Definition of Affordable Housing & We are ‘housers’!

December 6th, 2017

Blog # 472; Copyright @ 3 December 2017; at community-investor.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, & ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting is the sole national advocate, voice, official ombudsman, historian, research report, & online communication media for all North American LLCommunities.

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. COBA7, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

COBA7 Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal of its’ print & online media =
to not only inform & opine, but to transform & improve MHBusiness performance!
______________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION: Here learn the official definition of ‘affordable housing’; what it means to be a ‘houser’; how two print trade publications, covering manufactured housing and land lease communities, will debut during next six months; and, how to become involved in ‘Solving Our Nation’s (Lack of) Affordable Housing Crisis, with Factory-built Housing & Land Lease Communities!’ at Louisville MHShow on 17 January 2018.

I.

Definition of Affordable Housing*
by
George Allen, CPM Emeritus, MHM Master

“Housing is Affordable when an individual or household’s Annual Gross Income (‘AGI’), or local housing market’s Area Median Income (‘AMI’) – identified by postal zip code & available online at zipwho.com, can lease a conventional apartment and or buy a home in this local housing market, using no more than 30 percent of said AGI, or AMI, for said shelter and its’ related household (utility) expenses. For example. $50,000 AGI/AMI X .3 HEF (i.e. 30 % Housing Expense Factor) = $15,000 (divided by 12 months = $1,250/month) available for rent or mortgage PITI (principal, interest, taxes, insurance) & household expenses.” GFA

Furthermore,

Low Income Housing (LIH), is a subset of affordable housing, and occurs when AGI/AMI is only 80 percent of aforementioned 30 percent HEF. For example. $50,000 AGI/AMI X .3 HEF = $15,000 for rent or mortgage PITI, X .8 LIH factor = only $12,000/year, or $1,000/month available for rent or mortgage PITI & household expenses.

Furthermore,

Very Low Income Housing (‘VLIH’), is yet another subset of affordable housing, and occurs when AGI/AMI is only 50 percent of aforementioned 30 percent HEF. For example. $50,000 AGI/AMI X .3 HEF = $15,000 for rent or mortgage PITI, X .5 LIH factor = only $7,500/year, or $625/month, available for rent or mortgage PITI & household expenses.

* Copyright 2017 by COBA7, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247
Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

Addendum to Definition of Affordable Housing, relative to manufactured housing’s use of chattel capital for new HUD-Code homes sited in land lease communities.

Here are two significant considerations pursuant to the three part definition cited above:

• First, know there must be an adjustment for rental homesite payments in the examples cited above, to fully account for the allocation of said 30 percent HEF. Deducting, for example, $333/month in each instance, the amount remaining for renting a manufactured home and rental homesite together, or rental homesite alone when one owns their home, is as follows:

Affordable: $15,000 (-) $3,996 (i.e. $333/month rent X 12 months) = $11,004 divided by 12 months = $917/month available

LIH: $12,000 (-) $3,996 = $8,004 divided by 12 months = $667/month

VLIH: $7,500 (-) $3,996 = $3,504 divided by 12 months = $292/month

• Second. Know routine manufactured housing finance generally does not include ‘household expenses’ within the 30 percent HEF cited above. By not doing so, homeowner/site lessees pay their 30 percent HEF for rent or mortgage PITI, while their household expenses (i.e. utilities, but not including CATV & phone) effectively increase the target 30 percent HEF to 40 percent and higher. End result? An otherwise ‘affordable’ housing investment turned ‘risky’!

Did that get your attention? Then join the ‘Solving Our Nation’s Affordable Housing Crisis’ movement, by attending the Louisville MHShow on 17 January 2018. Look me up there – I’ll be easy to find – and request a FREE copy of the mini White Paper, ‘Solving Our Nation’s (Lack of) Affordable Housing Crisis, with Factory-built Housing & Land Lease Communities!’ Likely, opportunities for public discussion of the document, and planning how to effect said solution(s) to solve our nation’s affordable housing crisis.

II.

You & I are ‘Housers’!

That’s right. When one attends a Solutions for Affordable Housing program, planned and hosted by the National Housing Conference, one learns anyone who provides housing to American citizenry is a ‘houser’. Seriously. Now you know!

In any event, 220 of us convened at the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center. to participate in as many as eight concurrent conference sessions, plus luncheon and closing plenary sessions. Among the attendees were three COBA7 affiliates, two MHI members, one MHARR executive, & one freelance manufactured housing industry consultant.

Prior to and during this event, three dozen copies of the aforementioned mini-White Paper: ‘Solving Our Nation’s (Lack of) Affordable Housing Crisis, with Factory-built Housing & Land Lease Communities!’ were distributed to presenters, including:

• Dana Wade, General Deputy Assistant Secretary at HUD. Good to know her!

• Jim Gray, Federal Housing Finance Agency (Think Duty to Serve pilot programs)

• David Leopold, VP, Target Affordable Production & Investments at Freddie Mac

• Michael Hernandez, VP, Affordable Housing Initiatives at Fannie Mae

• Neal Rackleff, Assistant Secretary, Community Planning & Development, HUD

In addition to these federal housing-related executives, there were representatives present from major banks and various NGOs (non-government organizations) such as Enterprise Community Partners, Mission First Housing, LeadingAge, Housing Partnership Equity Trust, Prosperity Now (formerly CFED), Mortgage Bankers Association, Urban Institute, National CORE, and many many more.

So, what topics were covered? Duty to Serve rule implementation, New Solutions for Nonprofit Rental Housing, Economic Revival in Challenged Communities; Minority Ownership, Meeting Housing Needs of Older Adults, and Rental Assistance Demonstration – plus the plenary sessions.

Learned a second new word at this NHC event: COLONIA. Know what it is? In the U.S., along the USA-Mexico border, colonias are ‘low-income, unincorporated housing areas inhabited mostly by Mexicans’.

The most exciting aspect of this one day event? How ‘manufactured housing’ was mentioned, as a practical solution to the U.S. ‘affordable housing’ crisis, in all three sessions I attended! The downside? With but a handful of manufactured housing aficionados present, there really wasn’t much we could do to carry the day for our industry and realty asset class! Maybe next time around…

III.

What to Expect During 2018 – Revisited!

As you’ll, recall, blog posting # 471, tee’d you up as to what to expect to occur during year 2018. Remember?

• A ‘new class’ of HUD-Code manufactured home, not likely to be referred to as such, but designed to appeal to underserved housing buyer markets, e.g. millennials. Unique features? 5/12 roof pitch with asphalt shingles, mounted on permanent foundations, have a built-in porch, and likely a garage or carport at one end of the home. Some wags have already taken to refer to this ‘new class’ of home as being Millennial Housing. What do you think it should be called? Tell the folk at MHI: (202) 783-4087. MHI’s Dick Jennison will be ‘holding forth’ on this timely subject @ 8AM on 1/17 at the Louisville MHShow. Be there!

• The affordable housing crowd, including ‘low cost’ & ‘very low cost’ housing folk are discovering HUD-Code manufactured housing and the land lease community lifestyle! This is already a-happening, as evidenced at the recent National Housing Conference program: ‘Solutions for Affordable Housing’ in Washington, D.C. (Frankly, I can’t figure why there were no salaried or elected MHI leaders present – yet the institute is a ‘member’ of the NHCC) Go figure.

• Another change ‘in the wind’, involves an active initiative to organize and launch a new independent third party national advocacy entity to serve the lobbying and related needs of post-production segments of the manufactured housing industry. This is not COBA7! – but something altogether new. I’ll put you in touch with the ‘organizers’ if you email me via gfa7156@aol.com

• Land lease communities continue to be the ‘new and growing primary market’ for the distribution of HUD-Code manufactured homes. However, this trend, while obvious among most of the 500+/- portfolio owners/operators of land lease communities, has not taken hold among the estimated 42,500 smaller LLCommunities (i.e. mostly Mom & Pop properties). So, a second year initiative is being planned by the IMHA/RVIC (Indiana) during the Spring of 2018: a second Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars’, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN. Want to attend? Phone (317) 247-6258.

So now we learn there’s a fourth initiative to materialize during year 2018! The launch of not one, but two new print trade publications (i.e. magazines) to serve the information needs of the manufactured housing industry and land lease communities nationwide. As you know, Kurt Kelly’s online ezine, Manufactured Housing Review launched earlier this year. Well, be present at the aforementioned Louisville MHShow to pick up copies of the new pub, rumored to maybe be MHInsider (Sound familiar? It should. That’s how COBA7 affiliates are referred to in each of the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletters – but there’s no connection with the alliance). And a second new print trade publication will likely debut during the Spring of 2018. No further details available at this time. Well, appears the manufactured housing industry will be back in the communication business!

***

TWO POSTSCRIPTs.

Be aware, this is the absolutely last week (12/4-8/2017) for submission of LLCommunity portfolio statistics to COBA7, for inclusion in the 29th annual ALLEN REPORT, due out as a lagniappe in the January 2018 issue of the Allen Letter professional journal!

And, we’re putting together a one day Manufactured Housing Manager (‘MHM’) professional property management training and certification class on 16 January 2018 (the day before the Louisville MHShow begins) at a hotel near the KY fairgrounds. If interested, phone (317) 346-7156 to secure an invitation. Class limited to 25 @ $295.00 apiece. Remember, more than 1,000 MHMs now own/operate LLCommunities nationwide and throughout Canada. No other PM certification program comes anywhere close to covering this important material.

***

George Allen, CPM & MHM
COBA7, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing
Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

What to Expect During Year 2018

November 25th, 2017

Blog # 471; Copyright, 26 November 2017; at community-investor.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, & mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting is the sole national advocate, voice, official ombudsman, historian, research report, & online communication media for all North American LLCommunities.

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.ka. COBA7, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

COBA7 Motto: ‘U Support US & WE serve U!’ Goal of its’ print & online media =
to not only inform & opine, but to transform & improve MHBusiness performance!
____________________________________________________________________

What to Expect During Year 2018

Watch for Four Major Occurrences to Materialize During 2018

Let’s begin with what likely won’t change during 2018, and for awhile beyond. First and most enduring, is the manufactured housing industry shipment volume shattering paradigm shift, in plat since the turn of the Century – when easy access to chattel capital, via independent, third party personal property finance firms went away and has stayed away for 17 years! Since the MHIndustry’s new home shipment nadir of only 49,789 new homes shipped during 2009, has not yet ‘doubled’ to 100,000 (i.e. only 81,136 during 2016), we have a long way to go to reach the industry’s ‘sweet spot’ of an estimated 200,000 new manufactured homes to be shipped per year.*1

Two somewhat related but different unchanging consolidation trends include:
1) Continuing consolidation of stand alone land lease communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities, into property portfolios (e.g. only 25 such portfolios in 1977; 500+/-, 40 years later, in 2017). And 2) Continuing consolidation of HUD-Code housing manufacturers into mega firms, i.e. ‘Big Three C’ firms, Clayton, Champion & Cavco, today boast upwards of 70 percent national market share of new HUD-Code homes fabricated and shipped nationwide.

OK, now brief descriptions of four non-prioritized significant and expected occurrences during year 2018.

First. Watch for a ‘new class’ of HUD-Code manufactured home to materialize during the months ahead. First described at the manufacturers’ division session at MHI’s annual meeting in Orlando, FL., during October 2017, the first public description of this ‘new class’ will occur at 8AM, the first morning (16 January 2018) of the Louisville MHShow, when Chris Fisher (Ducker Worldwide) and Richard Jennison (MHI) hold forth on the subject. What to expect? As described in an earlier blog posting (See # 465) here, this ‘new class’ will be built in accords with the existing HUD-Code, feature 5/12 roof pitch with asphalt shingles, mounted on a permanent foundation, have a built-in porch, and likely a garage or carport at one end of the home. It’s doubtful the ‘new class’ will be referred to specifically as a ‘manufactured home’, but a moniker of its’ own, e.g. Millennial Housing, or some other such handle.

Second. Watch for the affordable housing crowd (a.k.a. low cost housing folk) to soon ‘discover’ factory-built housing and land lease communities, as practical,’ affordable housing & lifestyle’ solutions to this nation’s Affordable Housing Crisis (i.e. Majority of renters & homebuyers now pay in excess of 40 percent, sometimes 50 percent, of their annual gross income for housing)! How’s this word getting out? A White Paper has been ‘making the rounds’ and been generally well-received to date: ‘Solving Our Nation’s (Lack of) Affordable Housing Crisis, with Factory-built Housing & Land Lease Communities’! Researched, produced and distributed by the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance (‘COBA7’). How to obtain a copy of the White Paper? simply request it via Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

Third. Watch for a major overt effort to organize, recruit and launch a new, independent, third party national advocacy entity, comprised of businessmen and women from most, if not all, post-production segments of the manufactured housing industry. While this non-manufacturer initiative has been quietly discussed for some time, the question remains as to whether discontent with the status quo is strong enough to spawn a third manufactured housing presence in Washington, DC. – a ‘fourth presence’ when one includes the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, or COBA7. To be put in touch with those organizing this effort, phone (317) 346-7156 for contact information.

Fourth. HUD-Code housing manufacturers have realized since 2009 (also the year Community Series Home debuted) how land lease communities are the new primary market for new manufactured homes! After all, in 2009, only 24 percent of the 48,789 new homes went directly into land lease communities. However, by year end 2015, that volume jumped to 40 percent of the 70,544 new homes shipped! And it’s likely the percentage now exceeds 50 percent. But there’s a troubling, but potentially rewarding, challenge afoot. While the largest property portfolio ‘players’ have learned, and now routinely effect the ‘new home purchase, sell on-site, & seller-finance the transaction drill’ – well, the vast majority (estimated at 80 percent of 50,00+/- LLCommunities nationwide) of these property owners/operators know they have a growing number of vacant rental homesites, have little to no idea how to ‘solve’ it by buying, selling, and seller-financing new homes on-site! That, in this veteran industry observer’s opinion, remains ‘the challenge’ of 2018, albeit, How to reverse said trend and restore prosperity! Want to address this? Plan to participate in the second Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame, in Elkhart, IN., during May 2018. To get onto the ‘invite list’, phone the IMHA/RVIC in IN. via (317) 247-6258 X 11. Don’t wait.

Well, there you have it. What to watch for during year 2018. The ‘new class’ of manufactured home, our brand of affordable housing & lifestyle to mount the national stage, maybe a new post-production national advocacy entity in Washington, DC., and the education of small to mid-sized land lease community owners/operators nationwide.

End Notes.

1. Relative to manufactured housing annual shipment totals quoted in this blog posting, know they are 12 month totals researched and published by the Institute for Building Technology & Safety (‘IBTS’) at the behest of HUD; then parroted, in unadulterated fashion, by MHARR and COBA7. These are the manufactured housing industry’s official annual new home shipment totals!

***
George Allen , CPM * MHM

What to Expect During Year 2018

November 25th, 2017

Blog # 471; Copyright, 26 November 2017; at community-investor.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, & mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting is the sole national advocate, voice, official ombudsman, historian, research report, & online communication media for all North American LLCommunities.

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.ka. COBA7, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

COBA7 Motto: ‘U Support US & WE serve U!’ Goal of its’ print & online media =
to not only inform & opine, but to transform & improve MHBusiness performance!
____________________________________________________________________

What to Expect During Year 2018

Watch for Four Major Occurrences to Materialize During 2018

Let’s begin with what likely won’t change during 2018, and for awhile beyond. First and most enduring, is the manufactured housing industry shipment volume shattering paradigm shift, in plat since the turn of the Century – when easy access to chattel capital, via independent, third party personal property finance firms went away and has stayed away for 17 years! Since the MHIndustry’s new home shipment nadir of only 49,789 new homes shipped during 2009, has not yet ‘doubled’ to 100,000 (i.e. only 81,136 during 2016), we have a long way to go to reach the industry’s ‘sweet spot’ of an estimated 200,000 new manufactured homes to be shipped per year.*1

Two somewhat related but different unchanging consolidation trends include:
1) Continuing consolidation of stand alone land lease communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities, into property portfolios (e.g. only 25 such portfolios in 1977; 500+/-, 40 years later, in 2017). And 2) Continuing consolidation of HUD-Code housing manufacturers into mega firms, i.e. ‘Big Three C’ firms, Clayton, Champion & Cavco, today boast upwards of 70 percent national market share of new HUD-Code homes fabricated and shipped nationwide.

OK, now brief descriptions of four non-prioritized significant and expected occurrences during year 2018.

First. Watch for a ‘new class’ of HUD-Code manufactured home to materialize during the months ahead. First described at the manufacturers’ division session at MHI’s annual meeting in Orlando, FL., during October 2017, the first public description of this ‘new class’ will occur at 8AM, the first morning (16 January 2018) of the Louisville MHShow, when Chris Fisher (Ducker Worldwide) and Richard Jennison (MHI) hold forth on the subject. What to expect? As described in an earlier blog posting (See # 465) here, this ‘new class’ will be built in accords with the existing HUD-Code, feature 5/12 roof pitch with asphalt shingles, mounted on a permanent foundation, have a built-in porch, and likely a garage or carport at one end of the home. It’s doubtful the ‘new class’ will be referred to specifically as a ‘manufactured home’, but a moniker of its’ own, e.g. Millennial Housing, or some other such handle.

Second. Watch for the affordable housing crowd (a.k.a. low cost housing folk) to soon ‘discover’ factory-built housing and land lease communities, as practical,’ affordable housing & lifestyle’ solutions to this nation’s Affordable Housing Crisis (i.e. Majority of renters & homebuyers now pay in excess of 40 percent, sometimes 50 percent, of their annual gross income for housing)! How’s this word getting out? A White Paper has been ‘making the rounds’ and been generally well-received to date: ‘Solving Our Nation’s (Lack of) Affordable Housing Crisis, with Factory-built Housing & Land Lease Communities’! Researched, produced and distributed by the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance (‘COBA7’). How to obtain a copy of the White Paper? simply request it via Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

Third. Watch for a major overt effort to organize, recruit and launch a new, independent, third party national advocacy entity, comprised of businessmen and women from most, if not all, post-production segments of the manufactured housing industry. While this non-manufacturer initiative has been quietly discussed for some time, the question remains as to whether discontent with the status quo is strong enough to spawn a third manufactured housing presence in Washington, DC. – a ‘fourth presence’ when one includes the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, or COBA7. To be put in touch with those organizing this effort, phone (317) 346-7156 for contact information.

Fourth. HUD-Code housing manufacturers have realized since 2009 (also the year Community Series Home debuted) how land lease communities are the new primary market for new manufactured homes! After all, in 2009, only 24 percent of the 48,789 new homes went directly into land lease communities. However, by year end 2015, that volume jumped to 40 percent of the 70,544 new homes shipped! And it’s likely the percentage now exceeds 50 percent. But there’s a troubling, but potentially rewarding, challenge afoot. While the largest property portfolio ‘players’ have learned, and now routinely effect the ‘new home purchase, sell on-site, & seller-finance the transaction drill’ – well, the vast majority (estimated at 80 percent of 50,00+/- LLCommunities nationwide) of these property owners/operators know they have a growing number of vacant rental homesites, have little to no idea how to ‘solve’ it by buying, selling, and seller-financing new homes on-site! That, in this veteran industry observer’s opinion, remains ‘the challenge’ of 2018, albeit, How to reverse said trend and restore prosperity! Want to address this? Plan to participate in the second Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame, in Elkhart, IN., during May 2018. To get onto the ‘invite list’, phone the IMHA/RVIC in IN. via (317) 247-6258 X 11. Don’t wait.

Well, there you have it. What to watch for during year 2018. The ‘new class’ of manufactured home, our brand of affordable housing & lifestyle to mount the national stage, maybe a new post-production national advocacy entity in Washington, DC., and the education of small to mid-sized land lease community owners/operators nationwide.

End Notes.

1. Relative to manufactured housing annual shipment totals quoted in this blog posting, know they are 12 month totals researched and published by the Institute for Building Technology & Safety (‘IBTS’) at the behest of HUD; then parroted, in unadulterated fashion, by MHARR and COBA7. These are the manufactured housing industry’s official annual new home shipment totals!

***
George Allen , CPM * MHM

Positive Results; SINGLEWIDE; & Key MH Issues!

November 9th, 2017

Blog # 470; Copyright, 12 November 2017; at community-investor.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, & ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting is the sole national advocate, voice, official ombudsman, historian, research report, & online communication media for all North American LLCommunities.

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. COBA7, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

COBA7 Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal of its’ print & online media =
to not only inform & opine, but to transform & improve MHBusiness performance!

INTRODUCTION:

You’re about to read the most exciting array of MHIndustry & LLCommunity news published so far this year! And this is simply the tip of the iceberg. So, after reading Parts I, II, & III, ask yourself:

‘Who else in the MHIndustry & LLCommunity realty asset class, is informing me of this timely and strategic business news? Answer? No one!

With that thought in mind, and if not already an affiliate of COBA7, purpose to do so at the end of this week’s blog posting.

I.

OMG – Positive Results Already!

Did You Read ‘Solving Our Nation’s (Lack of) Affordable Housing Crisis, with Factory-built Housing & Land Lease Communities!’?

Published as a lengthy blog posting (#468), it’ll appear soon, as a stand alone feature in every manufactured housing print, and hopefully online, trade publication!

Here’s one early response, quoted (& edited) in part: “Our local (land lease) communities are gradually losing tenants, and (property) owners are selling the properties. Lack of
(reasonable) access to (chattel) financing, and Dodd/Frank (regulations) have really made business difficult.’ Agreed. But it’s not that dismal everywhere, nor among most of the 500+/- land lease community portfolio owners/operators in the U.S. & Canada. How to reverse ‘that dire situation’ was a goal of the above-referenced White Paper. Another goal? Attract attention of ‘affordable housing’ practitioners! And that’s happening NOW!

Some Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance (‘COBA7’) affiliates will soon travel to Washington, DC., to participate in a high level NGO (non-government organization) forum, where factory-built housing in general, manufactured housing in particular, along with land lease communities, will be introduced and postured as 1) practical, affordable solutions to ‘minority homeownership’, 2) meeting the ‘housing needs of older adults’, and more! That’s all we can tell you at this time. So, watch COBA7 weekly blog postings for more information, and eventually results, of this unexpected but timely and welcome opportunity.

In the meantime, know a reprint of the aforementioned blog posting (#468), will be enclosed as a lagniappe, in the November issues of the Allen Letter professional journal, and the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter.

II.

SINGLEWIDE

‘Chasing the American Dream in a Rural Trailer Park’
by
Sonya Salamon & Katherine MacTavish

This is, in my opinion, a ‘NEW 272 pages book using OLD data & terminology. I is published by Cornell University Press. How new/old? According to the back cover description of this NEW’ book: “In Singlewide, (the authors) explore the role of the trailer park as a source of affordable housing. America’s trailer parks, most in rural places, shelter an estimated 12,000,000 people, and the authors show how these parks serve as a private solution to a pressing public need.” – for affordable housing. ‘OLD’? 1) Among manufactured housing and land lease community practitioners, when was the last time to this unique type of income-producing property was referred to as being a ‘trailer park’? 2) And apparently, at least one of three ‘field studies’ cited, occurred in Illinois as far back as 1998 – 2001. 3) When was the last time it was required that manufactured homes in land lease communities have license plates affixed to one end? Hmm. Maybe the 1950s?

This pre-review of SINGLEWIDE is based on material in the Introduction to this text, and Chapter # 1. A comprehensive ‘review’ will likely appear in a future issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. Until then know, the ethnographer co-authors, within the first three pages of their work together, seem unable to either differentiate among, or chose which, descriptive term to use in their book; alternatives being:

• trailer-park & trailer park
• mobile home park
• land-lease park
• manufactured home community
• ‘galvanized ghettos’

In my opinion, once again, someone outside the manufactured housing industry and land lease community business models, finds the housing alternative and property type to be convenient whipping boys for preconceived notions of product quality and lifestyle. Sad.

III.

KEY MH ISSUES

Results of Four Input Sessions to Soon be Presented…

Surely you participated in one or more of the four ‘manufactured housing input sessions’ occurring since the first of this (2017) year. When and where did they occur?

• In Chicago, IL. during the Illinois Manufactured Housing annual meeting
• In Elkhart, IN., during an MHAlive! ‘think tank’ session at the RV/MH Hall of Fame
• In Indianapolis, IN., during the 29th annual International Networking Roundtable
• In Marietta, GA., during the 6th annual SECO Conference

Plus, several other venues (e.g. Fannie Mae’s recent Future of Manufactured Housing forum, in Washington, DC.) provided direct input, relative to manufactured housing industry issues, all which will be published soon, as a feature in – likely – the November issue of the Allen Letter professional journal.

So, don’t miss the upcoming features and lagniappes, in the Allen Letter professional journal, relative to ‘Solving Our Nation’s Affordable Housing Crisis’, a review of SINGLEWIDE, and comprehensive listing of key manufactured housing industry-related issues. To affiliate with the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance (‘COBA7’) and receive this valuable trade print publication, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764,

***

George Allen, CPM & MHM
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

Solving Our Nation’s Affordable Housing Crisis

November 3rd, 2017

Blog # 468; Copyright, 22 October 2017; at community-investor.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, & ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting is the sole national advocate, voice, official ombudsman, historian, research report, & online communication media for all North American LLCommunities.

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. COBA7, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

COBA7 Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal of its’ print & online media =
to not only inform & opine, but to transform & improve MHBusiness performance!
______________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION:

This blog posting recommends ‘Solving Our Nation’s (Lack of) Affordable Housing Crisis, with Factory-built Housing & Land Lease Communities!’

Took longer than usual to collect, organize, and articulate key data and appropriate thoughts on this important and timely topic. Result? More affordable housing!

Watch for this Solution to be featured in the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter, Allen Letter professional journal, and wherever COBA7 can secure media ‘white space’, an online e-zine presence in the Manufactured Housing Review, & distribution of reprints!

This message warrants distribution beyond our immediate circle of manufactured housing and land lease community businessmen and women friends and association executives to state and federal regulators, as well as local land planners, and zoning boards everywhere

You’ve permission to copy & distribute this blog posting! Thank You for doing so! GFA

I.

Solving Our Nation’s (Lack of) Affordable Housing Crisis, with Factory-built Housing & Land Lease Communities!

Providers of single and multifamily residential housing talk about it, some take steps to ameliorate ‘this crisis’; but few set aside personal & corporate preferences to ideate (‘conceptualize’) what it’ll take to actually ‘ Solve Our Nation’s Lack of Affordable Housing Crisis!’ What follows here, is a foundation for such discussion, then thoughts as to how factory-built (Some say systems-built) housing in general, manufactured housing in particular, and land lease community lifestyle (a.k.a. manufactured home community), are likely the ideal, practical, dual solution to said affordable housing crisis.

Affordable housing, as a descriptive term, is widely known to have been hijacked by the low income housing crowd. But that need not be the case going forward, as we agree on a working, across the board definition of ‘affordable housing’.

Here’s one suggestion. ‘Housing is affordable, when an individual or household’s Annual Gross Income (‘AGI’) , when less than half the local housing market’s Area Median Income (‘AMI’) – defined by postal zip code and researchable online (e.g. zipwho.com), can rent a conventional apartment and or buy a home in this locale, using no more than 30 percent of said AGI, for this shelter & its related household (utility) expenses.’ 30 percent of $36,000 AGI, or local housing market AMI, = $10,800 to rent a nonsubsidized conventional apartment unit and or buy a house. Using the approximate national AMI of $51,229; 30 percent = $15,368 to the same ends*1 Practical examples later…

In the meantime, to better understand the scope and depth of the Affordable Housing Crisis, and how its’ described, one should become familiar with six or more measures generally associated with this aspect of shelter categorization:

• Aforementioned 30 percent Housing Expense Factor, or HEF measure; common in some, if not many/most, of HUD’s, and other related housing programs.

• The Housing Opportunity Index, or HOI measure. Formerly, the National Association of Realtors (‘NAR’), or National Association of Homebuilders’ (‘NAHB’), and ‘Housing Affordability Index’ (‘HAI’) measure; partnerships between NAR or NAHB and a major lender, like Wells Fargo.

• The Housing Wage, or HW measure

• The Workforce Housing, or WFH measure

• The Income to Home Value Ratio, or IHVR measure

• Finally, the ‘One, or Anyone, Who Believes They Live in Affordable Housing’, a patently subjective measure *2

Today, study after study tells us the majority of renters & homebuyers pay in excess of 40 percent, sometimes 50+/- percent, of their AGI for housing that, according to the above measure, is not HEF affordable; or for that matter, by any other measure! Therein lies the Affordable Housing Crisis.

So, where do we go from here?

Introduction to Factory-built Housing and Land Lease Communities.
FACTORY-BUILT HOUSING

Some say 100 percent of new single and multifamily family residential housing is, in large part, even in toto, built with factory-fabricated components or as self-contained units. Many agree there are four types of factory-built housing in the U.S. *3

• Production (site) builders = 50+/- percent of national market share. Construct housing on-site, per local building codes, using factory-built components (e.g. roof & floor trusses, pre-hung windows & doors, etc.). A.k.a. site-builders & stick-builders

• Panelizers = 35+/- percent of national market share. Use two dimensional exterior & interior walls, roof & floor trusses, and furnish ‘packages’ needed to complete the home. Components fabricated in factories per local building codes.

• HUD-Code Manufactured Housing = 10+/- percent of national market share. Six-sided structures, singlesection & multisection, built in factories per the performance-based, federally preemptive (HUD) building code. Uses longitudinal steel chassis as foundation for floor system.

• Modular Housing = five+/- percent of national market share. Six-sided modules & utility cores, built in factories per local, state & regional building codes.

Of the four types of factory-built housing, including component assembly, only the HUD-Code manufactured housing alternative, by dint of

• fabrication occurs indoors under climate-controlled conditions

• assembly lines draw from bulk purchased-building material & appliance inventories

• using local, skilled, but not necessarily journeyman, labor, &

• benefitting from a plethora of production line efficiencies,

routinely ships singlesection & multisection housing units, at half the ‘cost per square foot’ – not including value of underlying realty, of contemporary site-built housing! *4

But therein lies the challenge! How to further Solve Our Nation’s (Lack of) Affordable Housing Crisis, using this type factory-built housing? Following are forward-looking ideas and suggestions to explore to this noble and timely end:

• Refine designs of planned new HUD-Code homes, emphasizing space and energy efficiency (e.g. via more insulation, but avoiding trendy but expensive and as yet, unproven innovations), use of quality materials to enhance the durability of said homes. PRODUCT. As volume of new homes, shipped directly into land lease communities increases, continue to refine the design, features and fabrication of Community Series Homes or CSH Models.

• Understand and satisfy local housing markets into which new HUD-Code homes will be shipped, keeping features in line with needs and preferences of prospective homebuyers/site lessees. PLACE. And, as the industry’s distribution mechanism(s) utilize additional ‘independent (street) MHRetailers’ &/or on-site sale of new homes within land lease communities by owners/operators. In doing so, refine where and how new homes are displayed, e.g. at retail home sales centers, and or on-site in land lease communities as ‘spec’ulation housing opportunities, rental units, and otherwise..

• Research and exercise price point sensitivity keyed to local housing market AMI! PRICE. A caution here: Manufacturers must eschew (‘shun’) temptations to wantonly increase the cost of housing product leaving the factory, blaming ‘whatever is in the news at the time’, e.g. hurricanes; ever increasing fuel costs, NOT; and, new regulations that may or may not be true. And in the case of chattel capital financing of new HUD-Code homes, move – as an industry, away from ‘risky’ to ‘affordable’ price point calculation mechanics. More about this later.

• Build one or more Unique Selling Propositions (‘USP’s’) into new homes, and engage in brand advertising locally, regionally, even nationally. PROMOTION. At the same time, take steps, in print and online marketing, to improve public perception of HUD-Code homes nationwide. A recent suggestion has been to advertise as Tiny Houses. Then, when prospective homebuyers visit, and see just how prohibitively small they are, suggest the larger manufactured home, or Millennial Housing (see paragraph to follow), is the right size for them.

• Provide HUD-Code home sales training, as needed, at all levels and among as many MHRetailers and in-community sales forces as possible. PEOPLE. Monitor home sales performance via data reporting, regular supervision, as well as use of covert and anonymous mystery shopping services.

• Bring the gist of the previous five bullet points together into marketing and operations plans, keyed to local housing markets and manner of distribution. PROCESS. Again, monitor performance and adjust accordingly, to ensure success.

There has been talk of late, to design, fabricate, deliver, and sell, a New Type of (Manufactured) Home, constructed in accords with the HUD-Code, but not referred to as being manufactured housing per se (Some suggest ‘Millennial Housing’), featuring 5/12 roof pitch with asphalt shingles and housing siding, a built-in porch, and possibly a garage at one end of the home. If the price point of this new type factory-built home, and underlying realty cost (including rental homesite rates in land lease communities) can be kept within the new home purchase range of the average American citizen earning the $51,229+/- national average AMI, and or average manufactured housing customer earning $36,000+/- per year, this New Type of (Manufactured) Home could/would go a long long way to Solving Our Nation’s (lack of) Affordable Housing Crisis!

How’s all this to work? Well,

• In the first instance, given an AGI (or AMI) of $51,229 X .30 HEF = $15,368. Following the ‘risky’ route (i.e. sans utility $ in monthly PITI payment & paid separately each month), where 100 percent of $15,368 (before deducting $333/month site rent), leaves $948 to pay the monthly mortgage payment (i.e. based on 9.5 percent interest over 20 years) = $113,000 price point (i.e. max amount of mortgage for house purchase). In the second example, given same AGI or AMI X .30 HEF = $15,368, but following the ‘affordable’ route (i.e. utility $ as part of monthly PITI payment), only 75 percent (Not aforementioned 100 percent) of $15,368, or $11,527 – reduced once again by the $333/month site rent, to where $628. pays the monthly mortgage payment (i.e. same loan terms as above) of $628/month = $75,000 price point. (i.e. max amount of mortgage for house purchase).

• In the second instance,, given a lower AGI (or AMI) of $36,000 X .30 HEF, and respective 100 percent and 75 percent allocations, for ‘risky’ & ‘affordable’ calculations, subject to same $333/month site rent and mortgage terms, the resulting price points for the ‘risky’ transaction is $68,000 while the ‘affordable’ transaction restricts the would be homebuyer/site lessee to a $41,000 purchase.*5

Aha! Isn’t this the metaphorical ‘fly in the otherwise (affordable housing) healing ointment’! Yes, as just demonstrated, and it has to do with the manner in which housing payments have been calculated in the manufactured housing industry decades past and today. Estimated household utility (e.g. heat, electric, water/sewer) expenses have generally not been included within the PITI (Principal, Interest, Taxes, Insurance) mortgage and site rent payments, leading to an otherwise ‘risky’ HEF of more than 30 percent. However, when utility expenses are included in the PITI and rental homesite payments, the ‘risky’ investment becomes ‘affordable’ at 30 percent. This simple change in calculation makes a significant difference in the ‘amount of house’ a prospective homebuyer/site lessee can truly afford, albeit ‘risky’ or ‘affordable’. And yes, the ‘amount of house’ a manufacturer can build, and a housing retailer, sell.

• Again, with an AGI or AMI of $51,229, the ‘risky’ approach allows for a home purchase of $113,000. Whereas, taking the ‘affordable’ approach, the homebuyer/site lessee can really only afford $75,000 worth of house – but will likely be less liable to default and or have financial difficulty paying his/her mortgage, site rent, and utility bills each month.

• And the ‘like figures’ for homebuyer/site lessees with a lesser AGI or AMI of $36,000, the ‘risky’ approach allows for a home purchase of $68,000. Whereas, taking the ‘affordable’ approach, the homebuyer/site lessee can really only afford $41,000 worth of house.

So, there you have it! Where will the manufactured housing industry go from here?

Entice the average national AGI customer (or local housing market AMI) of $51,229 to purchase a home ‘affordably’ at max value of $75,000, or in ‘risky’ fashion at max value of $113,000? Furthermore, where the average manufactured housing homebuying/site lessee customer is concerned, with an AGI (or local housing market AMI) of $36,000 will they be encouraged to purchase a home ‘affordably’ at max value of $41,000, or in ‘risky’ fashion at max value of $68,000? *6

Now, there’s something to ponder and decide, going forward…

II.

LAND LEASE COMMUNITY

The trailer courts & camps of the 1950s, mobile home parks of the 1970s, and manufactured home communities of the 1990s, were not and are not, the land lease communities of today and tomorrow! *7

So, what makes land lease communities an integral part of the Solution to Solve
Our Nation’s (lack of) Affordable Housing Crisis? In three words: ‘underlying developed realty’, a.k.a. ‘rental homesites’ right sized and configured for HUD-Code manufactured homes and their homeowners/site lessees!

Prospective homebuyers, with an AGI of $36,000, when offered right price point housing alternatives, when rental homesite rent is @ $333.00/month, or thereabouts, can afford a new factory-built home priced at $41,000. if calculated ‘affordably’; or, $68,000. if calculated as a ‘risky’ investment sans utility bills included in the monthly PITI payment. Where else is someone (or household) earning $36,000/year going to be able to buy a home, and secure (rent) the underlying realty, at either of these price points? Answer? Nowhere!

But land lease communities, like their manufactured housing industry counterparts, also have challenges to resolve – if they’re to Solve Our Nation’s (Lack of) Affordable Housing crisis!

• In this case, the multifamily rental property must be clean and safe, with superb curb appeal and more! Rental homesites must be large enough to accommodate singlesection and multisection homes. Streets and utility infrastructure must be in good repair. PRODUCT. In a word, offer a desirable, sustainable lifestyle to ‘newly wed & nearly dead’, euphemistically speaking. Adopt the land lease community mindset (Think lifestyle!) and leave manufactured home communities and ‘mobile home parks’ far behind!

• The land lease community must be well-located for the market mix of homebuyer/site lessee it serves. Location might indeed be the USP (Unique Selling Proposition) for the land lease community. PLACE. And other USPs might include proximity to desired health services, convenient shopping, quality education; rural versus suburban environment, etc..

• It is important the rental homesite rent be in sync with other forms of multifamily residential properties in the local housing market. One way to ensure this is to survey conventional apartment rents for 3BR2B units, and divide that area dollar average by ‘3’, e.g. $900/month average apartment rent = $300/month site rent. PRICE. And taken together, monthly PITI mortgage payment, utility payments, and site rent, to be within the 30 percent HEF cited earlier. And some say the combined total should be 10+ percent (Schwep Rule), or $50.00/month (Schrader/Smith Rule), below the rent rate for said 3BR2B conventional apartment unit or townhouse in the same local housing market.

• What is being advertised? Property location, features, new homes, etc? Is there off-site and on-site signage present and is it in good condition? PROMOTION. Until maximum physical and economic occupancy is achieved on-site, use every form of advertising: print, broadcast, signage, online, and more. Keep close track on the volume of online and telephone responses, number and nature of on-site visitors, and the ‘conversion rate’ of inquirers to visitors to homebuyers and or lessees of rental homesites or homes.

• Professional property management and successful home sales depends almost entirely on, not just the product, place, price and promotion, but PEOPLE as well! Are they properly screened, hired, trained, rewarded, and supervised? On-site managers should be trained and certified as Manufactured Housing Managers (‘MHM’); regional and executive real estate managers trained and designated Certified Property Manager (‘CPM’) members of the Institute of Real Estate Management (‘IREM’). Better yet, more (Certainly more than the two designees now) land lease community portfolio firms need to earn IREM’s prestigious AMO (Accredited Management Organization) designation.

• Here too, it is important to integrate all ‘Six Right Ps of Marketing’ to support one another in PROCESS. Ensure the overall process dovetails well with the manufactured housing emphasis points.

These have been the Six Right Ps of Marketing: Product, Place, Price, Promotion, People, & Process. Get used to applying them to everything you do relative to housing and community marketing and operations!

So, where do we go from here? What are the challenges that must be faced if land lease communities are to be part of the solution solving our nation’s (lack of) affordable housing?

Well, for starters, we need more land lease communities! How to do that? Take the ‘affordable housing & land lease community message’ to land planners and local zoning officials nationwide!

Again, engage in professional property management at all levels, from on-site to corporate. Of all types commercial real estate, land lease communities have been the least interested in and served by the tenets of professional real estate management. There continues to be a dire need for sales and leasing training and certification nationwide, with results ensured by performance observation, key data reporting, and use of mystery shopping services – a routine practice borrowed from the apartment management playbook.

Rein in rental homesite rents approaching a 2:1 Ratio (Compared to apartment unit rents in the same local housing market, e.g. $900/mnth for a 3BR2B apartment X .50 = $450/month site rent), and commit to effecting the more desirable and affordable 3:1 Ratio cited earlier. Why? For every $100.00 increase in homesite rent, new home buying power of prospective homebuyers is decreased by 18 – 20 percent, depending on whether calculating PITI & site rent on an ‘affordable’ (18%) or ‘risky’ (20%) basis.*8 Bottom line? The value proposition, comprised of home value and rental homesite rates, can be precarious. Only if we protect this value proposition between homeowners/site lessees, and property owners/operators, will we be able, let alone worthy, to be the realty asset class portion of the Solution to Our Nation’s (Lack of) Affordable housing Crisis.

Lest we forget how important reasonable access to chattel capital is for new and resale home sales in land lease communities, it is indeed one of the wildcards deserving continuing attention and action by everyone involved in manufactured housing and land lease community ownership and management. Unfortunately, as an industry and realty asset class we have little to no control over that aspect of our business model. The best we can do is lobby and encourage the Federal Housing Finance Agency (‘FHFA’), and GSEs (Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac) to meet Congress’ challenge to effect Duty to Serve (‘DS’) pilot programs in the manufactured housing industry!

III

SUMMARY.

NOW is the time to enlarge the heretofore niche role (i.e. estimated 10 percent+/- of national market share of new single family residences) manufactured housing has been serving the American homebuying public. ALSO time for land lease community owners/operators, large and small, nationwide, to extol the affordability, desirability, sustainability of the homeownership/site lessee lifestyle they offer. In BOTH cases, no longer will we ‘Wait for the customer’; but rather, take our combined housing and lifestyle message to them every way possible. Needed result? ‘The Solving of Our Nation’s (Lack of) Affordable Housing Crisis with Factory-built Housing & Land Lease Communities!’

Are YOU on board? We surely hope so!*9

***
End Notes.

1. Adapted from a definition put forth in the June 2011 issue of Multihousing Professional magazine, and edited on page 37 of the Book of Formulae, Rules of Thumb, & Helpful Measures…George Allen, COBA7, Indianapolis, IN., 2012.

2. Ibid., p.38

3. Originally identified in Automated Builder Magazine, California

4. Per 2015 data published by the Manufactured Housing Institute, $47.55/sq.ft. (all sizes HUD-Code homes) – or $50.00/sq.ft. when including foundation, compares with $100.65/ssq.ft. for site-built homes. Quoted from Swan Song, George Allen’s History of Manufactured Housing & Land Lease Communities, 1970 – present day’, COBA7, Indianapolis, IN. 2017, page # 113. Limited number of copies available, for $49.95 (postpaid) via Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

5. Using methodology described within the ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet, COBA7, Indianapolis, IN., 20008 & revised 2016. See Figure # 1

6. Ibid., Reverse side of Figure # 1.

7. Why land lease community? Unlike the manufactured housing-related income-producing properties circa 1950 thru 1990s, where only pre-HUD-Code ‘mobile homes’ were sited in ‘mobile home parks’; then post-HUD-Code ‘manufactured homes (& pre-HUD-Code ‘mobile homes) were sited in manufactured home communities; today’s land lease community features not only these two types of factory-built housing, but modular homes, ‘park model RVs’, ‘RVs for a season’, and site-built homes constructed on-site in land lease communities to imitate HUD-Code homes (only in FL following major hurricanes).

8. Using 1) ‘risky’ & 2) ‘affordable’ price point calculations perspectives at $51,229 AGI/AMI, with site rent increased from $333/month to $433/month, final ‘max house purchases’ are 1) $90,867 (down $22,233 from the $113,000 ‘risky’ perspective), or 20 percent; and, 2) $75,000 (down $15,687 from the $90,867 ‘affordable’ perspective, or 18 percent! Think how much ‘less house’ will be able to be purchased, using $36,000 AGI/AMI and higher site rent at $433/month!

9. Want more information on this timely and important subject and challenge to the manufactured housing industry and land lease communities? Phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also reach COBA7 and the author of this challenge via gfa7156@aol.com

Figure.

1. ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet, COBA7, Indianapolis, IN., 2008 & revised 2016.

***

George Allen, CPM & MHM
COBA7, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

From a Letter to My Friends at Fannie Mae, & OUCH!

October 19th, 2017

Blog # 469; Copyright, 29 October 2017; at community-investor.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, & ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting is the sole national advocate, voice, official ombudsman, historian, research report, & online communication media for all North American LLCommunities.

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance,
a.k.a. COBA7, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

COBA7 Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal of its’ print & online media =
to not only inform & opine, but to transform & improve MHBusiness performance!
______________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION:

What happened to Blog # 468? Well, it’s ‘Under Development’. Huh? That’s right;

‘Solving Our Nation’s (Lack of) Affordable Housing Crisis, with Factory-built Housing & Land Lease Communities!’

has become a larger, more complicated writing challenge than expected. In fact, right now, copies of the six page manuscript are in the hands of two manufactured housing professionals whose experience and abilities I respect and value. Once they’ve completed their ‘chop’ of the document, I’ll edit and fine tune what I/we hope to be the first definitive message to that end; again:

Solving Our Nation’s (Lack of) Affordable Housing Crisis, with Factory-built Housing & Land Lease Comnmunities!

Frankly, I don’t know of anyone else, at anytime, who’s addressed this serious contemporary matter in the fashion taking shape! This very point was driven home, just this past week, as 20 of us from the manufactured housing industry participated in Fannie Mae’s ‘The Future of Manufactured Housing’ forum, in Washington, DC

And, reading HUD’s half-baked feature focus, ‘Housing for Seniors’ in the Summer 2017 issue of their Evidence Matters 19 page slick magazine. Why wait until the end of October 2017 to distribute a communiqué intended for distribution almost six months ago?

OK, moving right along; first a quick view of a small part of what occurred at Fannie Mae headquarters in Part I; followed by a critical review of ‘Housing of Seniors’ in Evidence Matters, Part II.

I.

From a Letter to My Friends at Fannie Mae

Manufactured housing demographic and industry-related statistics would be far more understandable and usable if defined and categorized beyond the simple ‘MH’ (manufactured housing) label used today. A four part suggestion:

• MHO (in community) = Homeowner occupied manufactured housing units on deeded realty (e.g. as in subdivisions, on scattered building sites, & homesites within condominium (‘condo’) communities.

• MHR (on deeded sites) = Renter occupied manufactured housing units on scattered deeded realty sites.

• MHO (on rental sites) = Homeowner occupied manufactured housing units on rental homesites within land lease communities &, resident-owned communities (‘ROCs’)

• MHR (in community) = Renter occupied manufactured housing units in land lease communities, ROCs, & condo communities.

In summary,

MHHO (in community) & MHR (on deeded sites) comprise the estimated 60 percent of destination for new HUD-Code manufactured homes during 015 & 2016.

MHO (on rental sites) & MHR (in community) comprise the estimated 40 percent (& growing) destinations for new HUD-Code manufactured homes during 2015 & 2016.

That covers the spectrum of how today’s HUD-Code manufactured homes are sited and used in various configurations. To continue to lump all MHIndustry stats into one summary category (.e. ‘MH’) is inaccurate and a misleading practice.

On another subject, the time is well-past using the term ‘park’ during Fannie Mae events such as this forum. Frankly, when used, it suggests the speaker/writer is ‘new to the industry’, product naive, and or insensitive to the negative subliminal image the ‘park’ label conveys. Manufactured home community has been in place since 1994; and only recently, has begun to be replaced by land lease community – by dint of the fact that today, as many as six different types of shelter can be commonly found therein.

And don’t misunderstand, much much more was presented, discussed, and parsed during the Fannie Mae forum. Watch for details to follow here and elsewhere. It’d certainly be appropriate for Freddie Mac to follow suit and invite manufactured housing and land lease community folk to a like forum in the near future.

II.

OUCH!

HUD Really Knows How to Hurt a Friend!

The INTRODUCTION to this blog posting suggested “HUD’s half-baked feature focus, ‘Housing for Seniors’ in the Summer 2017 issue (Delivered during late October 2017) of their Evidence Matters..” magazine, does little to ‘Solve Our Nation’s (Lack of ) Affordable Housing Crisis…’, where U.S. citizens are concerned!

Here’s the Bottom Line right up front and in your face! For the federal regulatory agency, with oversight responsibility, to administer the 1976 HUD-Code, where manufactured housing is concerned, to totally (That’s 100%!) ignore that industry in this issue’s ‘Housing for Seniors: Challenges & Solutions’, is UNFORGIVEABLE. Here’s how the story unfolds…

Know the subtitle of Evidence Matters is ‘Transforming Knowledge Into Housing & Community Policy’. With that in mind, the feature begins:

“The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies (‘JCHS’) projects the number of U.S. adults age 65 and older will grow from 48 to 79 million over the next two decades. By 2035, JCHS expects 50 million households – approximately one out of every three in the U.S. – will be headed by someone age 65 or older, and the number of people age 80 and older will double to 24 million.”

The writer goes on to pen…

“The nation’s existing housing stock – in terms of options, affordability, and accessibility – is ill-suited to meet the housing needs of an increasingly older population that overwhelmingly wishes to age in place.”
&
“…households 80 and older have a median income of $25.000 annually, and nearly one in four has an income of $15,000 or less.”

Pretty sobering stuff, I think you’d agree.

Now here’s ‘the rub’. Nowhere in this lengthy article does HUD make any mention whatsoever of manufactured housing and land lease communities being – and these are HUD’s words, not mine – “Safe, affordable comfortable, and aging-friendly housing for seniors”. Geesh! How could they miss US? After all, manufactured housing and land lease communities are the only type ‘shelter & lifestyle’ in the world, characterized as affordable, attractive housing for the ‘newly wed & nearly dead’! Not a genteel way of saying it, for sure, but as accurate as can be!

And, ‘adding insult to injury’, the article goes on to describe the need for universal design features for senior citizens. Once again, totally ignoring the fact that the manufactured housing industry already features, when ordered, “wide doorways, step-free entryways, and lever faucets.” Nor does it mention the wheel chair accessible vanities, grab bars, and emergency summons devices also available in manufactured housing.

Methinks HUD owes the manufactured housing industry and land lease community folk an apology. After all, they’ve been regulating the industry since 1976, i.e. more than 40 years and counting. You’d think, by now, they’d be the biggest supporter – even marketing proponent, of this type affordable, attractive, energy efficient, transportable housing for not only senior citizens, but everyone who needs new shelter priced at 50% of site-built housing (not including land cost). Will we see a turnabout on the part of HUD? Let’s hope so, watch future issues of Evidence Matters, and see. Rachelle, are you listening?

***

George Allen, CPM & MHM
Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, or COBA7, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publicizing

Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247

Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

RV/MH Hall of Fame; LLCommunity & How Many?

October 6th, 2017

Blog # 467; Copyright, 8 October 2017; at community-investor.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, & ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting is the sole national advocate, voice, official ombudsman, historian, research report, & online communication media for all North American LLCommunities.

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. COBA7, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (8777) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

COBA7 Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal of its’ print & online media =
to not only inform & opine, but to transform & improve MHBusiness performance!

____________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION.

Part I. Your legacy will be? How ’bout induction into the RV/MH Hall of Fame?

Part II. Time to codify ‘land lease community’ as a manufactured housing trade term. Will MHI’s NCC Leadership Fall Leadership Forum take up the challenge?

Part III. And, just how many land lease communities are there in the U.S.A. today?

I.

RV/MH Hall of Fame Applications Due October 31st,
&
YOU?

YOU a pioneer or leader – elected or salaried – for 25+ years, in the manufactured housing industry and or land lease community real estate asset class? Then YOU should be looking to, and considering, the nature of the legacy you’re crafting among business associates, trade association colleagues, employees, and family members!

For some, this legacy will simply be – as important as it is – financial security. But, IMHO, there’s more to legacy than just that. Consider peer recognition, and honoring one’s contributions, service and memory. Why? It saddens me when I recall many individuals I’ve known during nearly 50 years in this business, who’ve retired, moved-on to other interests, or died – and have been forgotten. But then, maybe that’s the way it should be, when there’s lack of aforethought, regarding and ensuring one’s legacy in those past, sad instances.

How ’bout YOU? Are you head, or a key part of, a housing manufacturing team, an independent (street) MHRetailer, land lease community owner/operator, OEM supplier, association exec, and otherwise – who’s given greatly and significantly to this industry and asset class? Then you, or one of your close associates, should begin NOW to prepare an application, along with three letters of peer recognition, for submission to the RV/MH Hall of Fame during year 2018 – to, hopefully, have you selected for induction that year, as part of the Class of 2019.

The deadline for the Class of 2018 is upon us NOW – 31 October 2017! So, in my opinion, you shouldn’t even try to begin from scratch; there’re already a dozen or more applications ‘in process’ for possible induction during early August 2018. So, if just finishing up an RV/MH Hall of Fame application package, YOU have until 31 October to submit it.

One last thing on this legacy topic. Once selected for induction, among other interesting matters (e.g. portrait photograph, brief bio, etc.),individuals are given an opportunity to purchase a green blazer, with an RV/MH Hall of Fame crest on the left breast pocket. When the time comes, BUY IT! Then, when there’re special occasions, at state and national venues, proudly wear this ‘symbol of honor as a manufactured housing or land lease community pioneer or leader’! And thought is being given now, as to how appropriate identification can be provided female inductees into the RV/MH Hall of Fame. In the meantime, those of you already inducted – it’s not too late to order/buy your blazer. Simply phone Darryl Searer via (574) 293-2344. And tell him ‘George sent me!’

II.

A Challenge to the NCC Fall Leadership Forum

It’s time for Codification; Will NCC Do What’s Right?

You likely know the first part of this story. During the 1940s & 50s our unique form of income-producing property was referred to as trailer courts and camps; then in the 1970s, mobile home parks. All that went relatively unchanged until 1976, when HUD decreed, in support of the new federal building code term ‘manufactured housing’, these properties should be referred to as manufactured housing or home communities. For the most part, that directive was ignored. ‘Mobile home parks’ they were, and likely mobile home parks they’d be today, but for one thing.

In 1992, when Edward Hicks, David Alley, and I began penning what would become the J. Wiley & Sons published, Development, Marketing, & Operation of Manufactured Home Communities tome, we learned there’d have to be a change to, a consensus among practitioners, one set of trade terms, language, lingo. This for book marketing purposes; and industry/asset class unity. So, with the assistance of the now defunct Manufactured Home Merchandiser magazine, we launched a series of reader surveys throughout the industry and asset class, asking, ‘What do we call ourselves today & what should we be calling ourselves going into the future?’

In the end, manufactured housing, manufactured home communities, retailers (vs. dealers), transporters (vs. toters), and residents (vs. tenants) won out. And those terms, blessed by state trade association executives at the time, became part and parcel to the new textbook – the first published on raw land development, in more than 20 years!

But, fast forward to year 2004 and following. You know, when the ‘bottom was falling out’ of manufactured housing shipments due to1) loss of easy access to chattel capital, 2) a tsunami of ‘repo’ homes competing with new home sales, and 3) alarming disappearance of independent (street) MHRetailers. One of the consequences of all this, was the realization by (then) manufactured home community owners/operators, they’d have to buy new homes directly from factories, install and sell them on-site, and often engage in one form or another of seller-financing (e.g. lease option). A corollary to this paradigm change in manufactured housing distribution, was the further realization there was no longer just two types of shelter in these income-producing properties, but oft, as many as six! Those being, 1) pre-HUD ‘mobile homes’, 2) post-HUD manufactured housing, 3) modular homes, 4) ‘park model RVs’, 5) RVs for a season, and in FL,6) stick-built homes constructed on-site to look like HUD-Code manufactured homes.

Consequence of this? Pundits, in time, referred to heretofore manufactured home communities as ‘land lease lifestyle communities’. That occurred during the latter days of year 2004, and remained unchanged until year 2014. At that time, ‘lifestyle’ was dropped from the moniker, ‘leaving land lease community’ (ies). And subsequent to that, in academic and formal writings, ‘real estate asset class’ was added, to differentiate the uniqueness of this type income-producing property among other classes of commercial real estate, e.g. 1) office buildings, 2) shopping centers, 3) multifamily apartments, and 4) land lease communities.

So, now 3 1/2 years into this latest trade terminology ‘cycle’, we come to the NCC Fall Leadership Forum: ‘Success by Design’. This focus is almost providential! How so? It suggests an opportunity for MHI’s 21 year National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division, to take leadership in something significant, even historic; by specifically endorsing the concept and labeling of its’ characteristic income-producing property type as ‘land lease community & communities’!

Will this happen? What do you think? I’ll withhold opinion for now, as I will not be present at this event, due to a schedule conflict. However, some, if not many of you reading this blog posting, will be there. And if YOU agree, ‘the time is right’ to formalize a final shift in trade terminology, to codify what we already know and commonly refer to as land lease communities, you’ll make your views known.

And if this does not happen? No harm done. Land lease community, or communities, will continue as de rigueur among those of us entrusted with describing the business model, as well as enhancing the industry/asset class’ image nationwide!

Plus, several major national and regional educational/networking venues (e.g. annual Networking Roundtable, & SECO Conference) embrace ‘land lease community’ in promotional and event literature. And of late, federal regulators, even GSEs, have taken to using the term as well. So, let’s not be Luddites, but rather Realists where this evolution of trade terminology is concerned.

III.

And Just How Many Are There?

36,873; 38,000; 44-45,000; or 50,000+/-?

Land lease communities, that is. Well, the first part of the answer is simple and straight forward: We will never know! That’s right; to begin with there’s no common interstate definition of how many rental homesites constitutes a land lease community; and, only a relatively few states even keep track, via licensure, of the number and nature of land lease communities in their state. Let’s dig deeper?

The first effort to size the inventory of (then) manufactured home communities, occurred decades ago, roughly in the 1990s, when the article ‘How Many Are There?’ was featured in the now defunct Manufactured Home Merchandiser magazine. In that instance, the figure was 50,000+/-. How determined? Initially by polling ‘property counts’ among the dozen or so states that kept such records (Not much has changed during the interim 20+ years), then performing a simple mathematical extrapolation, e.g. ‘If X number of properties in X number of states; how many such properties in 49 states – since Hawaii did not then, or now, have this type land lease community. Answer? 50,000+/-. This answer was ‘proofed’ using Pareto’s 80/20 law. If you’d like a free reprint of this historic article, simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

Since that time, 20+ years ago, various trade groups ( MHI’s NCC & COBA7), vendors (DATACOMP/MHVillage) and companies (RV Horizons & others) have offered varying views on this slippery subject. Their estimates?

• DATACOMP/MHVillage = 36,862+/- (From DRAFT copy of ‘2016 National Communities Survey’ for MHI’s NCC), though the sum of 17,720 ‘all age’; 3,789 ‘ages 55+’; & 15,755 ‘unknown status’ communities = 37,264 properties. And on 4 October, number was adjusted to 36,873.

• MHI’s National Communities Council (‘NCC’) suggests there’re 38,000+/- properties – likely referencing DATACOMP/MHVillage statistics

• One or more property portfolio firms suggest the total to be between 44 & 45,000 land lease communities.

• Community Owners (7 Part) Business Associates (‘COBA7’), a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing, since that article in Manufactured Home Merchandiser, has held fast to the 50,000+/- figure, publishing it in the Signature Series Resource Document (‘SSRD’) ‘Industry Briefing Sheet’, updated quarterly.

So, how does one account for the large difference between 38,000 and 50,000+/- land lease communities? Likely boils down to the indeterminate number of small, ‘under the acquisition radar’ nature of the smallest such properties (i.e. two to 25 rental homesites in size). They don’t enjoy economy of scale, are difficult to locate, and oft passively managed. In some, if not most states, they account for as much as 40 percent, or greater, of all land lease communities – not the eight percent cited in the earlier referenced ‘2016 National Communities Summary’.

So, where does all this leave us? In a word, ‘nowhere’. As was stated at the beginning of Part III of this blog posting, ‘We will never know!’ – due to lack of empirical and consistent definition (i.e. number of rental homesites = a land lease community?), and overall lack of state documentation of land lease communities within their boundaries.
***

George Allen, CPM, MHM
Consultant to the Factory-built Housing Industry,
the Land Lease Lifestyle Community Real Estate Asset Class, &
Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, or COBA7
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

Press Porn, New Classes of MH, # LLCommunities

September 29th, 2017

Blog # 466; Copyright, 1 October 2017; at community-investor.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, & ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting is the sole national advocate, voice, official ombudsman, historian, research report, & online communication media for all North American LLCommunities.

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. COBA7, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

COBA7 Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal of its’ print & online media =
to not only inform & opine, but to transform 7y improve MHBusiness performance!
_____________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION. Part I. Admittedly somewhat political in nature, but timely and worthwhile sharing. Part II. Two of the most important trend launching dates in HUD-Code manufactured housing. Part III. ‘And how many land lease communities in the U.S. do you say there are? Part IV. Limited number of Swan Song book available to land lease community aficionados.

I.

PRESS PORN

‘It Ain’t Got No Juice!’

Circa 1976. When the fledgling national Christian newspaper I was peddling in the Midwest didn’t sell well, I asked a grizzled old newsstand proprietor, ‘Why?’ His blunt reply: “It Ain’t Got No Juice!” To which I asked, ‘What’s juice?’ His answer? Sex & violence!’ The big lesson to me? That sex & violence = press porn. A lesson that resonated with me then, and again today. How so? Two contemporary examples…

1) As the PBS documentary VIETNAM draws to a close, it’s obvious combat mayhem, & violent protests at home, carried the action throughout this lengthy, albeit incomplete recitation of the conflict in the Republic of Vietnam. Incomplete? Ken Burns & Lynn Novick got the violence almost right; and I assume, the domestic protest violence even more so, given the extensive national press porn coverage at the time. But I really wouldn’t know, in the latter instance, as I was a young Marine lieutenant in RVN then, learning firsthand about violence and the consequences thereof..

But what I do know is this. During February 1969, engaged in operation Dewey Canyon, along the Ho Chi Minh trail in the Da Krong – Ashau Valley corridor, we took serious incoming artillery fire from several distant Russian 122mm field guns. W had no counter-battery capability. And guess who was aiming and firing them at us? Well, elements from the 9th Marine Regiment helo-assaulted the artillery firing position and overran the enemy. Among the enemy casualties were Russian advisors (Likely the ‘cannon cockers’, as the captured firing tables were in Russian). Now that gem didn’t come out in the documentary did it? That’s just one of several oversights. How ’bout this? The secret plan to use Atomic Demolition Munitions, a.k.a. ADMs, the size of soccer balls, and other similarly equipped weapons, in the event North Vietnamese and Red Chinese infantry overran key portions of RVN. How do I know all this? I was there in both instances; as a participant in the first, and trainee in the second.

2) Another example of contemporary press porn, maybe a little less obvious? Press coverage of protest actions (i.e. ‘kneeling’) by some NFL football players. This from a Letter to the Editor, penned 25 September 2017.

“In 1981, highly paid PATCO union strikers demand for even higher wages wound up with 11,000 of them being fired by President Reagan! Why? In large part, due to little to no public support for a bunch of already exorbitantly paid, but unappreciative, air traffic controllers.

And now, 36 years later?

In 2017, well paid NFL kneelers demand for recognition of social ills, at the expense of honoring our nation’s flag and anthem, backfires! Why? In large part, due to little to no public support for a bunch of already exorbitantly paid, but unappreciative, football players.

Think about it. Like the already affluent air traffic controllers of yore, today’s moneyed football players can have a bully pulpit anywhere, anytime they desire! However, to openly ‘dis’ (as in ‘disrespect’) our nation’s flag and national anthem, by kneeling rather than standing, in very public arenas, risks their being displaced as sports heroes to social pariahs (‘outcasts’), and not social change agents.”

The point? While there’s neither ‘sex or violence’ in this latter example, press porn feeds on protests like these, to simply ‘sell more newspapers’ and ‘count more hits’ on internet news sites. Remember, if it ‘Ain’t got no juice!’ the news will not sell.

II.

2/28/2009 & 9/18/2017

Two Trend Launching Dates to Remember & Respect

As manufactured housing’s new millennium paradigm shift, from distribution of new HUD-Code homes via independent (street) MHRetailers to in-community sales and seller-financing by land lease community owners/operators, 100 representatives from Midwest manufacturing plants and property portfolios met, on 2/28/2009, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame, in Elkhart, IN., to ‘make history together’.

The driving questions of the day? Well, they were the same, for both parties, though articulated somewhat differently:

‘What do we have to do to get you to buy more new manufactured homes?

&

‘Will you design & build new homes suitable for sale within our communities?

Following a daylong discussion of needs & wants, what’s practical & not, a new (unnamed) class of manufactured homes was agreed upon by both parties. Characteristics? Singlesection or modest multisection in size; shingled roof and non-metal siding; durability enhancing features, with an eye to easing turnover make-ready; and, at least one WOW! feature inside and outside the new manufactured home!

Nearly nine months later, Don Westphal, landscape engineer consultant to the manufactured housing industry, during the annual Networking Roundtable that Fall, suggested this new class of manufactured home be named, Community Series Homes, supplanting the Developer Series Homes (a.k.a. Big Box = Big Bucks!) of the late 1990s.

Trend result? In 2009, only 25% of new HUD-Code homes were delivered directly into (then) manufactured home communities; by year end 2015 that percentage had jumped to more than 40%; and some now predict, 75% infill by year 2020!

And then there’s 9/18/2017, occurring during a Manufacturers Division meeting at MHI’s annual meeting in Orlando, FL., as first reported in blog posting # 465 at community-investor.com, last week. Either scroll back thru the blog archives, or read on from here:

“New Class of HUD-Code Manufactured Home to…1) attract underserved prospective homebuyers (market) to a distinct new generation of manufactured housing; 2) give FHFA & GSEs a new class of housing, one easier for them to accept, for loan guarantee purposes; & 3) provide a fresh start offering slightly upscale, specifically featured, new homes at truly affordable prices!”

Characteristics? Likely either singlesection or multisection in configuration,

• to be built in accords with existing HUD-Code
• to have a 5/12 roof pitch, presumably asphalt shingled
• to be mounted on a permanent foundation
• to have a built-in porch
• to likely have a garage or carport at one end of home

• & maybe have features in support of growing interest in ‘near net zero energy use’ housing, now in California and soon to move East. Details available on request.

Obviously it’s too soon to tell what the consequences, hopefully good, will be from this second Trend Launch. But we all know of the real need for a fresh start to motivate our industry, excite prospective homebuyers, and interest our sources of housing finance!

What will this new class of HUD-Code manufactured home be labeled? That remains to be seen. However, one early suggestion is ‘Millennium Housing’. How ’bout you? Any creative but apt ideas? If so, let us know via gfa7156@aol.com or phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

III.

36,862; 38,000; 44/45,000; or 50,000+/-?

The number of land lease communities in the U.S.

So says MHI’s NCC division, MHVillage/DATACOMP; RV Horizons; & COBA7, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing. Which estimate is the most accurate? Answer? Not one of them! And for several, not readily apparent reasons. And frankly, we’ll likely Never Really Know. Read next week’s blog posting # 467, to learn the ‘whys & wherefores’ of this interesting, timely and controversial subject.

IV.

SWAN SONG

‘George Allen’s History of Land Lease Communities, 1970 – present day’

Had no plans to do this, but given the few dozen copies of this ‘first time ever history of mobile home parks cum manufactured home communities cum land lease communities’ remaining in inventory, and strongly voiced interest in purchasing same, we’re offering the 150 page book here:

Send $49.95 in check or money order (covers book, shipping & handling), made out to COBA7 c/o Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247.

Frankly, you will not believe the breadth and scope of stories, statistics, and other material contained in this book. As it will likely be the last one (of 15) I’ve authored and or edited for the manufactured housing industry, I made it a point of including ‘everything of value’ in it!

Buy and enjoy!

***

New Class of (Manufactured) Home (?)

September 21st, 2017

Blog # 465; Copyright 24 September 2017; at community-investor.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, & ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting is the sole national advocate, voice, official ombudsman, historian, research report, & online communication media for all North American LLCommunities

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. COBA7, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

COBA7 Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal of its’ print & online media =
to not only inform & opine, but to transform & improve MHBusiness performance!’
________________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION: I, for one, am cautiously optimistic, the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry, along with its’ land lease community real estate asset class, is about to enter an exciting new phase of its’ heretofore nearly 80 year existence! How so? Read Part I following. And Part II? One man’s frustration with bureaucratic sandbagging….

I.

New Class of (Manufactured) Home (?)

Read about it Here First!

The ‘buzz’ at the Manufactured Housing Institute’s annual meeting in Orlando, 18 & 19 September? Whispers, then open conversation, about maybe launching a ‘New Class of HUD-Code Manufactured Home’ to, in part, 1) attract underserved prospective homebuyers (market) to a distinct new generation of manufactured housing; 2) give FHFA & GSEs a new class of housing, one easier for them to accept, for loan guarantee purposes; & 3) provide a fresh start offering slightly upscale, specifically featured, new homes at truly affordable prices!

What’s this new class of housing to likely be? No one this industry observer talked to would commit to whether this new class of housing might be ‘just’ multisection, or singlesection & multisection. But here’s what they did say:

• To be built in accords with the existing HUD-Code

• To have a 5/12 roof pitch, presumably asphalt shingled

• To be mounted on a permanent foundation

• To have a built-in porch

• To likely have a garage or carport at one end of the home

Anything else? Well, no one commented, but given the maturing of ‘near net zero energy usage’ manufactured homes, going into and outside land lease communities in California, ‘why not’ include some forward-looking features, e.g. extra insulation and double-pane windows. While not sexy, they are practical, proven energy-saving measures. But shy away from (politician & regulator – favored) solar systems, as they’re still cost prohibitive; and solar shingles – as they just don’t work, yet..

Then there’s the name, moniker, handle, by which this new class of home will be known and marketed. From the git-go, in my opinion, we should stay away from traditional ‘manufactured’ lingo; maybe go with something altogether new, like Millennium Housing. What alternatives would you recommend?

And guess what? The largest independent, third party source of chattel capital for this industry/asset class, is already developing a 30 year mortgage program for just such forward-looking new ‘millennium’ houses and homes!

Want to express observations or opinion about this lively and ‘breaking’ topic? Let COBA7 know via gfa7156@aol.com, or phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

II.

Insider’s Report on MHI & NCC Annual Meetings!

Last week’s BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert) # 464 laid out three goals pursuant to Carolyn and me attending the subject annual meetings in Orlando, FL. Here they are, along with this industry observer’s prejudiced opinion as to what was accomplished, and not accomplished, in each instance; to wit, “Learn if/how the institute is working…”

• “To unseat the present, overreaching manufactured housing administrator at HUD, an Obama holdover.” Lotta talk, but hopefully, action behind the scene(s). Best I could ascertain is, there’s a political solution in the wind, whatever that comes to mean. So, keep watching and keeping pressure on MHARR & MHI.

• “To restore our industry’s reasonable access to chattel capital in support of the on-site sale and seller-financing of new HUD-Code homes.” Yes, movement on several fronts: “(MHI) efforts include clarifying and modifying CFPB financing rules, requiring the GSEs to support chattel lending, and improving FHA mortgage insurance programs for manufactured housing.”- and more. Quoted from Government Affairs Department’s Accomplishments & Priorities for 2017.

And this final goal is dealt with separately, as it involves only the National Communities Council division, from the perspective of one of its’ founding members and long term board member.

• “To see whether the National Communities Council division will agree to adopt bylaws permitting proxy voting during officer elections at future annual meetings.” In a word, the answer was and is NO, but not for the reason one might think. Huh? It never had an opportunity for discussion! Here’s what happened…

One and a half hours were set aside for the NCC meeting. And it featured a pretty robust agenda, covering everything from DATACOMP produced Data Sheets – more on that later, likely in a future blog posting; a federal advocacy and regulatory update, ACM curriculum update, slated officer elections, and concluding with a lengthy presentation of and by a new weather alert system, HazardCall. So, what was missing?

NEW BUSINESS. Nope. Rarely is this category included on the NCC division’s agenda, despite repeated requests for it to be there. Consequences this time around?

• No opportunity to challenge NCC board members to consider a change to existing bylaws, allowing for proxy voting during future annual meetings, to supplement ‘always by acclamation’ elections of board officers. Now must wait till next year.

• No opportunity to inquire as to whether MHI, or anyone else for that matter, was giving serious consideration as to who might be the next administrator of the manufactured housing program at HUD! That’s when we learned ‘the fix’ might be more political than otherwise….One way or the other, as land lease community owners/operators, we need change!

• No opportunity to present and discuss the Champion Homebuilder’s ‘Installation Manual Addendum for Exception to Footings Located Below the Frost Line’ So, once again, public presentation of (possible) industry progress must occur in either or both the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter & the Allen Letter professional journal. Why? Because there simply is no longer The Journal or Manufactured Home Merchandiser print publications to spread industry news.

• No opportunity to suggest creation of a Special Award to, on occasion, recognize a land lease community owner/operator who’s performed some sort of outstanding service to the real estate asset class! Such recognitions, within MHI circles, already exist among state execs re ‘communication’, and in the finance division.

• No opportunity to discuss the recent imbroglio relative to automated underwriting programs (maybe) being required for GSE guaranteed loans.

So, is it easy to see why this direct dues-paying MHI member is routinely frustrated with NCC meetings structured to cover already vetted topics, but nothing ‘from the floor’?

‘Ready to Move On, With or Without the Assistance of MHARR & MHI’

September 14th, 2017

Blog # 464; Copyright 17 September 2017; at community-investor.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, &, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting is the sole national advocate, voice, official ombudsman, historian, research report, & online communication media for all North American LLCommunities

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. COBA7, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

COBA7 Motto: ‘U Support US & WE serve U!’ Goal of it’s print & online media =
to not only inform & opine, but to transform & improve MHBusiness performance!’
________________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION: We’re on the cusp (‘point’) of major decision-making relative to land lease community representation and advocacy! Which is to say, ‘not that anyone is doing anything wrong’; simply, this unique income-producing property type is now a major market for, and purchaser of, new HUD-Code manufactured homes. And it now deserves, even demands, enhanced political and regulatory representation, as well as assurance of continued delivery of specialized property management-related products (e.g. books, newsletters, statistical reports & directories), as well as services (e.g. PM training & certification, sales training, interpersonal networking, realty deal-making). All that was the quiet gist (‘essence’) of the 26th Networking Roundtable, the COBA7 ‘succession planning meeting’ in particular. Read on…

I.

Present & Future Highlights of the 26th Roundtable

What You Missed & Where We’re Headed During 2018

(Good) fireworks began before this year’s 26th Networking Roundtable started! Ten land lease community owners/operators earned their Manufactured Housing Manager certification designations; and, Joanne Stevens, CCIM, & Tammy Owens’ newly formatted ‘Anatomy of the Deal!’ attracted 75 specialty real estate brokers and a host of would be and present investors in this unique income-producing property type!

A highlight of the opening reception (‘Celebrating National Land Lease Community Week’) was having four women in my life present: Carolyn, daughter Susan, granddaughter Heather, and Susan’s business partner, Erin.

Once again, everyone stood and introduced themselves to the audience of 174 (We were short 20 registrants, mostly from FL & TX, due to weather challenges).

For the first time, I shared the ever-evolving ‘Official State of Manufactured Housing & Land Lease Communities’ talk with a national audience; I do it frequently before state audiences. If you’d like a copy of the 30 bullet point summary of these key industry/asset class statistics and emerging trends, simply ask for it via email to gfa7156@aol.com

David Funk did it again! He laid a housing demographics and trends foundation, then jumped into his “Financing Strategies & impact of Duty to Serve’ talk – offering the Power Point presentation. Continues to amaze me how no other national manufactured housing advocacy entity has picked up on David’s skill and experience as an academic and land lease community owner, to have him share same with their members.

The last summary here, is that of MHGives, the manufactured housing industry’s homegrown charity and mission to central American and Caribbean countries. Want to learn more? Visit MHGives.org.

A note to state MHAssociation execs. Want a super summary of capable and experienced speakers to consider for future seminars for members? Request a copy of this year’s agenda and list of 20 presenters – along with their respective topics. You’ll be glad you did. (317) 346-7156.

II.

COBA7

‘Ready to Move On, With or Without Assistance from MHARR & MHI’

Some of the most interesting proceedings at the annual Networking Roundtable occur before, tucked within, and after the actual 2 1/2 day event. This year, at 1:30-2:30PM, Friday, 20+ businessmen and women met for a COBA7 Succession Planning Meeting.

Hard to say ‘what was accomplished’ within the meeting, as there was no agenda
and conversations covered every aspect of land lease community advocacy, ongoing need for specialized products and services, and ‘where to go from here’?

• Since that meeting, two potential (& interested) national lobbyist candidates have been identified, and will soon be briefed and interviewed.

• An annual operating budget is being compiled, and corporate $ supporters identified and contacted. (All expressed interest, even commitment, beforehand)

• A governing board will be named ‘when the time is right’

• COBA7 to be converted from its’ ‘for profit’ division status within GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing, to an appropriate ‘not for profit’ entity type.

Does this mean COBA7 will be (Or, as some already see it, ‘continue to be’) a competitor to MHARR & MHI? Not really. MHARR membership is strictly limited to smaller, regional HUD-Code home manufacturers – and associates, who receive periodic regulatory-related news briefs from the entity. MHI, though claiming representation of all segments of the manufactured housing industry, given the dominance of the largest of the HUD-Code home manufacturers (i.e. 80+% national market share of new HUD-Code homes) is understandably focused on that segment of the industry! COBA7, on the other hand, was formed in 2014, ‘by & for’ land lease community owners/operators, large & small, operating throughout the U.S. & Canada. And that’s the market it serves today, in these seven areas:

• Ongoing statistical research, & distribution of same, via the annual ALLEN REPORT (# 29 during January 2018), and other…

• Signature Series Resource Documents (‘SSRDs’), e.g. annual National Registry of ALL Lenders, Directory of Freelance Consultants, Directory of Print & Online MH Media, Lexicon of MHIndustry & LLCommunity Terminology, & more…

• Weekly & monthly communication with affiliates via two print newsletters and an online blog posting at community-investor.com

• Planning & hosting of superb interpersonal networking opportunities

• Planning & hosting of superb deal-making opportunities

• Professional Property Management Training & Certification via popular Manufactured Housing Manager (‘MHM’) program – with its’ 1,000+ designees to date

• National advocacy ‘when need be’, to become ‘continually’, when all is in place; at present functioning mainly as an industry and realty asset class ombudsman, and historian (Read Swan Song; ‘History of LLCommunities, 1970-2017’)

What’s driving this move to enhanced representation and advocacy for land lease communities, large & small, nationwide? The ongoing paradigm shift (2000-2017) in manufactured housing distribution: From independent (street) MHRetailers, to home sales and seller-financing on-site in land lease communities! New manufactured housing shipments (often Community Series Homes), directly into land lease communities, has increased from 25% in 2009, to more than 40% by year end 2015, and is estimated to eclipse 80% by year 2020. This segment of the MHIndustry must have top notch representation to Promote & Protect Itself!

And no one else has been training community owners/operators ‘How to do all this’, by din of ‘Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars’ debuting in 2016, being replicated during 2018 in Elkhart, IN, via a partnership with IMHA/RVIC; and, thru professional property management training and certification. Today, there is no other national classroom-based offering by anyone – other than COBA7’s MHM program.

If YOU are not already affiliated with COBA7, consider doing so today. It costs but $134.95/year – & receive 12 copies of the Allen Letter professional journal. Use the brochure attached to this blog posting, or email gfa7156@aol.com

The COBA7 unique Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’

III.

Have You Heard?

Jack Holefelder & five generations of his family, during mid-October in Media, PA., will be celebrating the 80th anniversary of Village Green Senior Community, a land lease community! Some of you may remember Jack as author of a text on family business succession, and being a past speaker at the Networking Roundtable. Congratulations to Jack & his family!

***

George Allen
GFA Management, Inc
Box # 47024
Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156