Preface to Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA) June 2020 Shipment, Labor Report.
Few things are as corrosive to an industry, profession, or society as inaccurate or agenda driven reports.
What sparks that statement as a forward to the headline report that follows further below?
Another mainstream media personality quit their job as a producer for a major cable news network. In her resignation statement, she ripped her network but also others in mainstream media. That will be the focus of another upcoming report. But what that producer says echoes other whistleblowers that have spotlighted media agenda, corruption, and the harm that it causes. There are reasons to believe that same pattern in the mainstream media of agenda-driven messaging flowing from associations, larger companies, and their allies is occurring in manufactured housing and has been for some time.
“The way to defeat bad ideas is by exposure, argument, and persuasion, not by trying to silence or wish them away.” JK Rowling, Gloria Steinem, Noam Chomsky, 150 Others Decry Censorship in “Letter on Justice and Open Debate,” Harpers
The quotes above and below are examples of similar thinking to the upcoming report.
From nearly the outset of our publishing, MHProNews has shared insights across the left-right media divide. But the corruption of the media is more than just left vs. right. There are times, as the docudrama Shadows of Liberty illustrated, that almost all major media fails to get the truth out on specific topics.
This isn’t a new problem. It has occurred for well over a century in the U.S. The weaponized mix of accurate and inaccurate information has been an issue in nations around the world for centuries.
Manufactured housing specific is this. During an affordable housing crisis, our industry is dramatically underperforming. Large Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member firms have said as much, as the illustration from Skyline Champion below makes clear. That dashed line is the historic trendline. Our industry is at about half of that historic trendline.
That reality isn’t what normally emerges from MHI affiliates. Other than MHProNews and MHLivingNews, who else in our industry dares speak out directly, routinely, and loudly against what the facts speak loudly?
Answer? The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR). It is MHARR, MHProNews, and MHLivingNews. That doesn’t mean that reality doesn’t slip out from those under the purported thumb of the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis. It does as Gaiski, Harper, and others have at times said without a routine robust follow up.
Let’s note that while our publications and MHARR often see things similarly, there are exceptions. Brian Montgomery is an example. That’s fine, as people of good will can read the evidence differently. It happens in science and it occurs in other aspects of life.
The data provided by TMHA is useful, which is one reason we often report their data. But that should not be confused as agreeing with their analysis. Following the TMHA’s August 3, 2020 report on June 2020 data, will be additional MHProNews information, analysis, and commentary.
TEXAS MANUFACTURED HOME SHIPMENTS MARKET ANALYSIS
Monday, August 3, 2020 10:16:00 AM
June manufactured housing shipments beat our forecast and came in at 1,326 homes shipped. Single-section and multi-section shipments were up a combined 16.1% from May with manufacturers producing more of each home type.
June had two additional days of potential production over May and over June of 2019, but even accounting for that difference shipments increased over both time periods.
The rate of homes shipped per day moved up to 60 homes, which is a 45% increase over the trough hit during the April lockdown.
The outlook for July is a little less clear. We are currently forecasting 1,083 home shipments for the month, but through our survey work with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University it is clear that many factories had lower run rates as the increase in coronavirus cases across the state impacted the labor supply needed to meet rising demand.
Orders and backlogs are increasing though, so as the state’s case count lowers we expect production to continue to grow.
TMHA’s Manufactured Home Builders Stock Index finished July up 7.9%.
Total Shipments Texas (Monthly)
Total Shipped by Sections Texas (Monthly)
Manufactured Home Activity Texas (Monthly)
Here are the annual totals for manufactured home shipments in Texas from 2012 through 2019.
Manufactured Home Shipments Texas (Annual)
Analysis continues following these three linked related reports.
Additional Third-Party Information plus MHProNews Analysis and Commentary
There is evidence that the RV industry and mainstream housing are recovering more dramatically than HUD Code manufactured homes have thus far.
TMHA’s report above made the point that labor is an issue. Per TMHA – “through our survey work with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University it is clear that many factories had lower run rates as the increase in coronavirus cases across the state impacted the labor supply needed to meet rising demand.”
The report linked above includes insights from HUD Code producers on the labor issue. It is more specific and arguably more insightful.
TMHA’s members include independents as well as major and more mid-sized firms. That’s not unlike other states or MHI. TMHA staff, not unlike several other trade association other than MHARR, has to decide if they like their job. If they do, then they are de facto compelled to tow the MHI line, which in turn reflects the Clayton Homes-21st Mortgage Corp-Berkshire Hathaway-Warren Buffett line.
A case in point is Tim Williams from Ohio. A longtime supporter of MHProNews, for whatever reason, he jumped to MHI and their new CEO Lesli Gooch defense earlier this year. Williams, who has a long history in this industry and thus should be well aware of the work performed by prior MHI President and CEO Chris Stinebert, surprisingly made the disputable claim that Gooch was the best he had ever seen.
Williams’ claim that Gooch was “superb” and the best ever was arguably absurd on its face. Invited to debate that claim, Williams initially said he would do so. But since that written commitment, Williams remained mute when a state university offered to moderate such a public discussion and debate. Meanwhile, MHI engages in photo ops and reports that have led to declines in manufactured housing instead of growth.
MHI has proven access, but fails to use that access to fully and properly implement good existing laws.
To MHI member Andy Gedo’s credit, unlike Williams, Gedo engaged in public debates via LinkedIn on topics involving Clayton Homes and MHI. In the debate above, he tossed in the towel and walked away. In the debate below, he has simply not responded in about 2 weeks. Rephrased, Gedo once more walked away from an attempted defense of Warren Buffett led-Berkshire Hathaway firms.
Gedo did what none of the MHI-supporting, and to various degrees arguably backed, bloggers and publishers.
What does that have to do with TMHA? That association and others an publish data. They can provide some level of commentary. But they are disinclined to publicly contradict MHI, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage or others that back agendas such as market-failed “CrossModTM” manufactured homes.
The state association executives are to various degrees neutered if they want to keep their jobs. State execs said as much to MHProNews 2 years ago
Manufactured housing ought to be soaring, even during COVID19. If mainstream housing and RVs can regain traction, it makes it obvious that manufactured housing can too.
To the extent that TMHA or others point to any issue other than the underlying problems that hold manufactured housing back, they are arguably doing their independent members a disservice.
The industry should be focused on basic principles that involve enforcement of existing laws.
- Full and proper implementation of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA 2000). The pre-Berkshire MHI did that, but since then, that position has quietly faded.
- Full and proper implementation of the Duty to Serve Manufactured Housing and other forms of federally backed or encouraged lending that could create potentially millions of new homeowners. Instead, MHI has promoted the failed new class of homes project, and manufactured housing shipments have slid since then. It must be stressed that MHProNews predicted this could occur some 2 years ago.
- The need for a post-production association that could team with MHARR to fight the powers that be in our industry that have been undermining manufactured housing from within.
An industry member recently asked MHProNews, why hasn’t MHARR done more? Its an interesting question. MHARR is a post-production association with perhaps 1/10th of the budget of MHI and a far smaller staff.
With less people and money, they have done more than MHI by far. MHI’s prior president Chris Stinebert teamed up with MHARR to pass the MHIA 2000. Stinebert’s exit message was a polite slap in the face of the Arlington, VA based MHI he was about to leave.
They merit more support from independent producers because they have proved that they walk their talk. As a disclosure, that has been MHProNews position for years prior to MHARR doing some advertising with this website.
As trade media, MHProNews and our MHLivingNews sister site can spotlight issues and make evidence based and follow-the-money trail arguments. We’ve done so for years in the face of often stiff opposition. MHI hired an outside attorney, for example, to monitor what MHProNews publishes. What? Do MHI members want to pay legal fees for someone to read what we publish?
Isn’t that an over-the-target reaction that MHI at some level fears what we publish?
Perhaps others in industry media get news tips like the one that produced that expose of documents that made clear a conflict of interest between Gooch and non-manufactured housing outside interests, some of which allegedly took place on her MHI paid time. Its outrageous on its face. Some MHEC members – state association exec types – have noted to MHProNews that the conflict of interest could be serious.
Last but not least for today. There are MHEC members, state executives, as well as MHI insiders that have been sources for insights and tips. Rephrased, there are those that may play the happy face toward MHI and their big boy masters publicly, but are willing from time to time to give MHProNews information that makes it clear that what MHI is doing is “association malpractice.”
The industry should be soaring. TMHA produces useful reports, but their analysis is unlikely to shed light on the underlying issues that are connected to the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis and their big boy allies.
There is always more, but that analysis in brief illustrates a thesis that even MHI defender Andy Gedo largely admitted makes sense.
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.)
By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.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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