Skyline Champion President, CEO Mark Yost and Manufactured Housing Institute CEO Lesli Gooch, Ph.D, in White House Photo Op Featuring President Trump and VP Pence


In an emailed statement, “MHI [Manufactured Housing Institute] has published enough razzle-dazzle photo-op pictures [in] the past 3 years to wallpaper an entire house and have some leftover.” So said an association connected source in response to the Arlington, VA based trade group MHI, which touted for their readers their latest photo opportunity at a White House deregulatory event featuring President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

The photos sent by MHI to their readers did not actually include a photo with the 45th U.S President or the Vice President.

Rather, they provided a photo of President Trump, another of his Vice President Pence. MHI then included ones of Skyline Champion President and CEO Mark Yost plus another photo of MHI CEO Lesli Gooch, Ph.D. The two MHI representatives were standing near where the president and vice president were during the deregulation discussion on the White House lawn. See the photos further below.

What a close reading of the the MHI missive dated 7.22.2020 did not do is report any substantive progress on key issues.

Mary Gaiski, a prior leader in the Manufactured Housing Executives Committee (MHEC) and the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Manufactured Housing Association (PMHA), publicly said to mainstream media that the zoning and placement issues are getting worse instead of better. Given that statement by Gaiski and others who have been more or less visible, one might think that MHI would be focused on the actual implementation of good, existing laws for the benefit of the entire industry.

See the full report and context at this link here.


Instead of reporting on either a successful outcome and/or a clear request for the Trump Administration and HUD to fully and properly implement the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA), the Duty to Serve Manufactured Housing on all HUD Code homes, and other similar items that are already law, featured photos and ‘quotes’ for the industry, when what is needed is progress for the industry that is measurable.

An additional input from industry members, plus an analysis and commentary will follow the text of MHI’s email to their members and readers.




MHI and Skyline Champion Join President Trump to Address Eliminating Regulatory Barriers


Skyline Champion President and CEO and MHI Board Member Mark Yost and MHI CEO Lesli Gooch joined an exclusive group at the White House last week where President Trump spoke about the Administration’s efforts to promote economic growth and prosperity by eliminating regulatory barriers. As the only representatives from the manufactured housing industry in attendance, MHI and its members are working closely with the Administration to prioritize manufactured housing as a critical unsubsidized affordable housing option.

Skyline Champion, the largest publicly traded factory-built housing company in the country, was invited by the Administration last June to display two fully furnished, HUD Code manufactured homes on the National Mall. Skyline Champion leaders have also participated in roundtable discussions with HUD Secretary Carson to carry out President Trump’s Executive Order directing federal agencies to work together to facilitate the production of affordable housing and alleviate regulatory barriers at the federal, state, and local levels. Yost testified before the Senate Banking Committee last November and, as a result of his testimony, Congress passed legislation to support the inclusion of manufactured homes in state and local community development planning.

Through the advocacy of MHI and its members, this Administration has comprehensively reviewed HUD’s policies and regulations over manufactured housing and HUD has proposed the first extensive changes to the HUD Code in nearly a decade. The HUD Code has not been so broadly or substantially updated in years. Proposed changes include new standards for attached garages, carports, decks, and accessory buildings.

Further, at the direction of the Administration, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration have continued their efforts to improve access to financing for manufactured housing.

During the COVID pandemic, the Administration acted quickly to resolve supply chain challenges by issuing its first-ever, industry-wide Alternative Construction letter allowing manufacturers to provide homes throughout the crisis.

MHI commends President Trump for taking the necessary steps to create a better regulatory environment for American businesses. The reversal of burdensome overregulation to support our national infrastructure will help ensure affordable housing is available in rural communities and across the country where it is most needed. MHI is committed to continuing our work with the Administration to create a better regulatory environment for the industry.

What They’re Saying…


“Under the Trump Administration, HUD’s approach to the regulation of manufactured homes has changed, ensuring the industry can support the American Dream of homeownership for more people. I was honored to represent our industry at this event and look forward to continuing to work with the Administration to ensure manufactured home builders are able to offer consumers the latest innovations, technologies, and features without regulatory impediments that limit availability and drive up costs for our customers and the end consumers. We greatly appreciate the collaboration between the Administration and the manufactured housing industry, and we are grateful that the Administration acknowledges the critical role that the manufactured housing industry serves in meeting the nation’s need for affordable housing.”

—  Skyline Champion President and CEO and MHI Board Member Mark Yost


“This Administration recognized early on that because the HUD Code had not been updated in decades and because regulatory oversight had become an impediment to cost and innovation, it was increasingly difficult for manufactured home builders to offer consumers the latest innovations, technologies, and features. Not only is HUD making long-needed changes to our federal building code to support even greater innovations and efficiencies in our homes, but the Administration is also looking at ways to eliminate regulatory barriers at the state and local level that limit the placement of HUD Code homes in communities where affordable housing is needed most. In addition, the Administration continues to make progress in ensuring government-sponsored financing programs are available for Americans seeking to purchase manufactured homes, including CrossMod homes.

We are extremely encouraged by the steps the Administration is taking to change its approach to the regulation of manufactured home production. The efforts and dedication of this Administration to prioritize manufactured housing as a critical unsubsidized affordable housing option and its continued progress to make government-sponsored financing programs available for today’s manufactured homes will support more Americans becoming homeowners.”

—  MHI CEO Lesli Gooch

— End of MHI email dated 7.22.2020 —


Additional Information, MHProNews Analysis, and Commentary

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has been providing several years of photo ops, as the quote at the top indicated. Those photo ops include meetings and even videos with HUD Secretary Carson and others in the Trump Administration.


Photo credit, MHI. Left – Tom Hodges, Clayton Homes General Counsel and MHI Chairman, Lesli Gooch, CEO MHI. Flanking HUD Secretary Ben Carson are Kevin Clayton and Gov. Kay Ivey (AL-R). Note: MHI’s photo didn’t identify any of those shown above.


MHI themselves issued a letter to Secretary Carson in July of 2019 that said that they wanted the proper implementation of MHIA 2000, noting the need for “enhanced preemption” to be made a reality. That portion of the letter from Gooch is shown below.


The Manufactured Housing Institute claim to represent all aspects of factory built housing. They claim they are both a production and post-production trade group. By contrast, MHARR is a production trade group, but has in recent years taken on specific additional items that are strictly speaking post-production related. Why is MHI – with more resources and staff than MHARR – failing to effectively do what they claim their mission is?


On July 15, 2020, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) issued a quite different statement. It opened with the following.

Washington, D.C., July 15, 2020 – In a Petition for Rulemaking to Secretary Carson and other senior HUD officials copy attached, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) breaks wide open the lack of any meaningful progress to date toward regulatory reform – as mandated by President Trump – within the HUD manufactured housing program.”

That full message is found via the linked image and/or headline below.




That is hardly the first such effort by MHARR during the Trump Administration and Secretary Carson’s tenure at HUD. MHProNews has previously reported the effort linked below.




That letter to Dr. Carson is attached here. Note too by contrast to MHI, MHARR – whose website is about 3 years old vs. MHI’s which is some 20 plus years online – has numerous references to federal enhanced preemption. Why does MHI hide the ball on enhanced preemption from the general public if they are sincere in wanting it implemented at this time?


Since the screen capture above was performed, MHARR has done more articles that mention or are focused on the federal preemption given to HUD Code manufactured homes under the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.

There are MHI affiliate members, who are in MHEC, who have made similar statements as MHARR or MHProNews.




For several years, MHI has not only touted their access to the Trump Administration but also to key members of Congress. They used to use the graphic below, until a series of fact-checks by MHProNews apparently caused them to back off their self-proclaimed “clout.”


MHI has demonstrated ACCESS. What they haven’t demonstrated is CLOUT on behalf of the majority of independents in the manufactured housing industry. Indeed, they arguably have demonstrated that they are foot dragging and/or fumbling. Why? So that the Buffett ‘castle and moat’ process can slowly and steadily result in consolidation of smaller firms by larger ones.




MHI’s “Alliances” and “Coalitions”

MHI often speaks of their alliances and coalitions with other trade associations outside of manufactured housing. Those are routinely touted as ‘good’ for the industry. But are they?

First, where is something specific and measurable that has resulted from those “coalitions?”

Second, in the association world, that type of networking with other trade groups – along with the photo ops that Gooch and MHI President Bowersox or others there seem to enjoy – could be “resume padding.”

That’s according to two insider sources with long ties to MHI.

That Gooch and possibly others at MHI may be resume padding for their next gig is a claim that fits with the previously reported work being done by Gooch for a non-manufactured housing conventional building association.


Whistleblower’s Documents on Lesli Gooch – Manufactured Housing Institute CEO – New Discoveries


Note that MHI and their leadership when asked to respond to those documented concerns of Gooch’s conflicts of interest declined to comment.


One of several anonymously provided documents to MHProNews by an apparent insider. It reveals a de facto conflict of interest by MHI’s CEO Gooch. When asked about this, Clayton’s Tom Hodges, MHI’s Chairman, and MHI declined comment. Put differently, they don’t care if people know about the apparent conflict of interest by Gooch. They don’t even both to try to explain it away. How could they?


It is also something that is common with the “revolving door” that occurs in Washington, D.C., between government, associations, and lobbying operations.


Still from text graphic of a video by Public Citizen.


What manufactured housing independents need is action, not more MHI show boating. Even non-manufactured housing industry association leader Tom Hardiman from the Modular Home Builders Association has criticized MHI.


MHB Association Exec Tom Hardiman Rips Manufactured Housing Institute on ”CrossMod™ homes,” plus Manufactured Home Stock, Investing Updates


But those facts beg questions. Who benefits from what amounts to over 3 years of stall tactics by MHI while new HUD Code manufactured home industry sales have been in decline during the 2019 and year-to-date 2020 calendar years?


See the MHProNews analysis on monthly stats at the link here.



NAR’s Lawrence Yun – New Data Reveals Manufactured Housing Opportunities – plus, Manufactured Home Stock Updates


By contrast with our manufactured housing industry, the far more expensive conventional housing industry and RVs are roaring back.


Demographic Trends, New RV Industry Data, Profit-Potential Laced Insights for Manufactured Housing Industry


That is a useful segue to the next vexing detail.

Skyline Champion’s Yost firm is one of the three largest in the industry. They are currently reported as #2 by Statistical Surveys.




MHI statement above might be construed as accurate in some technical sense in saying that Skyline Champion (SKY) is the largest publicly traded firm, but SKY are in fact a distant second to Clayton Homes. Clayton’s parent company Berkshire Hathaway is also publicly traded. Perhaps some internal decision has been made between the three leading MHI members to push Yost’s profile? Or to take some of the glare of attention off of Clayton and Berkshire Hathaway?


Whatever the case may be, Skyline Champion, Cavco Industries, and Clayton Homes have all in word and deed made it clear that their goal is consolidation of the industry. That comes from public statements which are supposed to be true and accurate according to various federal regulations.








Updated. To see this full size, click to open.
They often have entirely different proposed solutions, but they each have pointed to several of the same facts. That alone is a big clue.


In a video interview with MHProNews shortly after the start of the Trump Administration, Danny Ghorbani, a former MHI VP, the founding president and CEO of what is now known as MHARR and now a senior advisor to MHARR made strong statements about President Trump and their hopes for the Trump Administration.



The deregulation that President Trump promised has in large measure been delivered. However, as MHARR and other sources has consistently reported, foot dragging from within the industry has kept HUD from fully and properly implementing those regulations.

Insider Blows Whistle on Dana Wade Confirmation Statement


MHProNews and MHARR both have supported the return of Dana Wade to HUD. Wade, due in some measure to MHARR’s request, had Pam Danner, J.D., removed from her role as the Administrator of the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP).


Dana Wade Announcement, Washington Post on HUD’s “Once Obscure” Office of Manufactured Housing Programs, Manufactured Housing Institute and Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform


By contrast, MHI is on record with the Washington Post saying that they made no effort to remove Danner. See the report linked above.

Put differently, MHI is routinely using a “razzle dazzle” tactic, which has been defined by federal law enforcement as mark of certain types of confidence or ‘con game.’




MHProNews is on record for asking for the removal of Brian Montgomery at HUD, whose purported conflicts of interest and key position make him arguably a detriment to full and proper HUD Code manufactured housing implementation.




For clarity, MHProNews is not accusing Secretary Carson of wrongdoing. It is entirely possible that he is in the dark, as the Secretary’s role is often more in the way of public relations, while the work is being done – or not – behind the scenes by people like Montgomery.

These are concerns that none of our would-be rivals in trade publishing or who blog raise. They routinely mouth the same pabulum that MHI puts forth and/or amplify it as the photo op with MHInsider below reflects.



MHInsiderLogoMastheadVol3Issue1JanFeb2020MHVillageLogoManufacturedHomeProNewsFactCheck - Copy


The manufactured housing industry has been undermined from within, logically either by inept and/or corrupt behavior.




MHI award-winner Marty Lavin and MHI member Kenny Lipschutz have both made statements that reflect that concern in different words.




MHI’s former president and CEO, Chris Stinebert’s parting message was more of a thinly veiled shot at his own now former trade group purportedly before his non-disclosure agreement (NDA) kicked in.

One of those coalition members that Gooch and MHI tout has actually done a better job than Gooch herself does by arguing for full implementation on all manufactured homes, not just the Clayton-Skyline Champion–Cavco Industries (CVCO) backed “new class of manufactured homes” that MHI rebranded as “CrossModTM homes.

Facts are indeed stubborn things. While it takes time and effort to document the years of repeated failings of MHI, what else will demonstrate their inept and/or corrupt behavior? What else will make it plain that their stated mission doesn’t align with their actual performance?




Razzle-dazzle isn’t the same as results. Indeed, it is a dodge for no results. When the industry is losing new home sales due to placement and zoning problems, MHI leadership may try to hide behind video or photo opportunities. But they can’t hide the fact that the industry’s shipments are in decline.

Those declining shipments and the lack of new manufactured home community development harms independents, consumers, taxpayers, investors, and others.





Last But Not Least?

While MHI has ‘praised’ President Trump and HUD Secretary Ben Carson, the power behind the throne at MHI has long been seen as Berkshire Hathaway which dominates the association via board positions and dues.




Berkshire is led by anti-Trump Chairman Warren Buffett.

“Dark Secrets” – Warren Buffett, Racism, Eugenics, Infidelity, Ghislaine Maxwell’s Father Robert Maxwell, Bill Gates, Gates Foundation; plus, Manufactured Housing Stock, Investing Updates

An updated report is planned on Trump-critic Bill Gates. Until then, insights into the Gates and Buffett close alliance for well over a decade is outlined below in a pandemic-related report.



Oxfam Report – “Pandemic Profiteers Exposed” – Small Businesses Slide or Fail as Giants Grow, Everyday People Harmed – ‘Usual Suspects’ Oxfam Names Include Ties to Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, George Soros

To learn more on any of these topics, see the related reports linked above, and also those below the notices and byline.


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The problems of the industry seem complex but can be summed up like this. The system has been rigged. Some insiders benefit from the restriction of the industry’s growth, which steadily caused consolidation. The answers to these problems could be summed up with these bullets.

  • Enforce existing laws. That includes, but is not limited to, antitrust, the MHIA of 2000, the Duty to Serve all manufactured homes, not just some Clayton-backed ‘new class’ of homes.
  • Establish a post-production association that can compliment the efforts of MHARR.

There is always more to come, so stay tuned with the runaway number one source for authentic “News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing” © 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.)

All on Capitol Hill were welcoming and interested with the discussion of manufactured housing related issues on our 12.3.2019 meetings. But Texas Congressman Al Green’s office was tremendous in their hospitality. Our son’s hand is on a package that included the Constitution of the United States and other goodies. MHProNews has worked with people and politicos across the left-right divide.

By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for

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

This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.

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Related References:

The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which can be accessed by clicking on them.

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New Data Surfaces on Buffett Family, Foundation Funding Sources Which Attacked Manufactured Housing, plus Manufactured Home Stock, Investing Updates

Complaints to State and Federal Officials, Agencies About Corrupt Practices in Manufactured Housing Industry Growing

Warren Buffett’s “Moat” per Kevin Clayton, CEO Clayton Homes Interview Transcript, Video – Affordable Housing and Manufactured Homes



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The featured image includes several metaphorical items. It can be seductive – but dangerous – to believe certain things. A mask, among other meanings, is used to project a false face, often used by actors. The eye conveys vision or understanding, which that woman and the mask partially obscures. The wall can stand for the harsh reality that sets in when illusion and the hard facts meet.
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