordable homes for every 100 ELI renter households. The Coalition found that no state or major metropolitan area has an adequate supply of rental housing for its poorest renters. So, the Administration’s answer is to dump more tax-payer money into a program that is not working.”
- But we’re not done yet. Yesterday Biden’s Commerce Department leaders also announced their desire to double the tariffs on Canadian lumber from 9% to 18.32%. Does anyone in D.C. realize what has been happening to the price of lumber over the last year? How does adding 9% to the cost of Canadian lumber make housing more affordable. Once again, it does not!
- Did you know that the prevailing wage rate for a carpenter in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania is $55.54 with fringe benefits? Given the extreme labor and housing shortage, how will forcing contractors to pay inflated unions rates do anything to help address affordability? Short answer: it will not. It will simply drive developers away from the LIHTC program and construction of affordable housing units altogether. The projects simply will not pencil out.
- I’ve been in the government affairs arena for many years. I don’t think I recall any proposal as counter intuitive to its goals as this one. This proposal if passed without changes, will absolutely lead to less housing options and more homeless families. These families do not care about political payoffs to organized labor – they need real solutions. And there are few to be found in this proposal.
A manufactured home industry insider sent the following to MHProNews regarding the upcoming FHFA listening session and comments. The comments are about Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac (the Government Sponsored Enterprises, GSEs, or Enterprises) and by inference, their federal ‘regulator,’ the FHFA. So the word “you” or “you’re” means Fannie, Freddie, and FHFA. DTS means the legally mandated Duty to Serve manufactured housing made part of federal law by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008.
Here is what it said: “As I see it…(1) you’re completely excluding chattel from DTS; (2) chattel is by far the predominate form of financing for the industry’s homes and especially for the industry’s most affordable homes; (3) you cannot possibly be in compliance with DTS within the manufactured housing market if you exclude chattel loans; and (4) stop lying to Congress about Fannie/Freddie’s alleged “compliance” with DTS and do what the law says.”
The manufactured home industry has been demonstrably hollowed out from within. That has occurred in a methodical step by step fashion over the course of the last 15+ years. Laws that were intended to give manufactured housing – as the most proven affordable form of permanent housing in the U.S. – zoning, placement, and financing support while also providing significant consumer protections have often been turned on their head. That would not have been possible without government officials implicit or explicit collusion with private actors.
As MHBA’s Hardiman cited the late President Ronald Reagan, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, I’m from the Government and I’m here to help.” MHProNews has used federal and other data to illustrate one of Hardiman’s key points. The so-called solutions offered by Biden are more political payoffs to favored groups that have demonstrably not solved the problems for decades. The evidence at a glance is in the chart below.
Which is why, despite terminological or other relative minutia in their contentions, the thrust of the argument and evidence from economic researchers named below is broadly and demonstrably correct. Federal officials are working with builders and nonprofits to undermine affordable housing.
Or as the AEI Housing Center’s Tobias Peter put it, the federal government is causing the affordable housing crisis.
Hardiman lays it out, with tough phrases like “political payoffs,” “pay inflated unions rates” and calling out the Biden team’s “American Nightmare” effect by sharply pointing out that “the Administration’s answer is to dump more tax-payer money into a program that is not working.” Just as Hardiman insightfully ripped MHI for their obviously failed and bizarre Clayton-backed “CrossModTM homes” scheme, now Hardiman’s analysis above revealed several weaknesses that on behalf of his members’ interests, he exposed. MHARR, of course, has done similarly in manufactured housing. But meanwhile, MHI continues to apparently prefer to posture, prance, and dance rather than deliver results.
Additional information on these topics is found in the reports and analysis that are linked above and below.
Next up is our business daily recap of yesterday evening’s market report and related left-right headlines.
The Business Daily Manufactured Home Industry Connected Stock Market Updates. Plus, Market Moving Left (CNN) – Right (Newsmax) Headlines Snapshot. While the layout of this business daily report has recently been modified, several elements of the basic concepts used previously are still the same. The headlines that follow below can be reviewed at a glance to save time while providing insights across the left-right media divide. Additionally, those headlines often provide clues as to possible ‘market moving’ items.
Market Indicator Closing Summaries – Yahoo Finance Closing Tickers on MHProNews…
Headlines from left-of-center CNN Business = evening of 7.9.2021
- A billionaire’s race to space
- Virgin Spaceship Unity and Virgin Mothership Eve take to the skies on it’s first captive carry flight on 8th September 2016
- Richard Branson’s brief joy ride into space is more than two decades in the making
- US stocks rebound even as Delta variant worries remain
- Automakers are starting to look more like tech companies. Wall Street is noticing
- This giant automaker plans to invest $35.5 billion into electric cars
- Lawmakers who opposed 2020 election certification just lost another donor
- Wells Fargo shuts down all personal lines of credit, sparking outrage
- Why it’s so difficult to bring ransomware attackers to justice
- Restaurant workers are quitting in droves. That might not change anytime soon
- NBC faces ‘hell of a challenge’ producing Tokyo Olympics
- Goldman Sachs bets England will beat Italy this weekend, but…
- These futuristic pods could help cities solve their traffic problems
- MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – JANUARY 17: Co-founder of Apple Steve Wozniak addresses the audience during Science Channel’s “Silicon Valley: The Untold Story” Screening at Computer History Museum on January 17, 2018 in Mountain View, California.
- Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak: ‘It’s time to recognize the right to repair’
- Laptop computer showing its screen with Microsoft Windows logo on desktop.
- Microsoft’s Windows security flaw is a big deal. Here’s what you can do about it
- This is one of the best ways to get tax-free retirement savings
- Vehicles for sale at a Ford Motor Co. dealership in Colma, California, U.S., on Wednesday, June 30, 2021. With dwindling inventory over the last three months, U.S. auto sales has taken a sharp turn for the worse.
- Here’s why car prices are so high, and why that matters
- How long can supply shortages continue?
- Chip shortages are fueling inflation
- America needs 1 million more construction workers
- China is facing its worst power shortage in a decade. That’s a problem for the whole world
- OIL AND GAS PRICES
- Some of the highest gas prices in town are posted on a signboard at a gas station in downtown Los Angeles, California on June 22, 2021, as gasoline prices rise.
- Gas prices are above $3. Biden doesn’t have a magic wand to fix that
- Gas prices are high. Here’s why
- Oil prices surge after OPEC+ calls off talks
- Opinion: The beginning of the end for Big Oil
- Why Biden may want to take a page from Trump’s OPEC playbook
Headlines from right-of-center Newsmax – evening of 7.9.2021
- Parler CEO: Trump Lawsuit Will Transform Big Tech
- Amid rising turmoil in social media, recently formed social network Parler is gaining with prominent political conservatives who claim their voices are being silenced by Silicon Valley giants. (Getty)
- “I think this is the lawsuit that will redefine what free speech, when it comes to tech platforms, looks like,” said the chief executive, George Farmer, whose site is providing a social media platform for conservative voices. “And, of course, there’s no better man to launch it than the man who is censored the most out of all of us, which of course is former President Donald Trump. [Full Story]
- Newsmax TV
- Hice: Dems’ $25M Voter Initiative Shows Desperation
- Ex-Surgeon General Adams: Treat Americans Like Adults About Shots |
- T. McFarland: Time for US to ‘Cut Our Losses’ in Afghanistan |
- Waltz: Afghanistan Pullout Brings Risk of Terrorism Home |
- Sen. Mastriano: Set Aside Differences, Probe ’20 Election |
- Brooke Rollins: Trump’s Big Tech Suit Case of ‘David Suing Goliath’ |
- More Newsmax TV
- Trump Labels Va. Gov. Candidate McAuliffe a ‘Political Hack’
- Former President Donald Trump on Friday labeled Virginia Democrat gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe a “political hack” in a searing denunciation of support for the critical race theory in teaching…… [Full Story]
- Wall Street Closes at Record Highs as Financials Lead Rebound
- The three major U.S. stock indexes rallied to record closing highs on [Full Story]
- Biden Nominates LA Mayor Eric Garcetti for India Ambassador
- President Joe Biden has nominated Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to [Full Story]
- Newsmax Sees Big Ratings Win Over Fox, CNN Again
- For the second time in two weeks, Newsmax is the big ratings winner, [Full Story]
- Texas Abortion Law Enforced by Citizens, Not Government Officials
- Texas’ recently passed law that effectively bans abortion after about [Full Story]
- Capitol Police Field Office Expansion Plan Is ‘Nonsensical’
- As the final pieces of temporary fencing erected at the Capitol [Full Story] |
- Police Testimony Will Lead Off Panel’s First Jan. 6 Hearing
- A new House committee investigating the Jan. 6 breach at the Capitol [Full Story]
- Biden Blasted for ‘Sick’ Door-to-Door Vaccine Campaign
- After falling short of his goal to have 70% of Americans start the [Full Story] |
- FDA Chief Seeks Federal Probe Into Approval of Alzheimer’s Drug
- A top official at the U.S. drug regulator on Friday called for a [Full Story]
- Ex-Surgeon General Adams to Newsmax: Treat Americans Like Adults About Shots
- The government must quit treating Americans like children when [Full Story] |
- Biden Pushes Putin to ‘Take Action’ Against Ransomware Groups
- President Joe Biden spoke with Russian leader Vladimir Putin on [Full Story]
- AI Helping Startups Develop Robots to Pollinate Some Farm Crops
- Advances in artificial intelligence are helping some startups develop [Full Story]
- Rasmussen Poll: 58% Say Media Is ‘Enemy of the People’
- Fifty-eight percent of likely voters agree that media outlets are the [Full Story]
- Death Toll in Florida Condo Collapse Rises to 78
- The death toll in the collapse of a Miami-area condo building rose to [Full Story]
- Biden to Meet With Law Enforcement, Other Leaders on Rising Gun Violence Monday
- Facing a nationwide increase in violent crime – particularly [Full Story]
- Nikki Haley Announces Endorsements in NJ, Virginia Governor Races
- Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley has announced endorsements in the [Full Story]
- Vaccinated Teachers and Students Can Ditch Masks: CDC
- Vaccinated teachers and students don’t need to wear masks inside [Full Story]
- Feds Rebuff Pfizer on COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shot
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug [Full Story]
- Pfizer to Seek FDA’s OK for 3rd Vaccine Dose in August
- Biden Signing Big Tech Order After Trump Sues Social Media Giants
- Just days after former President Donald Trump announced his [Full Story]
- Louisiana Girl Makes History as 1st African American Spelling Bee Champ
- Zaila Avant-garde understood the significance of what she was doing [Full Story]
- Spectator Grabs Rory McIlroy’s Club, Takes Swing at Scottish Open
- A spectator was escorted from the course at the Scottish Open on [Full Story]
- Facebook Noticed Russia’s Election Interference Early in 2016: Report
- Facebook’s security team first noticed Russian interference in the [Full Story]
- Trump: Interviews Granted for Books About My Presidency Were ‘Total Waste of Time’
- Former President Donald Trump said Friday that granting interviews in [Full Story]
- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Has $55M War Chest for 2022 Reelection Bid
- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, this week announced that he [Full Story]
- Bug experts are dropping the common name of a destructive insect [Full Story]
- NYC Opens First-of-Its-Kind Cyberattack Defense Center
- New York has reportedly opened an operational center to protect [Full Story]
- International Swimming Federation Prohibits Podium Protests at Olympics
- The international federation for water sports announced it is banning [Full Story]
- Most Americans Believe Coronavirus Leaked From Chinese Lab: Poll
- A majority of Americans believe coronavirus leaked from a Chinese [Full Story]
- Trump Backs Ex-Interior Secretary Zinke for New Montana House Seat
- Former President Donald Trump Friday gave his one-time Secretary of [Full Story]
- More Newsfront
- Musk’s Boring Co. Gets OK to Build Florida Tunnel
- The city of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has reached an agreement with Elon Musk’s Boring Company to build an underground transit system offering rides in Teslas between downtown and the beach, CNN Business reports. [Full Story]
- Fed Policy to Provide ‘Powerful Support’ Until Recovery Complete
- Even Pricey Funds Are Minting Cash in This Year’s Wild Inflows
- Peak PC? Pandemic Sales Boom Is Set to Expire
- Abby Joseph Cohen Says Fair-Value S&P Has ‘No Margin for Error’
- More Finance
- What Does the FDA Restriction on Alzheimer’s Drug Mean for Patients?
- The Food and Drug Administration changed its recommendations for the newly approved Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm after an intense public backlash. The agency modified the prescribing instructions for the drug to limit its use and efficacy only to patients with mild to moderate… [Full Story]
- US Vaccine Ceiling May Spell Danger With Delta Variant Looming
- Screening With MRI Can Cut Prostate Cancer Overdiagnosis in Half
- Pfizer to Seek FDA’s OK for 3rd Vaccine Dose in August
- Scientists Identify Brain Circuit for Spirituality
Manufactured Housing Industry Investments Connected Equities Closing Tickers
Some of these firms invest in manufactured housing, or are otherwise connected, but may do other forms of investing or business activities too.
- NOTE: Drew changed its name and trading symbol at the end of 2016 to Lippert (LCII).
MHProNews. MHProNews – previously a.k.a. MHMSM.com – has celebrated our 11th year of publishing, and is starting our 12the year of serving the industry as the runaway most-read trade media.
Sample Kudos over the years…
It is now 11+ years and counting…
Learn more about our evolutionary journey as the industry’s leading trade media, at the report linked below.
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Disclosure. MHProNews holds no positions in the stocks in this report.
That’s a wrap on this installment of “News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes and Factory-Built Housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © (Affordable housing, manufactured homes, stock, investing, data, metrics, 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.)
By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.
Tony earned a journalism scholarship along with numerous awards in history. There have been several awards, honors and recognition 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.