There are hopeful signs that the Sleeping Giant favoring affordable manufactured homes is awakening.
From various elements of American society – including, but not limited to:
- NGOs and
Examples making the point include tips, revealing document drops, expert and insider insights that rip the mask off of a system that has artificially limited manufactured housing’s potential.
Some academics and those in media have been quite useful in revealing the mind-boggling corruption of the American Dream, although some have arguably unveiled wrongdoing unwittingly.
The case can be made that no organization could be as incompetent at their self-proclaimed mission as stated in their IRS Form 990s as the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has been.
There are volumes of favorable research and good laws that could be working in favor of more manufactured housing sales and better financing for consumers. How is it possible that so much of that has not been produced and provided by MHI on their own website? See specific examples further below.
Those examples are part of the case that reveals that MHI morphed into a tool for self-described Consolidators and Moat-Builders. The MHI that worked with the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) circa 1998-2000 to pass the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 has since transformed. They are either massively incompetent – with ineptitude tolerated by top MHI board members – or “MHI 2.0” have moved toward mastering deviousness.
That’s only possible with help from specific officials within the federal government. When a law is passed, it is supposed to be implemented. It shouldn’t require an association to push and prod for its implementation. That brief snapshot is sufficient to make the point that corruption clearly exists inside specific agencies, such as HUD and the FHFA.
Laws have existed for roughly a dozen years to nearly two decades respectively which have elements favorable to manufactured housing. The fact that those laws have been thwarted or manipulated by insiders influencing or insiders mishandling the system.
That manipulative effort aims to enrich a relative few while millions of Americans who have or need what our industry provides are denied by the scheming MHInsiders.
Whistleblowers and Tipsters Are Stepping UP
While Whistleblowers and Tipsters aren’t a complete answer to the scene described above, they are an important component of the solution.
Consider for the next few moments how documents and tips have purportedly exposed the corruption at MHI, in specific corporations, as well as in the federal government.
- The Tim Williams/21st Mortgage Corp letters came as a tip from a well- placed source.
- Additional tips have come from inside the Berkshire Hathaway owned brands. But the first Williams/21st letter dated Jan 2009 documents an arguably a prime facie case for an antitrust, deceptive trade practices and other market-rigging legal violations that could involve RICO laws. We applaud the party that sent those critical documents. The one who did that may someday be revealed as a true hero to the potential of our once far greater industry. That party was disgusted with how long the Berkshire brands got away with that purportedly corrupt and arguably illegal scheme.
- The Lesli Gooch document drop makes an arguably prima facie case for a conflicts of interest by the “MHI 2.0” new CEO.
- That Tom Hodges, MHI’s Executive Committee and others have tried to ignore the clear evidence of conflicts of interest speaks volumes.
- That Lesli Gooch, Ph.D., document drop came from an anonymous whistleblower. Based on the evidence itself, the potential source(s) include a public official, an MHI member/staffer, someone in the NGO – non-governmental organization – community.
- MHProNews applauds the person who sent those documents, and so should every honest person and white hat brand in the manufactured housing industry.
- Inside Clayton Homes, tips emerged that led to the revelation that COVID19 cases were found in one of their plants.
- The MHI-connected tipster who pointed MHProNews to the CSPAN video that revealed the way Jennison and Gooch authorized a purportedly paltering message to MHI members in several respects started much of what had occurred in the evolution of our reporting at MHProNews and on
Beyond MHI or the ‘big picture,’ other whistleblower reports related to the coronavirus outbreak revealed how specific companies are dealing with that internally. Those reflect how controversial and arguably problematic activities are handled.
The “little guy” or gal now has a place to turn to – MHProNews – to expose questionable or improper activities inside a for- or nonprofit-organization. Whistleblowers still inside or retired from the federal government, the GSEs or beyond have a publisher repeatedly proven to publish the kind of evidence that others in MHVille trade blogging or publishing pretend doesn’t exist. The go-to publication is clearly MHProNews, and whistleblower and tipster inspired reports are routinely among the most read by industry professionals.
Academics, Researchers, and Mainstream Reporters
There are academics who have published research that have also been useful in spotlighting the problems inside the industry. Useful research, to the extent that MHI has barely given a nod to its routine use that often debunks the common misconceptions with respect to modern manufactured homes, are an extraordinary example of either incompetence or deliberate incompetence.
Ignoring the obvious value of the third-party studies can’t be tolerated. In years gone by, the MHI pre-2003 would have spotlighted such studies. MHI supporters or cheerleaders can’t have it both ways.
- If MHI leadership is so “superb,” how can they fail to make the best possible case for the industry?
- When MHI pays – per their own statement – an outside attorney(s) to monitor our website, they can’t claim ignorance.
MHI’s own staff and members are on our trade media websites too. Thus, they can’t reasonably claim ignorance. Furthermore, they frankly should have learned about and used good third-party research entirely apart from MHProNews and MHLivingNews.
It’s a disgusting disgrace that research by the sampling of those shown below aren’t found on the MHI website. In the case of Eric Belsky, he used to be quoted in MHI literature. Or in the instance of the Urban Institute or Scholastica “Gay” Cororation’s seminal research on manufactured housing, MHI was reportedly involved in the data-gather phase. Then why didn’t MHI publish a copy of such research on their own website? Indeed, why is MHProNews and MHLivingNews virtually alone in gathering and sharing such research?
In fairness, MHI has at times noted items like the above in their emails to their members. But unlike MHARR, which routinely publishes their emails on their website where all can see them, MHI doesn’t do so. Rephrased, MHI can posture to their members without showing that same information to their website visitors. It logically serves to prove how cunning they have been in posturing one thing, while doing others that arguably benefit consolidators. Yet, one of the legal consultants that used to do work for MHI made it clear that “enhanced preemption” was key language. Not having that on the MHI website is bizarre at best or an example of corrupt behavior at worst – which is better?
MHARR routinely – and to a lesser but still important degree – Marty Lavin, Neal Haney, Bob Crawford, Lance Inderman and others have been periodically useful by standing up publicly and stating facts in a simple but compelling way. Doesn’t the reality that no one in the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis tried to publicly and directly debunk their respective statements speaks volumes?
Ironically, several MHI paid and rewarded surrogates have helped the process of revealing what was going wrong inside the industry too.
Even more ironically, Kevin Clayton, Joe Stegmayer, Tim Williams, Nathan Smith, plus statements and behaviors not yet revealed by MHProNews made by Jim Clayton are useful in unpacking their respective roles in what we’ve dubbed Buffett’s Buffet.
There are organizations that used this platform at various times to promote themselves and their messages. That’s to be expected by sponsoring and publishing. That can be value neutral or even good. At other times, it might be revealing and problematic.
We won’t name names at this time, but there are those that MHProNews knows that in various ways hold the keys to additional information that could blow whatever remains of the veil of corruption off of the industry’s most guilty parties. It is our hope that more whistleblowers, insiders and tipsters will step up to the plate.
There are also statements made by the retail consumers and residents of industry companies that have proven useful. Clayton Homes leadership is well aware.
Not to be overlooked are political personalities in both major parties and others who have done research, statements or official letters that help document the corruption and problematic behaviors of firms that are routinely MHI member or have other MHI connections.
Last but not least are mainstream news or other media reports that by accident or design revealed the problems inside specific and arguably corrupt corporate entities.
While the latter report has certain terminology and other delivery issues, it nevertheless revealed the often gut-wrenching stories of the alleged victims of the arguably crooked Buffett’s Buffet of Consolidators and Moat Builders. The protests below are against MHI member companies. What happened to MHI’s so called code of ethical conduct?
While Nathan Smith, a prior MHI’s chairman, was the target of numerous exposes by mainstream media. The video below is just one example. A clip of a such a video is in the John Oliver “Mobile Homes” video posted further above. As MHLivingNews documented, each of the firms Oliver spotlighted has in common MHI connections.
Telling Your Story and Insights With Evidence
Allegations themselves can be useful. But allegations with evidence are powerful. Facts, certain emails or documents can be difficult to deny. Certain emails, meeting minutes, notes, documents and other forms of evidence can be priceless in the hands of public officials investigating corrupt and illegal practices.
Competitors have at times been the source of information. Lance Inderman is an example of that which is publicly known because he made his concerns public.
Insiders within an organization or those who have previously served an organization have made useful off- or on-the-record statements over the years. Sources inside or with ties to Berkshire owned brands are in that category.
While there are those who bend their arm so far to self-servingly pat their own back claiming ‘historic’ insights, the fact that the same party used to rip MHI and now praises or ignores their and their big boy members purported wrongdoing says much.
People can’t have it both ways. The case can be made by an Allenite follower that the man made a “deal with the devil” the blogger previously bemoaned. It was a former Allen client that recently made a mistake who said that ‘With George its AAA. All about Allen.’
Who is the highest bidder or willing to offer the larger carrot?
Allen, along with MHInsider, ManufacturedHomes, or Kurt Kelley’s MHReview have candidly been useful at times, but often not in the obvious way. By playing the MHI tune in the face of obvious evidence, they reveal the nature of the scheme being played out in MHVille. If one knows enough to separate the wheat from the chaff, each of the above arguably has proven that they are shills for consolidators and system manipulators. They are purportedly part-time surrogates attempting to give cover for Buffett’s Buffet.
What Resident Leaders Revealed
But the case for the truly Machiavellian is MHAction and their parallels. Thank God for the GSMOL tip that revealed their connection to the Tides nonprofit or NGO. Because the Tides is funded by the Warren Buffett funded NoVo Foundation.
Buffett “dark money” funded MHAction, along with other nonprofits in the report linked below, are part time friends, part time enemies to manufactured housing that arguably harm white hat brands and manufactured home owners by their messaging. Mendacity can be exposed in a fashion that doesn’t undermine the value of manufactured homes.
When professionals trained in messaging fail to make bright line distinctions between black hats and white hats, that reflects on the organization that missed the mark.
Which is why the Peter Buffett insights are so interesting. When someone takes the time to sift and separate the wheat from the chaff, much good can occur.
The case has been made that MHI does little good, usually only when they’ ve been embarrassed into doing, and may finally perform – at times doing more harm than good. The DOE energy rule is an example.
The case can be made that specific personalities inside HUD, the FHFA, or the GSEs have de facto sold out, twisted or ignored elements of good laws to benefit a few Moat builders.
Whistleblowers Call to Action
The most recent tips – including ones not yet publicly revealed – can fuel the downfall of the bogus mask arguably involving MHI member firms.
Employees or officials past or present at all levels of a company, governmental, or NGO hold the key to bringing down a Rigged, Fraudulent and Corrupted system.
You or some that you know may hold the keys. Stop and think about what you know that either underscores these points and/or sheds light on new issues not yet published.
Last but not least. There are state affiliates and MHI staffers past and present that know more than what they may have already said. Emails or text messages. Documents and meeting notes. Additional evidence of how the system is rigged – conflicts of interest, payoffs/rewards, violations of specific bylaws, regulations or laws – examples of those are potentially important keys.
History records the names of certain people. But sometimes the great deeds are done in secret. Anonymous or off-the-record can be every bit as useful as on-the-record.
As a reminder of hope and light at the end of the tunnel, we already reported previously that state and federal investigations are reportedly underway. That noted, more evidence from sources with knowledge is better.
The COVID19 pandemic no doubt slows that process down, as so much of the attention of public officials have turned to the pandemic. But that also gives a unique opportunity to take this national and global crisis to reveal how the system has been undermined from within.
Bill Gates timing in stepping down from the Berkshire Hathaway board of directors is not to be ignored. Several revealing facts have already arisen, but sources indicate that more are coming.
There are people like Nancy Pelosi’s husband or those U.S. Senators from both major parties who are being credibly accused of corrupt practices that may involve illicit if not illegal forms of insider trading and market manipulation. Those are elements of what one candidate has called “the crime of the century.”
Monopolization, Consolidators and Oligarchs have Rigged the System in Arguably Illegal and Unethical Ways
The select insiders who dine at Buffett’s Buffet use campaign contributions and lobbyists to get what they want. They arguably use associations like MHI or their affiliates by lulling professionals into a false sense of security by posturing efforts that routinely fail to achieve the actual stated goal of growing the industry. Millions have been spent by MHI. What did they have to show for it in 2019? Only a reduction in new home sales. That’s the opposite of the momentum that MHI claimed would occur as a result of their problematic and controversial “new class of homes” known as “CrossModTM homes.” Voices from inside MHI, from the modular home builders, and MHARR have all ripped the plan.
Hundreds – perhaps thousands – of people previously or still working in various entities know some elements of the scheme that has undermined manufactured housing from within. The outcome of that scheme has been documented to grow the market share of a few arguably insider firms.
Something similar is occurring in the community side, which may shed light on why MHI’s National Community Council (NCC)
Whatever you know, be like those heroines and heroes who have shared their insider tips, documents, emails and other evidence of corrupt or illegal practices. Blow the Whistle. You can do it anonymously, off the record or on the record.
- 1) You can mail documents and/or flash drives with digital evidence to 4210 Arietta Lane, Lakeland, FL 33813. Please write TIPS on the bottom left corner of the envelope. No return address is needed, but in that case it can be useful to put 4210 Arietta Lane, Lakeland, FL as the return address. Do all that you can to reasonably insure that your tip won’t get lost in the mail.
- 2) You can email evidence too. It’s easy to send PDFs of documents, forward incriminating emails, or other evidence to our tip-line email address below. Others have and are doing it. You can too. You can use a throw-away email address to do it, but if you do make sure that everything is crystal clear before you close such an email address box.
- 3) We are happy to talk to tipsters and whistleblowers. But at the end of the day, evidence must follow words. That said, call 863-213-4090.
This article is likely going to be widely circulated and read. Others have done what you or someone you know has already considered doing.
The reward is knowing you’re doing the right thing.
Exposing corruption via evidence has its own rewards. But more pragmatically, the opportunities in our industry will open up dramatically when the corruption is ended. Depending on the source one considers, from 500,000 or more new HUD Code manufactured homes per year is attainable. MHI’s own former president said as much.
Voting is important. But perhaps the most important vote you could cast is the vote to end the purported corruption of Buffett’s Buffet. Whistleblowers, tipsters – and yes, even competitors – can do that effectively.
Help MHProNews help you end the Rigged, Fraudulent and Corrupted System that has artificially limited manufactured housing for so long.
Beyond the Berkshire brands or those in the throes of the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis, affiliates and allies, we could name drop those we alleged are the black hat operators who are part of the problem. But you likely already know them, don’t you?
White hats in the trade groups, you know the black hats too, don’t you?
The beauty of telling the truth to us is it helps you do whatever is right and can keep whistleblowers at arms-length.
We don’t necessarily hold influence over what MHARR or its members do. As important as tips are, the work done by MHARR is the out-in-the-open corollary to documents and whistleblowing. We think MHARR should consider listing their members publicly so that the industry’s professionals can reward them with their business as often as possible.
MHProNews have long supported the notion of a post-production association. That’s useful for others to promote and back too. Those are mentioned as placeholders for another time.
But the existing post-production organizations in manufactured housing have arguably failed for years. The evidence only continues to mount, as our reporting last night of MHARR’s most recent release indicates.
That said, some executives could support the effort to end fraud and corruption in manufactured housing by providing tips, documents, and doing whistleblowing.
Billionaire Nick Hanauer isn’t a saint. But in “separating the wheat from the chaff” fashion, Hanauer made an important point. There is more money to be earned honestly than dishonestly.
That’s certainly true in manufactured housing, but only to the degree that good laws operate as intended.
The best possible reporting requires whistleblowers. Help MHProNews and MHLivingNews help you end the travesty of Buffett’s Buffet. It is your job, your business or your investments that you could be protecting.
Enough said in this fact and evidence laced op-ed installment of manufactured housing “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
The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which can be accessed by clicking on them.