Warren Buffett Lieutenant Kevin Clayton Shows Off HUD Secretary Carson, Touts “CrossMod” Manufactured Housing

Per sources, MHI CEO Lesli Gooch at the left entering the door, Kevin Clayton CEO Clayton Homes foreground, HUD Secretary Ben Carson at the right.


I ask Donald Trump: ‘Have you no sense of decency, sir?’”

– Warren Buffett,
August 2nd 2016, per MarketWatch.

I don’t care much about Warren Buffett.”

Donald Trump,
August 2nd, 2016 per Politico.


I appreciate Secretary Carson touring the great work of Clayton [Homes], one of Alabama’s finest,” said Governor Kay Ivey. “I applaud him and the Trump Administration for being laser-focused on removing burdensome regulations of big government and making home ownership an easier possibility for Alabama’s families.”

– per HUD media release, January 30, 2020


We are proud to support Secretary Carson’s efforts to address the lack of affordable housing for American families,” said Kevin Clayton, CEO of Clayton [Homes]. “Building indoors in a climate-controlled environment helps improve quality, purchasing power and efficiency, resulting in more value to the home buyer. Today Secretary Carson toured our home building facility and a new CrossMod home that incorporates a higher pitch roof, masonry foundation and other high-end features that typically are not within reach of someone seeking an affordable home. The CrossMod is an industry initiative that was designed to make homeownership more attainable.”

– per HUD media release, January 30, 2020


MHI commends Secretary Carson for his leadership in updating the HUD Code, aligning HUD formaldehyde regulations with EPA guidelines, and working to alleviate regulatory barriers to manufactured housing at all levels of government,” said Lesli Gooch, CEO of the Manufactured Housing Institute [MHI]. “Keeping the manufactured housing construction code up to date is critical for ensuring the industry can efficiently produce homes with innovative features and amenities consumers want. We appreciate Secretary Carson’s support and for recognizing the quality, value and affordability that manufactured homes offer.”

– per HUD media release, January 30, 2020


HUD launched the “Driving Affordable Housing Across America Bus Tour” this week and will make stops in various local communities for events and discussions focused on the need for increased affordable housing. The bus tour is a part of the work Secretary Carson is undertaking as the Chair of the White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing. The Council’s eight Federal member agencies are engaging with governments at all levels—State, local, and Tribal—and other private-sector and non-profit stakeholders on ways to increase the housing supply so more Americans have access to affordable housing.”

– per HUD media release, January 30, 2020


Without a sense of business, history, as well current events, it is difficult to grasp what has been and is occurring in the manufactured housing industry. For decades before the 2016 election cycle, powerful special interests lined up behind their candidates of choice. Some deep pockets would donate to campaigns of candidates of both major parties. Now President Donald J. Trump said as much while he was still a candidate prior to the 2016 election’s dramatic conclusion.


This week, as the quotes above and video below indicate, HUD Secretary Ben Carson toured a Clayton Homes facility in Russellville, AL. Intentionally or not, HUD’s media release and the related mainstream coverage have the de facto effect of elevating Clayton Homes, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), the Clayton-backed CrossModTM home initiative and MHI CEO Lesli Gooch.

Paltering, Manufactured Homes, CrossModTM Homes, Manufactured Housing Institute, Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Manufactured Home Lenders, DTS, and You

This statement comes in the wake of whistleblower documents that revealed Ms. Gooch’s apparent conflicts of interest with her duties as a ‘full time’ executive for MHI with conventional housing operations. It also occurs after HUD personnel, per sources, were made aware of the concerns regarding MHI’s now former CEO.

See the reports linked here and here for the significance of these documents mailed to MHProNews’ publisher.

Apparently, MHI’s leadership are fine with those issues, as Gooch continues to roll on in new role.


Just as obviously, whoever sent those documents connected to MHI and Gooch doesn’t think it is okay, or they wouldn’t have provided the records to MHProNews in the first place.

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

We recommend that news tips NOT use company, nonprofit or organizational emails or cell phones. To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP or COMMENTS in the subject line.

Manufactured Housing Clarity?

To be clear, there are elements of the new HUD rules that are being proposed or are going into effect that are arguably useful. Some of this has been promoted by the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) and others in the industry for some years. See their report and attached downloads at the link below.


As one industry insider commented to MHProNews, the location of this announcement by Secretary Carson of the regulatory changes by HUD on carbon monoxide and to the formaldehyde notice is telling. When President Trump has touted his support for small business, why are they unrolling this announcement with the head of a big business? Especially one that has problematic history between POTUS Trump and Chairman Berkshire Chairman Buffett?


Further, is Secretary Carson aware of the optics of Kevin Clayton, Bill Clinton and the Haitian disaster that involved Clayton Homes?

For Secretary Carson to make this formaldehyde announcement in this setting was tone deaf on the part of whomever at HUD made the decision.


Rephrased, this is a mixed bag from HUD, MHI, Clayton et al. The fact that HUD has allowed itself to be used to promote the Clayton Homes’ backed CrossModTM initiative in this fashion arguably undermines a key provision of federal law. Namely, that all HUD Code manufactured homes since the passage of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA or 2000 Act) have enjoyed “enhanced preemption” by law.



Why the Quotes from Mr. Buffett and Candidate Trump?

Certainly, once elected president, the American Republic’s 45th Chief Executive, Donald J. Trump became president of all Americans. As such, President Trump has, for example, stood up for high-tech companies in the face of European Union member efforts to tax them. That has occurred even though several of those tech giants have leaders who have been stridently opposed to the president.

At the same time, it is worthwhile noting that while defending companies that have in various ways worked against President Trump and his administration, he has still spoken out against certain media outlets, actions or statements by those organizations and their leaders. Examples include Jeff Bezos and the Washington Post. Exploration of antitrust action by the federal government also continues.

Meanwhile, Buffett came under fire this week from unionized workers of the Omaha World-Herald Guild who feel betrayed by what they say was assurances made by him to them that they could seek local ownership of the newspaper that will be spun-off along with others to Lee Enterprises, Incorporated (NYSE: LEE).

Todd Cooper – President Berkshire’s Hometown News Guild – “What an Unmitigated Mess…Mr. Buffett knows it” – plus Manufactured Housing Investing, Stock Updates

Rephrased, there are instances past and present of purported betrayal by Buffett-led Berkshire units of not only manufactured housing, but also of others in different industries and professions that have been touched by Buffett-led Berkshire Hathaway’s heavy hands.

Much comes back to the monopolization of America.

Applying Democratic, Republican & Barak Orbach’s Monopolization Logic to Affordable Housing Crisis Impacting Manufactured Home Industry

In that context, what is occurring at HUD is a subplot of a larger story that MHProNews has been reporting on during the last several years. Namely, that the federal government represents trillions of dollars of funding that big business wants to be able to tap into. Likewise, oversight by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) of the Duty to Serve (DTS) has arguably been diverted in ways that benefit certain players in manufactured housing, while harming others.


That harm includes consumers.



Wrap Up and Conclusion

HUD Secretary Carson has done more to promote a proper understanding of manufactured housing than anyone in his role in the 21st century.

That said, nowhere in this is there any mention of the fact that — all — HUD Code manufactured homes, not just CrossModTM homes, enjoy federal enhanced preemption. The affordable housing crisis could be rapidly reduced if HUD simply invoked current federal law.  While HUD Secretary Carson may be unaware of those nuances, sources say that HUD’s Brian Montgomery and Teresa Payne can claim no such ignorance.

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) 2008 made the Duty to Serve (DTS) manufactured housing and other underserved markets law a decade before the first CrossModTM was built. These are purportedly tragic twisting of the law in a fashion that undermines several industry independents, tends to favor the corporate giants, and comes at significant cost to affordable housing opportunities that all other lower priced manufactured homes can provide to working Americans, retirees, students or others that seek affordable housing.


For whatever reason, certain RFI comments letters have not yet been posted on the Regulations website. They include those from MHI.


To learn more on that and related, see the reports that follow – including those beyond the byline and notices.

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MHARR’s comments letter to the same White House Council RFI are very detailed, plows some similar but also distinctive ground from the Tony Kovach RFI linked above.


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That’s a wrap on this exclusive installment of manufactured home “Industry News, Tips and Views Pros Can Use © – MHVille’s runaway #1 news source, where “We Provide, You Decide.” © (News, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary.) Notice: all third party images or content are provided under fair use guidelines for media. SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNews

Submitted by Soheyla Kovach for MHProNews.com.Soheyla is a co-founder and managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com. Connect with us on LinkedIn here and here.


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Manufactured Housing Comparisons – Data Sets Vs. Existing and New Single-Family Housing Sales, RVs, Auto Facts – Potent Insights for MH Professionals, Investors

Time Sensitive Reading = Consumers, Nonprofit Advocacy, Manufactured Home Professional Comments on HUD-White House RFI Reducing Regulatory Barriers, plus Manufactured Housing Headline Reports 1.19 to 1.26.2020

MHARR Fingers Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHFA – “Profoundly False” “Misleading” – Duty to Serve Manufactured Housing Revised Plans

Initial Reactions from MHI, Other Industry Members to Manufactured Housing Institute CrossMod Homes Announcement

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Illusory vs Authentic Opportunities, Historic Struggles Then, Now for Affordable Housing, Sunday Manufactured Home Headlines 1.12 to 1.19.2020

Pitchforks Coming – Billionaire Nick Hanauer Unpacked – Bridging Economic, Political and Moral Gaps – Affordable Housing and Manufactured Homes

Congresswoman Rips Frank Rolfe, Dave Reynolds, Havenpark for “Troubling,” “Predatory,” “Deceptive” Practices, Calls for Federal Investigations


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

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