There is a division of views in manufactured housing among professionals and observers as to what the prognosis is for industry sales post-Wuhan Virus pandemic.
Some involved in the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) orbit are predicting a drop of some 20 to 30 percent. Meanwhile, while acknowledging the severe drop in employment, there are those who say that manufactured housing could tap into a more sober society that will seek ways to live more frugally while still living well.
Indeed, there are retailers that have reported both ends of that spectrum. Some are claiming to be setting records, others are stressed with the drop in traffic and business.
Against that backdrop, as the Masthead report below noted, Dana Wade could prove helpful as the end of President Donald J. Trump’s first term of office is approaching.
Right or wrong, Wade is reportedly viewed as more ‘pro-Trump’ than Brian Montgomery, that latter of whom is seen as an Establishment type insider.
Unlike the MHI, when then Executive Vice President Lesli Gooch admitted to the Washington Post (WaPo) that they did nothing beyond a meaningless show vote in Congress that accomplished nothing. By contrast, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform was essentially credited by the same WaPo report Gooch was interviewed in for pressing Wade for the removal of Pam Danner. That removal in fact occurred.
To growth-minded independents, removing Danner was a heroic accomplishment. To consolidators, Danner was protected because she was hurting independents. Recall that HUD Secretary Carson said during a Congressional hearing that regulatory actions he reviewed were “ridiculous” without mentioning Danner by name.
With those predicates the following from MHARR was sent to MHProNews as a media release.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: MHARR
Manufactured Housing Industry Gets Second Chance – Dana Wade Returning to HUD
Washington, D.C., May 6, 2020 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) reports that the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs held a hearing on May 5, 2020 on the pending nomination of Ms. Dana Wade to become HUD Assistant Secretary for Housing/Federal Housing Commissioner. Ms. Wade was nominated by President Trump to fill the position being vacated by Brian Montgomery, who has been tapped to become the Deputy Secretary of HUD. If confirmed by the full Senate, this will be Ms. Wade’s second stint at HUD under the Trump Administration, having previously served as White House liaison at the agency, and in other leadership capacities.
During her prior tenure at HUD, Ms. Wade — at the specific urging of MHARR (which had a pre-determined plan of regulatory reform action based on the election of President Trump, approved by the MHARR Board of Directors at its March 2016 Annual Meeting and met with her shortly after she arrived at the Department) and in full accordance with President Trump’s regulatory reform policies — moved quickly and decisively with a series of actions designed to improve the management and operation of the federal manufactured housing program, and make it more responsive to the concerns of the industry’s small businesses and consumers.
These actions began with the re-assignment of former manufactured housing program career administrator Pamela Danner, who had devastated the program during her brief four-year tenure, and continued with the initiation of a “top-to-bottom” review of all HUD manufactured housing standards and regulations, steps to include manufactured housing in a range of government housing programs, and action to avoid the designation of a permanent new career manufactured housing program administrator, contrary to the federal law directive, among other things.
Unfortunately, however, since Ms. Wade’s departure from HUD, progress on these and other related initiatives to fully reform the HUD Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP) have effectively ground to a halt, with substantially less than a year now remaining in President Trump’s first term — and time rapidly running-out.
Thus, contrary to the express directive of the 2000 reform law — and with no objection whatsoever from the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) – a new career OMHP administrator was named in 2019. Meanwhile, not a single OMHP standard or regulation has yet been withdrawn or modified as a result of the “top-to-bottom” regulatory review initiated pursuant to President Trump’s Executive Orders 13771 (“Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs”) and 13777 (“Enforcing the Regulatory Reform agenda”). Nor have any of the numerous sub-regulatory “guidance” documents unlawfully issued by OMHP without prior Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) review and rulemaking (including a complete de facto revision of Subpart I) been withdrawn pursuant to Trump Administration Executive Orders 13891 (“Promoting the Rule of Law through Improved Agency Guidance Documents”) and 13892 (“Promoting the Rule of Law through Transparency and Fairness in Civil Administrative Enforcement and Adjudication”).
Perhaps even more significantly, former OMHP administrator William Matchneer’s unlawful 2010 “Interpretive Rule,” reading section 604(b)(6) (requiring MHCC review and rulemaking for any change to HUD policies, practices or procedures affecting the OMHP standards, enforcement and monitoring) out of the 2000 reform law remains in place. Meanwhile, MHI actively opposed an MHARR proposal to withdraw this baseless edict – which illegally invalidates one of the most crucial protections of the 2000 reform law for industry manufacturers — when it came before the MHCC for consideration.
With the OMHP regulatory reform process either stalled or being needlessly slowed through entrenched regulators and contractors – and with MHI allied on multiple matters with outside groups and interests that historically have been industry competitors and detractors – Ms. Wade’s return to HUD may represent the best opportunity that industry members (and particularly its smaller businesses) will have to realize actual, on the ground benefits, from President Trump’s regulatory reform policies. Accordingly, MHARR has vigorously supported her nomination and will continue to closely monitor the pending Senate confirmation process, and work closely with Ms. Wade once she arrives at HUD.
In Washington, D.C., MHARR President and CEO, Mark Weiss, stated: “Dana Wade, during her earlier tenure at HUD, had an enormous impact in rapidly moving the HUD program toward compliance – in key areas – with the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.” He continued, “Her absence, however, has seen a steady and unfortunate erosion in that progress that can and must be reversed when she returns as the top HUD appointee with authority over the federal manufactured housing program.”
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.
Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR)
1331 Pennsylvania Ave N.W., Suite 512
Washington D.C. 20004
MHProNews Analysis and Commentary
The above should be considered in the light of the latest shipment data, linked below and the fact that the industry has been underperforming ever since Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway bought Clayton Homes and their associated lending.
Per Juliet Eilperin’s WaPo report, linked here, MHI arguably shivved their own former VP Starkey at HUD. See the letter from MHI’s attorney to HUD, suggesting that she be terminated. The email thread from Starkey to Pam Danner and others involved in the ethics investigation is linked here. When MHI’s attorney was asked by MHProNews to explain in what sense HUD was MHI’s “client,” as of press time, their outside attorneys have not yet replied.
Meanwhile, MHI was sitting on their hands with respect to the widely held view by numbers of manufactured housing professionals who were protesting the harm being done by Pam Danner, J.D., at the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OHMP). Doesn’t that dichotomy speak volumes about the true nature of MHI?
Let it not be forgotten that MHI’s other prior SVP of Government Affairs, Jason Boehlert, essentially tipped their hand in the comment below.
While posturing rolling back Dodd-Frank, which Warren Buffett promoted with former President Barack Obama and his strong support for Secretary Hillary Clinton, Tim Williams and other MHI leaders postured years of efforts to enact the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act. When Boehlert let that insight quoted above out, it was not too long thereafter that Lesli Gooch was brought in to replace him.
The stark contrast between MHI and MHARR is made clear by such insights.
It is further made clear by these pull quotes from MHI corporate and organizational ‘leaders.’
The industry’s white hats need to carefully consider whose association bread they butter. Supporting MHI is ever-more clearly a financial vote that bites the hands of industry independents. By contrast, supporting MHARR is a vote for independents and those who seek affordable housing made possible by modern manufactured homes.
The need for a post-production trade group to come to birth is also highlighted. There is a need for MHARR to partner with a post-production trade group for the most-consistent pro-growth outcomes possible.
To learn more, see the related reports linked above and from below the byline and notices.
For those who have not yet come to realize that the system in manufactured housing has purportedly been ‘rigged,’ the question that the gentlemen in the report linked below applies. “Where the hell have you been?”
The links below the byline are relevant to this topic. That’s a wrap on this hump-day morning report from your runaway #1 source of manufactured home “Industry News, Tips and Views Pros Can Use” © 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.)
By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHLivingNews.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.
Connect on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
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