Not Everyone Agrees…Level Playing Field for MH $!

July 17th, 2019

July 2019; Copyright 2019;

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

This blog posting is sole national advocate, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter, education resource & online communication media for North American land lease communities

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email: & visit

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: Promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. source of affordable obtainable housing! Note: MHM class on 7/26!

INTRODUCTION: OK, a relatively brief blog posting this week, but no less timely and important than last week or the week before. Yes, I’m well aware ‘leveling the $ playing field’ for all types of manufactured housing finance is heretical to some, logical and desirable to others. Your view on the matter?

AND, here’s your opportunity to throw ‘your hat into the ring’, or someone else’s, where two top manufactured housing industry executive positions are concerned….


Not Everyone Agrees There Could/Should be a Level Playing Field for All MH Loans!

Gist of the Proposition:

Chattel Capital Loans on New Manufactured Homes, Installed on Rental Homesites within Land Lease Communities, Could/Should Enjoy IDENTICAL LOAN TERMS, Especially Percentage Rates, When Owner of the Income-producing Property Arranges Seller-financing and Personally Guarantees the Homeowner/site lessee’s Personal Property Mortgage!


If the UNDERLYING IMPROVED REALTY, beneath a new HUD-Code home installed on a scattered building site conveyed fee simple, provides loan security lenders require of their real estate-based home loan, then the PERSONAL GUARANTEE of the sole proprietor owner of record, of the land lease community, where new manufactured homes are installed on rental homesites, could/should deserve and receive equal respect, utility, and loan terms! You agree or disagree?

A Contrary View

“Until and unless the owner of the rental homesite can give the lessee ALL the advantages they would have if the home was sited on their own parcel of real estate, there will NEVER be a perfectly level playing field relative to interest rates where personal property and real property loans are concerned. (‘In my former life, I was also a banker, and served on the loan board’…besides being a community owner and independent – street – MHRetailer.)” BB (lightly edited. GFA)

Furthermore, in the opinion of the respondent cited above, “A level playing field would require the land lease community to be owned by the tenants, who’d have ownership to whatever their percent ownership of the entire community amounts to. Similar to a condominium development….” GFA Note. This similar to the mini-trend conversions of for-profit communities into resident-owned communities (i.e. ‘ROCs’), via forming of cooperatives, then securing acquisition-financing via specialty multifamily lenders. GFA)


50 years ago, a city planner and professor at Missouri University in Columbia, MO., considered by some at the time, to be the ‘Patron Saint of Mobile Homes’, expressed this opinion in private conversation:

“Rental mobile home parks will eventually cease to exist.”

And know what? More and more it appears his prophesy might be fulfilled. How so? Seems more and more folk, within and outside the manufactured housing industry ‘want big pieces of the action’, to the detriment of the business model. Examples:

• Recent private equity consolidators of land lease communities have rewritten the traditional 3:1 Rule of Thumb for estimating rental homesite rates, trending towards a 2:1 Rule; e.g. Local housing market conventional apartment rent @ $1,000/month? Then, 3:1 Rule suggests $333/month rental homesite rate; whereas, 2:1 Rule suggests $500/month; meaning $167/month ‘less house’ homeowners/site lessees can ‘affordably’ purchase in that land lease community with higher site rents.

• Some HUD-Code housing manufacturers appear to be slowing the industry’s heretofore steady return to a 100,0000 units/year shipment volume, by increasing wholesale pricing of their product by 15+/-% every six months or so. Some opine this has to do with awareness of community owners selling new homes at minimal profit margins, to speed filling vacant rental homesites, preferring long range permanence of site rent as annuity income. Think about it.

• Independent third party chattel lenders continue to offer manufactured housing financing, of the conventional real estate type & personal property loans, to would be homebuyers, as well as homebuyer/site lessees. This is where the disparity between lending rates, oft a 3+/-% difference, comes into play. The disparity becomes especially clear when said lenders, besides insisting on higher interest rates for personal property loans, also require personal guarantees of these loans by land lease community owners. Kinda like ‘wanting one’s cake and eating it too’.

• The GSEs (i.e. Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac) continue to fashion their Duty to Serve (‘DTS’) programs to support the sale of, and lending on, manufactured homes going onto scattered sites conveyed fee simple, e.g. MH Advantage & Choice programs of late. In the meantime, little to no relief to date, for the chattel capital folk, where lending support is needed most, for new HUD-Code homes installed on rental homesites in land lease communities.

• Local housing market land planning and zoning penchant for regulatory barriers to all forms of affordable housing, stifle the development of new land lease communities, hence less inventor of truly affordable shelter for area workforce, low income, and very low income citizens. So NIMBY (‘Not in my back yard!’) continues to prevail despite recent nods of support to the fledgling YIMBY (‘Yes, in my back yard!’) movement.

And the list goes on, but surely you get the idea. It’s not at all like land lease communities are on their last legs. Rather, they continue to be grossly underutilized as a primary source of affordable, obtainable housing and lifestyle on one hand, while being sorely abused by others, at the same time.

Bottom line of sorts? As the aforementioned Missouri professor also allegedly proclaimed: “GREED killed more than the Golden Goose!”


Two Key Positions to Be Filled in 2020

• New salaried executive director of the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’)
• Non-career administrator of the manufactured housing program at HUD

I’ve been asked to recommend candidates for both positions. If you believe you are qualified, experienced and motivated to fill one or the other of these two key national roles, apply directly to MHI & or HUD; or let me know of your interest via

And or, if you know someone familiar with manufactured housing and land lease communities, who – in your opinion – is qualified, experienced and motivated to take on either of these heady job responsibilities, do likewise! But if you prefer, let me know of names and contact information via GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247.

Why was I asked? Probably because I had been encouraged, from several quarters, if I’d be available for one of the two positions. But I made it clear, relocation to Washington, DC. is not an option for Carolyn and me. However, I do plan to be ‘ready & willing’ to attend meetings and working sessions there, if invited, re manufactured housing & land lease communities, with HUD, FHFA, the GSEs, & DOE, as well as MHI, MHARR, NAMHCO, and other NGOs.

Manufactured housing, as an industry, is on the threshold of doing Great Things in 2020, where affordable obtainable housing is concerned. But it sorely needs capable, experienced, motivated new leaders at MHI and HUD, to ensure this occurs. And this is your opportunity to help make it happen! Have your recommendations to me by the end of July 2019. Thank You.

George Allen, CPM, MHM
(317) 346-7156


• 5 August at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN. During the day, meet with Spencer Roane, MHM, and me to discuss ‘evergreen (MH) issues’, the new E-HOP chattel capital program for MHs sited in land lease communities. Let me know of your interest: (317) 346-7156. For RV/MH Hall of Fame banquet tickets, phone (574) 293-2344

• 8-10 September in Indianapolis. 28th Networking Roundtable. For details and to sign up, visit

MHIndustry Economic Impact Study Needed! (&) Level the Chattel $ Playing Field to Same % as RE-secured Loans!

July 11th, 2019

11 July 2019; Copyright 2019;

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

This blog posting is sole national advocate, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter, education resource & online communication media for North American land lease communities

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, formerly COBA7, telephone Official MHIndustry hotline: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email:

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: Promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. source of affordable obtainable housing! Visit

INTRODUCTION: Lotta good stuff here this week.

1. It’s ‘high time’ for the manufactured housing industry to research, publish, & distribute a Manufactured Housing Industry Economic Impact Study to federal lawmakers and regulators – showing them how valuable WE are to the national economy!

2. Hope to see YOU at the 28th Networking Roundtable, 8-10 September in Indianapolis. No other national venue promises such diversity & intensity of topics and speakers!

3. Someone had to say it! Time has come to level the loan playing field for manufactured housing homebuyers/site lessees and homebuyers purchasing product for siting on improved realty conveyed fee simple! Read on!


Manufactured Housing Valuation

‘Comparing Apples & Oranges, Half a Loaf, or Simply Confusion?’

In 1977, according to MERCHANDISER magazine, 186,462 new manufactured homes shipped that year, by the ‘Top 25 Mobile Home Manufacturers’, were valued at $2,026,097,725 or roughly, $10,834 apiece, presumably ‘wholesale’ value out the factory door, as retail value reporting had not been perfected, and an empirical determination of ‘production’ value would not come until post 2003.*1

Two decades later, in 1997, ‘Indiana’s RV & MH Industries’ Economic Impact Study’ estimated 17,300 new manufactured homes shipped from its’ factories that year, were valued at $1,205,000 or roughly, $32,306 apiece; however, not labeled as to whether ‘wholesale’ or ‘retail’ value; and again, the calculation of ‘production’ value was still six years away.*2

The Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’), soon after the turn of the century, contracted with Dr. Stephen C. Cooke, to ascertain ‘production’ value of a new HUD-Code manufactured home. Dr. Cooke valued the 60,228 new homes shipped during year 2003 as being $2,600,000,000 or roughly $43,126 apiece in production value.*3 And this remains the state of this body of knowledge today. We still don’t know whether ‘production’ value is the same or ‘how different’ from a presumably marked-up ‘wholesale’ value, when a new manufactured home leaves the factory.

There are rumors afoot, that new and or updated empirical studies of manufactured housing value(s) are underway, but nothing substantive has been announced to date. If anyone ‘out there’ knows more about this timely and important subject, please let us know via Why? Because, knowing the full (not just ‘production’ value) national economic impact of the manufactured housing industry – eventually to include the land lease community real estate asset class – will surely improve our lobbying presence and effectiveness in our nation’s capitol.

Just how startling can this sort of industry knowledge be? Well, here’s an illustrative example from our sister industry, the recreational vehicle (‘RV’) business model.

The recreational vehicle industry runs sophisticated statistical circles around us, as it continues to grow and prosper; all the while ensuring federal and state legislators and regulators know how valuable that industry is to the national economy! And just how valuable is it these days? Well, according to latest (published 2019) data, the industry’s total $ economic impact nationally, is $113 billion in output (i.e. $113,713,039,000); $32 billion in wages (i.e. $32,154,790,200); and provides no fewer than 596,355 jobs! In terms of tax impact, $12 billion in total taxes (i.e. $12,212,324,800); $4 billion in state taxes (i.e. $4,715,737,100); and, $7 billion in federal taxes (i.e. $7,496,587,700)! Impressed yet? You should be! And we, as an industry, should be asking ourselves, ‘Why are we so very far behind the self-knowledge curve that, $ truth be known, we’d command far more respect and cooperation as this nation’s best source of quality, energy efficient, non-subsidized, affordable housing?!’*4

Is anyone out there listening? Sure hope so. Don’t know ‘bout you, but as a businessman, and trade journalist, I’m tired of waiting for salaried and elected industry leaders to research, publish and widely distribute an economic impact report about UD-Code manufactured housing and its’ land lease community component, as this nation’s historic and forward-looking one-two punch affordable housing provider & lifestyle!

End Notes.

1. Data source: SWAN SONG, EducateMHC, 2017, Table # 1
2. Source: Indiana’s Recreational Vehicle and Manufactured Housing Industries, ‘An $8 Billion Building Block for Indiana’s Economic Success’, IMHA/RVIC, Indiana, 1997
3. Manufactured Housing Institute
4. ‘RVs Move America – an American Industry & Economic Engine’, by John Dunham & Associates, in,


Major Great Reasons to Attend Networking Roundtable,
8-10 September, in Indianapolis, Indiana

‘Legislation to Create a Housing Affordability Task Force Introduced in the U.S. Senate’

“A bipartisan group of 13 senators, led by Todd Young (R-IN), reintroduced the ‘Task Force on the Impact of the Affordable Housing Crisis Act’, which aims to better understand and respond to America’s housing affordability shortage. The legislation seeks to bring together a group of experts to evaluate and quantify the effect a lack of affordable housing has on individuals and provide recommendations to Congress about increasing affordable housing options.” Quoted from recent MHI Press Release.

U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-IN) is the Monday morning, 9 September, keynote speaker at this year’s 28th annual Networking Roundtable, 8-10 September, in Indianapolis, IN. For more information, and to register, go to

What else to experience this year? Three of the most successful land lease community portfolio owners/operators in the U.S. will share their ‘trade secrets’ during two different sessions!

Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, maybe along with an FHFA rep, will, in panel discussion format, brief their DTS programs, then describe the new Choice & MH Advantage $ programs, & more.

E-HOP, as you know, is newest and most exciting chattel capital program for communities engaged in on-site home sales & seller-financing. Hear from the creator of the program!

Screening premier of videos filmed on-site in land lease communities around the U.S.!

Special nod to ‘resident relations’ by the very firm that introduced the concept in 1990s!

Special ‘how to’ session on automating your land lease community! Don’t want to miss this!

Register NOW (before 8/31) and benefit from lower Early Bird Rate:

Arrive early, mid-afternoon Sunday, and sit in on a Fireside Chat with me at The Alexander Hotel. This is always one of my favorite activities, talking one on one with other land lease community owners/operators from throughout the U.S. Have some special topics in mind.

And stay a day later, on the 11th, to participate in the day long Manufactured Housing Manager professional property management training & certification session. This will be the second class to use the new 8th edition Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry.


A Pipe Dream, or Is Reality But One Key Step Away?

“My conundrum; no ‘my problem’, with the lending segment of the manufactured housing industry? I am a great credit risk, yet when I use industry lenders, I end up paying 8% plus miscellaneous monthly fees for inventory financing. My homebuying customers are charged high rates no matter how good their credit. The best I can do for a retired person with a guaranteed income is 7.49% for a 20 year term loan.” Quoting a veteran land lease community owner selling and seller-financing new HUD-Code homes on-site.

So, conceptually and practically speaking,

‘Can the Interest Rate Spread, Between Home Mortgages Secured by Underlying Realty Conveyed Fee Simple, & Personal Property Loans (chattel capital) on Manufactured Housing Sited in Land Lease Communities, be Ameliorated to Create a Level Lending Environs?’

Perhaps!? Read what follows & tell us what you think; via

Do you know? The usual 600 – 800 basis point lower lending rate, typical of home mortgages secured by underlying realty conveyed fee simple, than higher rates charged for manufactured housing sited in land lease communities, easily account for a difference of $90,000 in the amount of new or resale home a prospective ‘land & home’ buyer, versus homebuyer/site lessee, can; afford to buy?

Specifically, in a local housing market where Area Median Income (‘AMI’), &/or prospective homebuyer’s (or household’s) Annual Gross Income (‘AGI’) is $36,000; and where realty-secured mortgages are available for 6.5 percent interest; but 9.5 percent for personal property loans – and land lease community monthly homesite rent is $333, respective home prices pencil out to be $158,0000 and $68,000 respectively.*1

Something to be careful about here. Whether annual household expenses (e.g. electric, gas, water – but not CATV & phone) are included in the monthly PITI or PITI/site rent payment – or are paid separately each month.*2 If ‘not included’’, as is the case in the previous paragraph – and apparently among independent third party manufactured housing chattel capital lenders, prospective homebuyers can buy ‘more house’, at increased risk (i.e. housing expense bills paid in addition to 30 percent allocated for PITI or PITI/site rent. However, if said household expenses are included in the PITI & PITI/site rent payments each month (this usually 25+/- percent of the 30 percent Housing Expense Factor or HEF, set aside to pay for one’s mortgage or rent, In this instance the prospective homebuyer affords ‘less house’, e.g. $119,000 instead of $158,000; and, $41,000 instead of $68,000, but is in a less risky, more affordable homebuyer, and homebuyer/site lessee state.

Now, ‘the question’. What would it take to lessen or eliminate altogether, the three to six percent average difference in interest rates between real estate-secured mortgages and personal property (i.e. chattel) loans; in other words, on manufactured homes sited on scattered building sites conveyed fee simple, and on rental homesites within land lease communities?

Assuming this difference in loan interest rates has mainly, if not wholly, to do with perceived security or risk, and lack thereof, of the loan commitment, where presence or not, of underlying improved realty is concerned, a relatively recent lending trend suggests this practical answer to the question:

In instances where personal property loans originate on new and resale manufactured homes installed, sold, and seller-financed by community owners, on rental homesites within their land lease communities; look to them as guarantors on said loans, to enhance security, and lessen risk, throughout the transaction term. After all, the mortgaged home is sited on the property owner’s realty, and goes nowhere without his/her tacit permission.

Frankly, there’s really nothing new about this suggestion. Land lease community owners/operators have subjected themselves to lender recourse for decades. Perhaps no one has pressed lenders to value said obligations in terms of interest rate reduction. After all, even in a worst case scenario, there will likely be enough value in the underlying real estate (i.e. entire land leases community) to more than cover any losses due to defaults on home loans.

Of course there’s more to this matter than meets the eye, or is described in the preceding paragraphs.*3 What do you see the roadblocks to be? Be sure to read End Note # 3 before replying. Then forward your thoughts on this matter to me as follows: GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247 or via

End Notes.

1. Using the ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet’ for estimating maximum recommended ‘affordable’ & ‘risky’ purchase prices for new & resale, privately-owned homes of any type, sited on realty owned fee simple with home, or on leased land, as in a land lease community. Worksheet available via Also know local housing market AMI’s are available, per postal zip codes, from

2. PITI = loan principal, interest, taxes, insurance

3. Further Considerations: 1) careful screening of homebuying prospects & counseling thereof, 2) just as careful screening of land lease community owners willing to guarantee homebuyer/site lessee loans, 3) careful management of upfront and back end Debt to Income ratios (‘DTI’), e.g. former @ 30% (with & without household utility expenses included?), and 40% when other outside debts are added to the front end PITI debt payment, & 5) whether this whole issue revolves around independent third party chattel lenders simply preserving a lucrative business model to the detriment of providing truly affordable housing when most needed in the U.S. What do you think?

George Allen, CPM, MHM

EARLY BLOG: 4th of July Story; Here’s E-HOP! (&) ‘New Ty’e

July 1st, 2019

July 2019; Copyright;
Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting is sole national advocate, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter, education resource & online communication media for North American land lease communities

To input this blog &/r affiliate with EducateMHC, formerly COBA7, telephone Official MHIndustry hotline; (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email:

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: Promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as US source for affordable obtainable housing! Visit

INITRODUCTION: Hang on for a reading ride! A longer a blog than intended, but all four parts are should be important to you, for significantly different reasons.

• How will you celebrate the 4th of July this week? Well, here’s how I did in 1968.
• E-HOP. You’re the first to hear about this exciting new chattel $ program for MHs.
• 5 August & 9 September. Two important days this Summer & Fall. Be there with us!
• ‘New type’ HUD-Code homes: Savior or Nemesis of manufactured housing industry?


Star Spangled Fourths of July, 50 & 200 Years Ago

On the fourth of July, 1969, my combat engineer platoon worked and lived at landing zone Stud, later renamed Vandegrift forward combat base. Stud was located a few miles east of the infamous, only recently vacated Khe Sanh combat base of Vietnam lore.

The day was like any other, for a combat engineer platoon. During daylight hours we cleared roads of landmines, built command bunkers, strengthened the perimeter defense, and helped wherever needed. All hot, dirty work, but what we were there to do.

That night also began like any other. At first, all was quiet and dark, no moon. Above ground light, even candlelight, was prohibited, lest it draw sniper fire from enemy troops in the hills surrounding our position. But around 2200 hours (10PM), someone popped a bright white star cluster pyrotechnic high into the black sky.

Usually, star cluster pyros are launched from hand held devices – hollow aluminum tubes 2” diameter X 12” long, to show helicopter pilots where one’s position is in darkness, identify medical evacuation pickup points, or where to drop needed supplies.

Well, that first star cluster burst was immediately followed by a whole bunch more – of varied colors, accompanied by a host of M16 assault rifles fired on full automatic – adding combat sound effects to the cacophony, along with the distinct odor of burning cordite. Also launched skyward, a couple illumination flares, dangling from mini-parachutes, drifted high above the base, and out over suspected enemy positions. This continued for a few minutes, then stopped as abruptly as it had begun.

In military parlance, tis chain of events is known as a ‘mad moment’, usually occurring in training scenarios to familiarize Marines with the sights, sounds, and smells of combat. And ‘mad moments’ do occasionally occur in combat environs like this, to celebrate a holiday.

Yes, one might view ‘mad moments’ as a waste of ammunition and signaling resources, also compromising one’s position, but know what?

During that ‘mad moment’, on the fourth of July 1968, at LXZ Stud, I envisioned standing next to Francis Scott Key, in 1818, watching the bombardment of Ft. McHenry, and him penning the poem which would later become our nation’s hallowed anthem, ‘The Star Spangled Banner’.

And today, 200 years later, 50+ for me since 1968, nary a 4th of July holiday occurs, without fondly, sometimes tearfully – but always gratefully, recalling being right there during a very special ‘mad moment’ in my life and that of our nation. God Bless America!

George Allen, lieutenant colonel retired, USMC


E-HOP = Today’s Top Story of MH Finance!

Earnings-based Home Ownership Program (‘E-HOP’) announces recent ‘closing’ of its’ first chattel loan on a new HUD-Code manufactured home sited in a land lease community!.

E-HOP is a new chattel loan program developed, during the last two years, by lenders working closely with a small, select group of land lease community owners (a.k.a. manufactured home communities) desiring to fill vacant rental homesites, to improve occupancy and upgrade their properties. E-HOP loans are guaranteed by land lease community owners and feature some important incentives.

Specifically, Park Lane Finance Solutions, LLC, of Staunton, VA., and Mountain View Estates of Rossville, GA., ‘closed’ the first E-HOP loan on a new multisection Clayton home. Community owners, David and Judy Roden, were excited to have the new homeowners/site lessees (i.e. residents) move into Mountain View Estates, based on their excellent rental history and long employment record.

Everyone benefits from the E-HOP program! It finances manufactured homes in stable, well-managed communities, and directly addresses the growing demand for affordable housing in the U.S. today. Lenders are protected by careful screening of prospective homebuyers, substantial down payments, satisfactory debt-to-income (‘DTI’) ratios, loan guarantees by participating community owners, and substantial reserve accounts designed to cover default-related costs. Home buyers benefit from terms they likely would not be able to obtain elsewhere. For additional information about this exciting, precedent-setting E-HOP program, contact Spencer Roane, MHM, Atlanta, GA: (678) 428-0212 or via


Why 5 August & 9 September Rock!

In less than a month, on Monday, 5 August 2019, the crème-de-la-crème of manufactured housing, land lease communities and recreational vehicle pioneers and leaders will journey to the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN., for the annual Induction Banquet. There they’ll witness 10 RV & MH businessmen and women achieve Free Enterprise immortality, among their peers in these two industries and realty asset class, as members of the prestigious RV/MH Hall of Fame!

Earlier, that day, Spencer Roane, MHM, and I will be on hand, at the nearby Hilton Garden Inn, or in the boardroom or library of the RV/MH Hall of Fame, prepared to meet semi-privately with MH and LLCommunity entrepreneurs desirous to talk about ongoing and emerging trends (e.g. ongoing MHIndustry paradigm shift since year 2000, emerging H-HOP loan program), as well as any other topic(s) of interest, e.g. preserving one’s personal &/or corporate legacy via memoirs. To participate, let me know of your interest during the next week or two, via Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 or via I’ll likely have copies of Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry (8th edition) available for purchase. First published, as Mobile Home Park Management, in 1988, this new, updated and enlarged 22o+/- page text is a major achievement of my 40 year career serving this industry and asset class. Also available for purchase via

And then, in just another month, on 9 September, the first day of the 28th Networking Roundtable, in Indianapolis, IN., major addresses will be delivered by U.S. Senator Todd Young (Who’s sponsoring new affordable housing legislation in the Senate, along with a dozen other senators), The GSEs (Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac) bringing everyone up to date relative to DTS programs (e.g. the former’s Choice Home program & latter’s MH Advantage program). Also major and very successful property portfolio owners/operators will be sharing their trade secrets as to success keeping rental homesite full and profitable. How can you afford not to be present at this seminal venue. For info and to register, visit


‘New Type’, Next-Generation MHs;
Savior or Nemesis for MHIndustry?

Housing Wire, ‘The Source for Mortgage & Housing Industry News’ tells us, “Median priced homes are too expensive for 74 percent of U.S. market”.

That being the case; on one hand, traditional and upscale HUD-Code manufactured homes are sorely needed in most U.S. local housing markets! But, on the other hand, do not forget the hard and sorry lessons we learned from mistakes in mid to late 1990s, when independent (street) MHRetailers, selling ‘land & home packages’ into traditional site-built housing markets, often erred effecting HUD-Code housing installations, and contracting post-installation services and structures appurtenant. We do not want to ‘go there’ again!

So, what is it we’re now offering the home buying public? First off, believe it or not, ‘it’ does not have an official, or even quasi-official name or moniker – yet. When the concept was ‘birthed’ at a MHI manufacturers’ division meeting in Orlando, FL., during Fall 2017, ‘it’ was simply referred to as a ‘new type’ manufactured housing designed to appeal to underserved markets, like millennials. Since then name suggestions have been made (e.g. millennial housing), but none have been selected or stuck.

Now along comes Freddie Mac, with its’ Choice program, for what they refer to as Next-Generation housing. And Fannie Mae, dealing with 99 percent the same ‘new type’ manufactured housing design, has their MH Advantage program. Both programs feature new HUD-Code multisection homes headed for permanent installation on realty conveyed fee simple, but NOT for new homes going into land lease communities! Confused yet? Again, one ‘new type’ HUD-Code housing design, alternately referred to as Next-Generation housing by one GSE, millennial housing by another, and ‘Who knows what?’ by someone else.

But that’s not really ‘the rub’. Yes ‘mobile homes’ cum ‘manufactured housing’ has made its’ mark on the U.S. housing scene for 75+/- years, primarily as an inexpensive, efficient, transportable housing alternative. And now along comes a significantly more sophisticated and expensive alternative, design packages typified by:

Freddie Mac’s Choice Program
• Higher-pitched (e.g. 5/12) roof line
• Garage or carport
• Permanent foundation to include masonry (non-load bearing perimeter wall)
• Drywall throughout, including closets Energy-efficient features
• Wood cabinetry
Fannie Mae’s MH Advantage Program
• 4/12 or greater roof pitch
• Attached garage/carport, or dormer(s) & covered porch/carport, or covered porch
• Permanent foundation must include masonry (non-lad bearing perimeter wall
• Drywall (tape & texture) throughout the home, including closets; kitchen &U bath cabinets with fronts of solid or veneered wood; and, Fiberglass, solid surface, acrylic, composite, porcelain/enamel-coated steel, or tile for all showers and or tubs.
• One of three energy standards.
• Low-profile finished floor set
• Exterior siding comprised of one or more of fiber cement board, hardwood siding, engineered wood siding, masonry, stone, stucco, or vinyl siding-backed with oriented strand board.
• Eaves six inches or greater
• Paved driveway & sidewalk leading to the home

So far so good. But who is going to prepare the foundations and install these much larger,
heavier, complicated structures? The same (but far fewer) folk who’ve been selling and siting far fewer new HUD-Code homes these past 20 years? What measures are being taken now and in the near future, to ensure we don’t err, once again, and marginalize this ‘new type’ high quality home we’re foisting on the buying public? To date, I’ve heard and read nothing about training, licensing, and certification on a broad and detailed scale to this end.

That brings us back to the title of this part of this blog posting. Will indeed, this ‘new type’ manufactured housing be our long sought market SAVIOR, or will we find it to be another market NEMESIS – compromising the progress we’ve slowly made since recovering from nadir shipment year 2009, when only 49,789 new HUD-Code homes were shipped nationwide? While I sincerely hope it’s the former; unless we take steps now to be far better quality control-minded independent contractors, as well as (street) MHRetailers, we risk seeing the history of two decades ago repeat itself.

And don’t forget, these two much ballyhooed GSE programs (i.e. Choice & MH Advantage) do not apply at all to the 40 percent of manufactured housing shipments presently going directly into land lease communities nationwide. Like DTS programs for personal property (i.e. chattel capital) loans on new HUD-Code homes is what we need NOW, knot another decade down the road! Is anyone at FHFA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac listening? Hope so!

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

Affordable & Obtainable – the new MH couplet!

June 19th, 2019

2019; Copyright 2019;

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

This blog posting is sole national advocate, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter, education resource & online communication media for North American land lease communities

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, formerly COBA7, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: Promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as US source for affordable obtainable housing! Visit

INTRODUCTION: HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities provide affordable obtainable housing & lifestyle! MHI, MHARR & NAMHCO owe it to us to work together in Washington, DC. to advance the cause of manufactured housing & land lease communities! And, for the first time ever, Fannie Mae’s 23 DUS (Delegated Underwriting & Servicing) lenders unanimously favor originating real estate-secured mortgages for land lease communities!



In the header above, hopefully you noticed the significant Goal adjustment at EducateMHC and this weekly blog posting. Specifically,


Obtainable housing? What’s this and how did it materialize? Attending MHI’s Visits on the Hill briefings, prior to walking the Innovative Housing Showcase on the national mall, a couple weeks ago, I was inspired by chairman Joe Stegmayer and MHI executive Dick Jennison pairing ‘affordable obtainable’ housing when describing our unique type factory-built housing.

Affordable housing? “Occurs when an individual or household’s Annual Gross Income (‘AGI’), or local housing market’s Area Median Income (‘AMI’) – identified by postal zip code @, can lease a conventional apartment or buy a home in the local housing market, using no more than 30 percent Housing Expense Factor, of said AGI, or AMI, for shelter and related household (utility) expenses.”*1 For example: $50,000 AGI or AMI X .3 HEF = $15,000/year; or $1,250/month for rent or mortgage PITI (principal, interest, taxes, insurance) and household expenses.

Obtainable housing? While I hoped MHI would hold forth on defining the concept, they haven’t – that I’ve seen or read, so here’s how this veteran industry observer views the concept: Given housing that’s affordable (by definition), in any given local housing market, HUD-Code manufactured housing, by dint of the industry’s ‘more than 100 factories nationwide’, makes it possible for prospective homebuyers/site lessees, to purchase said new housing virtually anywhere in the U.S. Hence, HUD-Code manufactured housing is affordable & obtainable!

Then the thought occurred to me: ‘Why not pair and promote ‘affordable & obtainable’?’ Everyone knows low income housing aficionados have long hijacked ‘affordable housing’ to serve their narrow purposes. Why not position HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities, going forward, as this nation’s homegrown source for ‘affordable & obtainable’ housing?! I’m ready to do so. How ‘bout you?

Let’s see if anyone else picks up on this bandwagon opportunity to differentiate and highlight manufactured housing and land lease communities, from just affordable housing, to the general American home buying public! Here’s who I’m going to watch, for leadership and publicity to this end: MHI, MHARR, NAMHCO, MHInsider magazine, Manufactured Housing Review online, the Allen Letter, and the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletters. Also our state manufactured housing associations nationwide. This should be interesting to observe, track, and report back on in a month or so…For that matter, let me know what you think of this ‘obtainable’ concept being paired with ‘affordable’ housing.

Bottom line? E very one of us should commit NOW, to Promote HUD-Code Manufactured Housing & Land Lease Communities as U.S. Source for Affordable Obtainable Housing!

End Note.

1. Official definition of affordable housing quoted from SWAN SONG text (First history of land lease communities, & Official Record of HUD-Code housing shipments 1955 to present day), available for purchase via


MHARR & MHI to Work Together or Merge?

Remember this? On 13 June, MHI published a HOUSING ALERT with the stirring headline: ‘MHI Protects Industry & Manufactured Housing Land Lease Communities From Attack’. While one online commentator decried the gist of said Press Release, claiming alleged anti-industry language was not as characterized, general sentiment appreciated having a spokesperson in Washington, DC., ‘tending the store’, so to speak.

So, in a private email message to dozens of manufactured housing executives and land lease community owners/operators, I made this bold – but needing to be said again and again, statement:

“It’s high time all three national entities (i.e. MHI, MHARR & NAMHCO) figure out how to work well and effectively together ALL the Time! We now have federal legislators and regulators who respect HUD-Code manufactured housing AND the land lease community lifestyle – so let’s speak with a much more unified voice than has been the case in the past, and in this example!”

And as is often the case, a blog flogger (reader) replied thusly:

“I couldn’t agree more George; the (manufactured housing) industry needs to speak with one voice. Unfortunately, I’m not very optimistic this will happen. Their styles of working with (regulators & legislators) government are completely different from one another, and only one has a PAC fund that can help get legislative support. Sending threatening letters to Federal agencies (e.g. Fannie, Freddie, FHFA, HUD) and legislative offices, telling them how terrible they are, is not a strategy that works well or often.”

This encouragement to unite and speak with one voice in Washington, DC. is neither new or novel. Many before me have expressed identical sentiments; but to date, to little or no avail – for various reasons. However, since so many of us recognize, as the cartoon character Pogo has been wont to say, in paraphrased fashion, “We continue to shoot ourselves in the foot with regularity!” – perhaps the time has come to make unity happen.

What say YOU? Let me know via or via the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.


Did You Know?

“Fannie Mae’s Delegated Underwriting and Servicing (‘DUS’®) lenders are authorized by Fannie Mae to underwrite, close and deliver loans without Fannie Mae’s pre-review, which reduces the length of time required to close a multifamily loan.”

With that said, 21 of 23 DUS lenders recently identified in Heartland Real Estate Business magazine list land lease communities (i.e. They say, ‘manufactured housing communities’) as being approved for real estate mortgage origination! So, what’s the ‘big deal’? This is the first time in decades our unique income-producing property type has received this very public mark of approval! We’re making progress!


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

Have you registered to attend the 28th Networking Roundtable, 8-10 September, at The Alexander Hotel in Indianapolis, IN., yet? To d

Suggestions to HUD & NAHB for 2020 for Innovative Housing Showcase

June 13th, 2019

June 2019; Copyright 2019;

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

This blog posting is sole national advocate, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter, education resource & online communication media for North American land lease communities

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, formerly COBA7, telephone Official MHindustry Hotline: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Online media goal? Inform, opine, transform & improve manufactured housing shipment & land lease community lifestyle! Visit

INTRODUCTION: Two straightforward matters this week: A successful Innovative Housing Showcase in Washington, DC, that deserves a repeat performance in 2020 – with improvements! And will we, or will we not, eclipse doubling the 2009 HUD-Code housing shipment volume by year end 2019, i.e. go from 48,789 to (Gasp!) at least 97,578 new homes shipped; better yet, 100,000+!?


Suggestions to HUD & NAHB for 2020 Innovative Housing Showcase

2019, A Worthwhile Debut Event In Need of Refinement

Hope you do this again in 2020! Next time however, include the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’), as a planner and host, along with HUD & the National Association of Homebuilders (‘NAHB’). MHI’s three HUD-Code manufactured homes, especially their New Type home, stole the attention of showcase attendees! Also, this fresh event deserves much better advance, widespread publicity, to attract out-of-towners like me, to the venue. And please, next time around, establish affordability standards for innovative housing to be exhibited. $100,000+ steel container shelters simply don’t meet that goal. For that matter, during presentations and panel discussions, early on, offer a working Definition of Affordable Housing, providing an agreed upon context for what occurs during the event. But most important of all, decide now – if it hasn’t been decided already, to have an Innovative Housing Showcase during year 2020!

Now a word or two to the planner hosts. First, the NAHB. ‘Your New Home & How to Take Care of It’ booklet is a gem of a guide for first time homebuyers! The 60 page booklet should be emulated by the MHI and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulator Reform (‘MHARR’), for distribution to homebuyer/site lessees buying their obtainable housing product, especially when sited in land lease communities. Is anyone at MHI & MHARR listening? How ‘bout the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners? Maybe an apropos ‘first time project’ for this new lobbyist in behalf of land lease communities nationwide?

And for affordable housing aficionados. Get hold of a copy of ‘The NMHC Housing Affordability Toolkit’, a guide to diverse housing affordability solutions. To do so, visit and download it, courtesy of the National Multifamily Housing Council. You’ll be glad you did!

Finally, HUD. At first I was excited to pick up FREE copies of three professional looking publications distributed at the Innovative Housing Showcase by the federal agency. Not now! Why? Because all three are 15-17 years out of date; hence, with little applicability to today’s manufactured housing and land lease community business environs. Specifically:

• Technology Roadmapping for Manufactured Housing, circa March 2003. Covers home, factory, site, market & consumer. The work was penned during the industry’s downturn, as shipments plummeted from 372,943+/- in 1998 to only 48,789+/- in 2009 – with 130,940+/- during 2003*1, so content is jaundiced accordingly. Should not have been distributed at the Innovative Housing Showcase. However, NOW would be the right time to research and prepare a 2020 update!

• Is Manufactured Housing a Good Alternative for Low – Income Families?, circa 2004. Penned by two academics for HUD. It’s this industry observer’s opinion they didn’t dig deep enough into the subject material. They did, however, determine manufactured housing is 1) a ‘good value’ for low income-families, is 2) structurally comparable to site-built housing, but 3) while demonstrating permanence (of residency), “MH, without land ownership does not appear to be a particularly good investment.” P.2. Considering the 15 year hiatus, this study too is in need of update and expansion. Anyone at HUD listening?

• Guide to Foundation & Support Systems for Manufactured Homes, circa 2002, by the Manufactured Housing Research Alliance (‘MHRA’) for HUD. Everything in this guide precedes the Frost Free Foundation epiphany realized and articulated by manufactured housing consultant George Porter. Much interesting and helpful information, complete with graphics – but of limited applicability until HUD makes up its’ mind (in 2019 & beyond) ‘what is acceptable’ in land lease community application. Once again HUD; is anyone listening?

Most important message of this blog posting? That the folk at HUD & NAHB decide to invite MHI to participate in the planning and hosting of a 2020 Innovative Housing Showcase. If they do so, you’ll be sure to read about the upcoming event here, for sure. And I look forward to seeing you there!

End Note. *1 The +/- notation on annual MH shipment totals (1974-2012) calls attention to the embarrassing situation, before year 2013, when two different annual shipment totals were published by two national manufactured housing advocacy entities. Today, there’s one official, verified annual total published by HUD, MHARR, NAMHCO, & EducateMHC, using unadulterated monthly totals supplied by the Institute for Building Technology & Safety (‘IBTS’) For a complete historic (1955-2018) list of manufactured housing shipment volumes, read SWAN SONG, available via


HUD-Code Housing Shipment Goal for 2019!

Do you realize how close we are to doubling the new HUD-Code housing nadir shipment volume of year 2009? That year the manufactured housing industry shipped only 48,789+/- new HUD-Code homes nationwide. To double that shipment total by 2019 year end (i.e. 10 years after that nadir year for the industry), we’d need to ship 97,578 new HUD-Code homes. That’s only 1,023 homes fewer than year end 2018! The ‘bad news’, however, is the manufactured housing industry has fallen off the ‘break 100,000 unit shipment pace’ since last Fall, and year to date (April 2019) we’re 3,040 homes behind the 2018 pace.

Not much any one of us can do about this ‘sorry sad state of affairs’ but to sell more HUD-Code homes within and outside land lease communities! Are you doing your part?

I only point this out, as it’d be ‘so encouraging’ to all of us, if we could end year 2019 saying: ‘We’re back! We’ve doubled shipment volume since 2009, and are on track to ‘’maybe’ eclipse 200,000 new HUD-Code homes shipped, by year 2030 or sooner – given reasonable access to chattel capital for in-community home loans.

What say you? We always like to hear from ‘blog floggers’ (readers) with opinions, pro and con, what we publish for you here, in the Allen Letter and the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! Business newsletters. To subscribe, visit Doing so, keeps this weekly blog posting a-coming.

George Allen, CPM,MHM EducateMHC Box # 4

Trump & Media akin to MHI & Naysayers, + Private Equity Firms Identified

June 8th, 2019

2019; Copyright 2019;

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

This blog posting is sole national advocate, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter, education resource & online communication media for North American land lease communities

To input this blot, &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, formerly COBA7, telephone Official MHIndustry hotline: (877) MFE-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email:

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Online media goal? Inform, opine, transform & improve manufactured housing shipment & land lease community lifestyle! Visit

INTRODUCTION: Manufactured housing action on at least two fronts this week. First, at the INNOVATIVE HOUSING SHOWCASE on the U.S. capitol mall in Washington, DC. If you missed that opportunity to shine as a MH professional – too bad. And, the increasingly public $ saga of private equity investors in land lease communities continues – too bad. In different ways, two contretemps (‘embarrassing situations) in one week!


President Trump & Media Critics akin to MHI & Naysayers

As I walked the HUD & NAHB-hosted INNOVATIVE HOUSING SHOWCASE, on the U.S, capitol mall, earlier this week, the thought occurred to me:

What President Trump endures, from the liberal-leaning secular press, by way of vitriol (‘criticism’) and misreporting (i.e. Think ‘collusion delusion’ of the past two years), is remarkably similar – in my mind anyway – to the vitriol and lack of support (the) Manufactured Housing Institute receives from any other national manufactured housing advocate domiciled in Washington, DC. Period.

How so? At every turn, these past two plus years, President Trump has been attacked by “…those entrusted with news reporting in the modern media…destroying freedom of the press from within; not government oppression or suppression, not President Trump’s finger-pointing, but present-day newsrooms and journalists.” This quoted from page 1 of Mark R. Levins’ new book, Unfreedom of the Press. Trump’s sole relief and encouragement is an electoral base that only grows as his political opponents ‘investigate’ rather than ‘legislate’!

Similarly true was the absence of participation, by any manufactured housing advocacy entity other than MHI and its’ members, in the aforementioned INNOVATIVE HOUSING SHOWCASE.*1 Of the dozen or so examples of innovative housing (Think Tiny Houses & steel container shelters) exhibited on the capitol mall, three were HUD-Code homes: Two from Skyline-Champion, including a New Type manufactured home, and an attractive home from Cavco Industries. Also worthy of note; UMH Properties, a REIT, was the sole land lease community portfolio owner/operator to participate in the INNOVATIVE HOUSING SHOWCASE as a sponsor/exhibitor.

Still, this question begs answering: Where were sister national manufactured housing entities and favored press representative?

Point? To the best of anyone’s recollection, this was the first time in 70+ years of manufactured housing history, our type factory-built housing was on display, for thousands to see and visit! Yes, MHI had to scramble to get these homes in place, but they did – and the manufactured housing industry will benefit from their largesse. Anecdotally, even NAHB members wandered over to walk through the three HUD-Code homes, thinking they were site-built. And an unintended (positive) consequence of being displayed near expensive prototypes of innovative housing, was how, by comparison, manufactured homes are much more attractive, spacious, and affordable!

So, just as many American citizens would like to see the secular press/media ‘back off’ its’ ongoing criticism of President Trump – and start ballyhooing his successes, the naysayers targeting the New Type manufactured housing would also do well to back off their persistent criticism, and commit now to participate in next year’s INNOVATIVE HOUSING SHOWCASE, all the while, encouraging positive trade press coverage of manufactured housing.

End Note.
1. “The purpose of the Innovative Housing Showcase is (to) display new building technologies that can make housing more affordable and resilient.” Quoted from HUD.GOV FAQS handout.


Private Equity Firms & Another Point of View

Part III of last week’s blog posting # 535 carried this subject line: ‘Wealth Redistribution in Year 2020 & Beyond?’ In it I described how “…the top 0.1% of (U.S.) taxpayers – about 170,000 families, in a country of 330 million people – control 20% of American wealth, the highest share since 1929.” Then described how U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, with Iowa representative Dave Loebsack, recently wrote to private equity firm Havenpark Capital, of Utah, about that firm’s 58% ‘rent increase’ at Golfview MH Court, i.e. springing rental homesite rates from $315 to $490/month.

Well, since then, Senator Warren has sent additional ‘demand for information’ letters to other private equity firms, all relatively new to investing in the land lease communities; including, but now wholly listed:

• Stockbridge (CA): YES! Communities
• Federal Capital Partners (MD): Horizon Land
• Brookfield Asset Management (NY): RHP Properties
• Blackstone (NY): Treehouse Communities
• TPG Capital (NY): RV Horizons, now in part, ImpactMHC
• The Carlyle Group (NY)
• Apollo Global Management Group (NY): Inspire Communities
• Centerbridge Capital: Carefree Communities

In the meantime, one veteran manufactured housing executive responded, to blog posting # 535, with this, Another Point of View:

“Combined, these companies have stepped forward to invest millions (probably billions) of dollars to preserve and improve affordable manufacture home communities in America. At the same time, the federal government has imposed costly mandates that pushed Mom & Pop operators to sell or close their communities. As you know, manufactured housing is a federally-regulated production product. A more fruitful inquiry might be why the federal government has abandoned these homeowners by making it nearly impossible to go to a federally-regulated bank for an affordable home mortgage.”

Well, how would you respond to this Another Point of View? Me? I’m uncertain these private equity firms have indeed ‘preserved and improved affordable land lease communities’. In some cases, sure; but otherwise, no. That jury is still out deliberating. And, I’m unsure what ‘costly mandates’ are being referred to here? Since rent control is usually a local or state statute, maybe we’re talking about tightened financial regs per CFPB; also stricter reporting regs relative to wastewater treatment effluent and potable water supply. But the writer has a point where lack of even reasonable access to chattel capital for new manufactured housing loans continues to be a major challenge for the industry and realty asset class.

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

A Clayton Homes Reveal, FOCUS Groups Return, & Wealth Redistribution

May 30th, 2019

; Copyright 2019;

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

This blog posting is sole national advocate, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter, education resource & online communication media for North American land lease communities

To input this blog, &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, formerly COBA7, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Online media goal? Inform, opine, transform & improve manufactured housing shipment & land lease community lifestyle! Visit

INTRODUCTION: Almost everything you’ve wanted to know about Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, and Berkshire-Hathaway, but didn’t know who to ask. It’s coming your way soon!
And FOCUS Groups – a popular land lease community owner education resource of the past being resurrected this Summer? Also, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren throws her political influence into aggressive rent increase fray in Iowa. All three excitingeveents in this week’s blog


An Insider Look at the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! Newsletter

‘Dark colored sports jackets, open-neck blue sports shirts & blue jeans’…the corporate uniform at Clayton Homes, when Kevin & his three top execs gather for a two page photo spread in the May 2019 issue of Builder magazine.’ That’s how the one of ten strategic news stories, in the June issue of TAC! begins.

Then follows five news bytes every one of you reading this should want to know: ‘Mr. Buffett’s dream scenario for a family….’, specific counts relative to Clayton’s corporate infrastructure, the firm’s five essential checkpoints for potential acquisition targets, Clayton’s nexus to success, and ‘new class’ of homes.

But don’t fret. While the June TAC! will be distributed next week, the same story will likely be featured in the July issue of the Allen Letter. So, three ways for you to learn things about Clayton Homes you never knew before: TAC!, Allen Letter, and your own copy of Builder magazine.


‘Land Lease Community Lifestyle Done Well’ REVISITED!

In last week’s blog posting (#534) we revisited the once very popular FOCUS Group concept, long in play among (then) manufactured home community owners/operators several years ago. While I certainly hoped for response to the idea, I was SURPRISED at the number – and nature of, positive responses, from contemporary land lease community owners/operators interested in getting together, once again, in these small group 1 ½ day sessions!

By way of review; what we’re talking about here, is where/when community owners, including small to mid-sized portfolio ‘players’, recommend topics of active interest, to the FOCUS Group meeting organizer. Who, in turn, arranges for a come together of a dozen owners/operators, preferably on-site in an easily accessed land lease community with a suitable clubhouse (O perhaps, in this case, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN., on 5 August 2019). The organizer narrows the topic list down to four, maybe five – doable in a day’s time; then informs interested parties as to the date and location of a host hotel and specific meeting location.

The usual sequence. Networking dinner together the first night. Meet on-site the next morning. Work thru the agreed upon agenda, starting no later than 9AM. Work thru lunch, ending with a new topic in the early afternoon. Conclude by 2PM or thereabouts, for those needing to head home. Others oft stay for more conversation, tour of the property, etc… Meeting costs? Shared pro rata by attendees; usually honorarium for meeting organizer and facility rental. Also food and beverage unless meeting location host sponsors same. When topics are announced, ahead of time, participants are expected to come prepared to discuss, even have handout material to share with peers.

So, if seriously interested in participating in a FOCUS Group meeting on 5 August 2019 either at a local hotel or the RV/MH Hall of Fame, in Elkhart, IN. (Same day as this year’s annual RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet…call 574/293-2344 for tickets), let me know ASAP via email: or Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877)MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Willing to plan this FOCUS Group meeting if a minimum of ten individuals commit to attend.

FOCUS Groups have been and continue to be an excellent way for owners/operators to ensure Land Lease Community(ies) Lifestyle is Done Well Going Forward! So consider this opportunity!


Wealth Redistribution in Year 2020 & Beyond?

Expect to hear more about this contentious topic as socialist-leaning politicians strive to gain electoral traction with the American citizenry. A recent article in Bloomburg Businessweek was titled, The Wealth Detective’, with the subtitle: ‘The rich know how to keep their money secret. Economist Gabriel Zucman knows how to find it.’ Here are a couple gems contained therein:

• “Minimum amount Zucman calculated wealthy stash in offshore accounts = $7.6 trillion” – “accounting for 8% of global household financial wealth; 80% of those assets were hidden from governments, resulting in about @200 billion in lost tax revenue per year.”

• “Zucman & Saez’s latest estimates show the top 0.1% of taxpayers – about 170,000 families in a country of 330 million people – control 20% of American wealth, the highest share since 1929. The top 1% control 39% of U.S. wealth, and the bottom 90% have only 26%. The bottom half of Americans combined, have a negative net worth.”

Let’s bring this high-flying projection of unbalanced financial gain home to roost. Recall how we’ve been talking, of late in this blog, about the private equity wave of land lease community consolidation? And how aggressive rental homesite rate increases appear to be the common characteristic of the movement? Well, ‘proof of this’ is playing out in the state of Iowa. There, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and Iowa representative Dave Loebsack recently wrote directly to private equity firm Havenspark Capital, of Utah, about the firm’s 58 percent ‘rent increase’ at Golfview MH Court, where site rent jumped from $315 to $490 when the firm acquired the land lease community.

While this incident can be viewed as a ‘shot across the bow’ of predatory landlording, it does have serious implication for any land lease community owner/operator, not just the private equity wave folk, who’re tempted to raise rental homesite rates beyond the traditional 3:1 ratio (i.e. 3BR2B apartments at $900/month? Then LLCommunity site rent maybe at $300/month+/-).

Besides, if HUD-Code manufactured housing AND land lease communities really want to continue being considered a key part of the solution to this nation’s ongoing affordable housing crisis; well, they need to keep housing prices AND rental homesite rates ‘together’ within the 30 percent Housing Expense Factor (‘HEF’), i.e. Area Median Income (‘AMI’) = $36,000, then 30% HEF suggests $10,800/year, or $900/month is available for PITI (principal, interest, taxes, insurance) AND site rent together! The wildcard factor here, though, is whether annual household utility expenses are paid as part of the 30% HEF – leaving less $ available for house & rent; or, paid ‘in addition to’ the 30% HEF, making the transaction ‘risky’ as the homeowner/site lessee now pays a Household Expense Factor (‘HEF’) greater than the affordable 30 percent. Think about it. How are your in-community deals structured? To put your customers ‘at risk’ or keep them in ‘affordable housing’? How the utility bill question is answered does make a difference;!


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

E-HOP Chattel Capital lending Program Debuts!

May 24th, 2019

@ 22 May 2019;

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

This blog posting is sole national advocate, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter, education resource & online communication media for North American land lease communities

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

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Online media goal? Inform, opine, transform & improve manufactured housing & land lease community lifestyle! Visit

INTRODUCTION: Hang on to your seats today! MUCH GOOD & CHALLENGING NEWS for you to absorb and use in upcoming business plans, decisions, and actions:
• E-HOP chattel finance program debuts with Park Lane Financial.
• Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars = only time this year!
• Manufactured Housing Manager certification available to you on 19 June in Elkhart, IN.
• A plan to ‘raise the bar’ on land lease community experience and lifestyle!
• Once more, a plea for industry unity among MHI, MHARR, & NAMHCO.
See what I mean? That’s a heckuva lot of NEWS to wrap into one weekly blog posting for you!



E-HOP: in-community Chattel Financing Program Debuts!

“The Earnings-based Home Ownership Program (‘E-HOP’) is now a reality”, announces Spencer Roane, MHM, of Pentagon Properties, Atlanta, GA. $10,0000,000 has been committed to this new manufactured home chattel loan pilot program by Park Lane Finance. Initially, only a select group of experienced and successful land lease community owners/operators will be involved during the next 12 months.

To learn more about the program, and to express interest in possibly participating in the future, contact Kirk McDowell at (561)644-1441 & via

E-HOP is the result of two years of research, negotiating, and hard work by Spencer Roane, MHM, and a group of land lease community owners/operators, most of whom are also involved in planning and hosting the popular annual SECO conference in Atlanta, GA., every Fall. 9 & 10 October 2019 are the dates for this year’s SECO conference, and know E-HOP will be a highlight of the event! Google SECO Conference for additional event information. See you there!


Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars

The Only HUD-Code Housing Sales Training Program for Land Lease Community Owners/operators Offered Anywhere, Anytime in the U.S.!

If you need to learn HOW TO ‘spec & price’ new HUD-Code housing to ‘sell’ in your local housing market and on-site; HOW TO buy homes directly from the factory; HOW TO effectively market & sell same on-site; and HOW TO seller-finance these transactions – or rent units as free-standing apartments, YOU will be present at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN., on 17 & 18 June 2019.

This two day program debuted in 2016 and is a perennial sold-out event! Historically, independent (street) MHRetailers & ‘company stores’ filled vacant rental homesites with new homes, but not anymore. If you own one or more land lease communities, you will ‘survive & thrive’ ONLY if you buy, sell, and seller-finance new and resale manufactured homes on-site! So, phone (317) 247-6258 x 11 for more information and to register. Phone (574) 333-3707 to make a hotel reservation, for $105/night – when mentioning ‘Indiana Manufactured Housing Association’, during the reservation process at the Sheraton Elkhart (3254 Cassopolis St.).

And, if still not trained and certified as a Manufactured Housing Manager, plan to stay over one more day (6/19/2019) to participate in the popular MHM program put on by EducateMHC. This is, by far, the most popular professional property management certification program in the U.S. today, with nearly 1,500 MHMs now owning/operating land lease communities throughout the U.S. and Canada! For more info and to register, visit or The $295 per person fee gets you a copy of the new, 9th edition of Land Lease Community Management text, handout material, as well as gold MHM pin and calligraphied MHM certificate.


The Land Lease Community Lifestyle Done Well

All the Pieces Are In Now in Place – to Ensure Homeowner/site lessees Experience the Best Environment Possible – Promoting & Protecting Their Manufactured Housing Lifestyle!

And these key pieces are:

• Manufactured Housing Institute’s (‘MHI’) National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division, since January 1996, representing land lease community owners/operators in our nation’s capitol. NCC is best known for its’ Spring & Fall Leadership Forums.

• National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (‘NAMHCO’), since 2018, is the land lease community real estate asset class’ lobbyist in Washington, DC.

• EducateMHC, continues COBA7’s 40 year program of statistical research, intellectual product creation & distribution, print & online communication, property management training & certification via MHM program, & interpersonal networking opportunities

So, is anything missing at this point? Yes, but first, a brief description of ‘where we are today’ as an industry and realty asset class, and how we’ve arrived at this point.

By now, everyone knows the manufactured housing industry, and land lease communities, have been engaged in a sweeping paradigm shift since the turn of the century. A paradigm shift typified by land lease community owners/operators, oft supplanting independent (street) MHRetailers and ‘company stores’ as primary means of distributing new HUD-Code homes, by now buying and siting new units directly onto rental homesites throughout their properties, then sell and seller-financing the transaction – or rent them out as self-contained apartments. Most of the 500+/- known portfolio ‘players’ are well into this business model*1; however, smaller Mom & Pop-owned/operated properties continue, for the most part, to rely on aforementioned MHRetailers to fill vacant rental homesites – or do nothing at all to this end.

NOW a unique opportunity presents itself to the manufactured housing industry and owners/operators of land lease communities nationwide.

What can we do to ensure the ‘Land Lease Community Lifestyle Is Done Well’ for our homeowners/site lessees and apartment renters?

Professional property management (‘PM’) is part of the answer, but given that there’s only one active national classroom program in place today, EducateMHC’s MHM certification program, that’s ‘far too little & not soon enough’ to help much here.

NO, there needs to be, in this veteran industry observer’s opinion, a new and unique property owner and PM executive level learning and networking opportunity and experience, incorporating features once provided by the…

• Urban Land Institute’s Manufactured Housing Communities Council (‘MHCC’) ‘think tank’, circa 2004-2015. Where industry and asset class issues & trends were identified, addressed and resolved. No such forum exists today and it is sorely needed!

• Periodic 1 ½ day long, small FOCUS Groups, convened on-site in land lease communities around the U.S., adhered to set agendas agreed upon in advance by all participants. Practices and procedures spawned therein continue in effect to this day.

• National State of the Asset Class (‘NSAC’) meetings during 2008 & 2009, where industry & realty asset class survival was on everyone’s mind. It’s where Randy Rowe first described Five Action Areas, and the Community Series Homes concept was birthed.

Unfortunately, general mass gatherings like MHI’s annual MHCongress and seasonal Leadership Forums, along with the Networking Roundtable and regional manufactured housing trade shows and exhibits (e.g. SECO, Louisville, & Tunica) simply don’t fill this strategic need. Why? There’s far too much diversity among participants – as there will always be at such venues.

No, what’s needed is far more specific. Specifically, 1 ½ days long FOCUS Group-like gatherings, limited to one or two dozen land lease community owners or senior executives participating, with everyone agreeing ahead of time, what topics are of utmost importance now and going forward. Ideally these gatherings, in my opinion – and when convenient, should be held on-site within land lease communities. Doing so, encourages the ambiance of the physical setting to influence the discussion and resolution of industry and realty asset class matters at hand.

Recently floated ‘the general idea’ described in the previous paragraphs, to two dozen land lease community owners/operators whose business reputations and views I respect. Response? So far, a half dozen thoughtful replies, all in support of the idea of ‘raising the performance bar among property owners, for homeowners/site lessees living in their properties’. Does this describe your vision and goal for your property or properties?

Going forward. If YOU would like to be part of this heady discussion – and help plan
1 ½ days FOCUS Group-like gatherings, let me know via email: or via Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. I’m especially interested in hearing from those who’ve attended past ULI/MHCC meetings and FOCUS Group sessions. Also those who’ve participated in similar ‘shared performance & experience’ forums in other industries.

End Note.

1. FYI. It’s possible for you to access this 500+/- name list, by direct mail via EducateMHC. For more information, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877)MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. It’s an excellent means for prospecting for land lease community acquisitions.



If you’re reading this, and are a member of the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘’MHI’) – as I am proudly, its’ sole Emeritus member; or the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’) – as I am not, because I’m not a HUD-Code housing manufacturer, then you received a digital communique this past week ballyhooing that national trade advocate’s efforts influencing HUD to rescind an earlier policy on garages relative to manufactured homes.

Well, that NEWS was certainly a Welcome development, but it begs this question:

When there are opportunities like this, to present a united front not only to legislators and regulators in our nation’s capitol, but to manufactured housing and land lease community businessmen and women nationwide, WHY are these two organizations not doing so today – or ever?

Not a new or novel question. Lack of industry unity has plagued us for decades!

So, where does a unity solution begin? With you and me, as members of either or both MHI & MHARR, as well as the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (‘NAMHCO’). Next time you talk to Dick, Mark, or Susan – tell them you prefer they ‘work & announce’ together rather than ‘separately & weakly’! Seriously. When they receive sufficient feedback from members, like thee and me, they’ll eventually ‘get the point’ and figure out how to move forward in a unified, and far more effective fashion, than is the case today!

Nuff said. Unless you want to share your views with me via


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

Best of Times & Worst of Times

May 16th, 2019

Blog # 533 @ 14 May 2019; Copyright 2019;

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

This blog posting is sole national advocate, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter, education resource & online communication media for North American land lease communities

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

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Online media goal? Inform, opine, transform & improve manufactured housing & land lease community lifestyle! Visit

INTRODUCTION: They to run in pairs, questions businessmen & women in manufactured housing & land lease communities ask from time to time. Today, the most frequent ones are:

• What’s with private equity firms overpaying for land lease communities, then greatly jacking rental homesite rates? Will there be a day of reckoning when they realize homeowners/site lessees will no longer put up with greed devaluing of their manufactured homes, and simply ‘walk away’?

• OK, I really like being fully informed about the, in this dual case, ‘industry & realty asset class’ in and with which I – and our firm, are invested and involved. What should I be reading each week, month, and quarter, to stay fully informed?


Best of Times & Worst of Times.

Land Lease Communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities) in the Spotlight of Investor Interest, Homeowner/site lessee Concern, & Landlord/Tenant Legislation

From coast to coast; starting in the Pacific Northwest, via upper Midwest, and through to New York state, land lease community matters are the focus of much attention these days. How so? Here’s a sampling of contemporary attention-getters:

• It’s a historically extravagant Sellers’ Market among institutional investment grade land lease communities nationwide – with no immediate end in sight!

• When overvalued land lease communities ‘sell’, expect inordinate rental homesite rate increases to soon follow! Likewise, no immediate end in sight to this practice either.

• Unintended consequences, or not, of mostly out-of-state acquisitions of these unique, income-producing properties, plus the continuing and elusive search for chattel capital pursuant to on-site sale of new HUD-Code manufactured housing, have precipitated an uptick in regulatory legislation and the enforcement thereof….

During 40 years as an owner/operator of land lease communities, I’ve not seen a more exaggerated Sellers’ Market than the one playing-out today. Gone, for now anyway, are the days when an ‘average’ (i.e. 10 percent income capitalization rate) 100% occupied land lease community sold for say $14,000 per rental homesite (e.g. New Rule of 72: 200 sites X $200/month rent X 72 = $2,880,000 divided by 200 sites = $14,400/site).*1 Today, expect the same investment property to sell for multiples of the $14,400 per rental homesite! For example: 3 X $14,400 = 43,200/site X 200 sites = $8,640,000.00. Yes, that’s where we are today.

Why? Here’re ’10 Good Reasons to Own a Land Lease Community’. These are quoted from page # 151 of SWAN SONG, the first published history of the realty asset class, & official record of MH shipments from 1955 to the present day.*2

1. Relative scarcity! Due to land use regulations, i.e. NIMBY, LULU, BANANA*3
2. Low annual (home & tenant) turnover @ 5 & 10% respectively!
3. Stable, competitive site rent! (When in 3:1 sync in local housing market.*4
4. Lower operating expense ratio (OER @ 40+/-%) than apartment communities
5. Economy of scale! (100+ sites = institutional investment grade properties)
6. Affordable home ownership & equity, when monthly PITI & site rent align
7. Recession proof! No other more economically-priced housing in U.S. today!
8. More opportunities to ‘add value’ via home sales, rental units, parts & services
9. More versatility! Up to seven types of shelter now sited therein.*5
10. Opportunity to serve society by providing truly affordable housing!

Then, all too often these days, comes the inordinate rental homesite rate increase, especially when the just-acquired land lease community has been charging a ‘below market’ rate before the ‘closing’ of the transaction.

And because the new, often out-of-state, and frequently private equity investor has overvalued said land lease community to motivate seller to sell, a significantly increased income stream, to pay for operating expenses and new debt service, has to come from ‘somewhere’; that somewhere being from homeowners/site lessees already in place. Sometimes the buyer pressures the seller to raise site rents before ‘closing’ occurs, and sometimes the seller refuses, leaving the task for the buyer. In any event, the management and tenant environment changes. Not only that, if on-site salaried management has been in place for a decade or longer, expect an immediate significant $ savings to be made in administrative labor cost, as they are replaced.

It seems attempts to regulate rent rate adjustments and loan financing among land lease communities is all the rage these days, as social activist organizations seek remedies to what they view as injustices foisted on land lease community homeowner/site lessees.

With all that said, what’s the most frequent question I’m asked these days?

When will the next Great Shakeout occur throughout the land lease community realty asset class? I don’t know, but a review of past ‘shakeouts’ provides hints as to a reasonable answer:

• Mid-1970s. Remember 1973, when 579,940+/- new ‘mobile homes’ were shipped nationwide?*6 Well, for good reason(s), the industry became federally regulated via HUD-Code enacted in 1974 and implemented in 1976. Results? Shipments plunged to 221,091+/- new manufactured homes by year 1980! Another immediate consequence? Tens of thousands of new ‘mobile home parks’ were developed during that time frame; but the source of new homes was effectively halved. So, thousands of newly developed, partially-filled mobile home parks went into foreclosure, not fully recovering until the late 1980s and early 1990s, during resolution of the…

• Savings & Loan Crisis of 1980s. Between 1989 & 1995, the Resolution Trust Corporation (‘RTC’) a federal government entity, sold the realty assets of 747 thrifts – including many many mobile home parks cum manufactured home communities. These ‘pennies on the dollar’ acquisitions – often by limited partnerships, followed by a major federal tax law change in 1986, effectively prepared the way for a…

• Mini REIT Wave of 1994, that continues to this day, via ELS, Inc., Sun Communities, Inc., & UMH Properties, Inc. REIT holdings have grown substantially, from 88,450 rental homesites during 1994, to 300,566 sites by year end 2018!*7

• Turn of the Century Shakeout & Paradigm Shift. Began with a short renascence of 372,943 new HUD-Code homes shipped during 1998, followed by industry’s loss of easy access to chattel capital – for on-site loans on new HUD-Code homes installed in land lease communities, plummeting to only 49,789+/- homes shipped during 2009. Results? 300,000+/- repossessed manufactured homes, loss of 10,000+/- independent (street) MHRetailers, & realization that land lease communities, to survive and thrive, must buy new homes (i.e. Community Series Homes & other models) directly from factories, sell, and often seller-finance them on-site.*8 This paradigm shift continues to this day.

So, with all that said, what might we expect to occur going forward into years 2019 & 2020?

Right now, your GUESS is as good as mine. Already I hear sounds (reports) of structural weakness and strain as some hired guns (high salaried, but not PM credentialed executives) struggle with the basics and nuances of new HUD-Code housing installation, marketing & sales, as well as recource-secure seller-financing. So watch and listen carefully going forward!

End Notes.

1. For those unfamiliar with the New Rule of 72; the $2,880,000 capitalized income valuation is the same as one computes using the ‘long hand method’ as follows: 200 sites X $200/month site rent X 12 months X .6 (reciprocal of 40% Allen Model OER for land lease communities), divided by .1 (i.e. 10% cap rate) = $2,880,000.

2. SWAN SONG available for purchase via

3. 3:1 Rule: 3BR2B apartment rent = $900/month? Then LLCommunity = $300+/-month

4. ‘Not in my back yard!’ & ‘Locally Unwanted Land Use!’ & ‘Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone!’

5. Pre-1976 ‘mobile homes’, post-1976 manufactured homes, modular homes, ‘park model RVs’, RVs for a season, stick-built homes fabricated on site to imitate manufactured homes, & of late, Tiny Houses.

6. ‘+/-‘ notation after most annual MH shipment volume totals. Once again the necessity of having to explain something that should not occur. HUD’s contractor, the Institute for Building Technology & Safety (‘IBTS’) publishes monthly shipment volumes of HUD-Code manufactured homes nationwide. These figures are reported, as published by IBTS, by HUD, MHARR, NAMHCO, & EducateMHC. Only MHI deletes the number of DESTINATION PENDING units one month and adds them back the following month, ‘changing’ the monthly total reported by HUD’s contractor.

7. 30th annual ALLEN REPORT, a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among Land Lease Community Portfolio Owners/operators Located Throughout North America!’ Available only via

8. Community Series Home (design) agreed upon by HUD-Code manufacturers and land lease community owners/operators on 28 February 2009 during a MHInitiative ‘think tank’ gathering at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN. CSH models are generally singlesection, or modest-sized multisection in configuration, have pitched/shingled roof systems, a front end porch, and durability-enhancing features intended to speed and control costs of ‘make ready’ between homeowners and or unit renters.


Eight Key Steps to being Fully Informed!

No big mystery here. If you’re into manufactured housing & land lease communities as an executive, manager, investor, the first four of the following eight bullet point highlighted trade publications are nothing short of being MUST READS. The fifth bullet point identifies the sole, relatively high-priced media focused on strategic and timely information needs of the top execs throughout the industry and realty asset class. And bullet points # 6, 7, & 8 are the proverbial ‘icing on the cake’ periodic Press Releases and news alerts distributed digitally by the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’), Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’), and National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (‘NAMHCO’)


• FREE blog posting (the one you’re reading NOW) for anyone in manufactured housing & land lease community ownership/operations. Simply access and request to be put on the distribution list. It’s that simple and accessible to YOU.


• Allen Letter. A digital publication, distributed continually since 1989, is the oldest trade media serving, primarily, land lease community owners/operators throughout the U.S. & Canada. HUD-Code housing manufacturers subscribe to stay abreast of what’s happening within the fastest growing market for their unique, factory-built housing product. Cost? Only $135.95/year for 12 monthly issues. To subscribe, visit


• MHInsider. While the newest national MHIndustry trade publication, already into its’ second year, it has already eclipsed the coverage and presence of the magazine and tabloid it replaced: Manufactured Home Merchandiser and The Journal. Themed to showcase whatever regional or national trade show event is occurring during said quarter, the magazine also contains features by a plethora of writers, along with an Allen Legacy column in each issue. To subscribe, visit

• Manufactured Housing Review. This online e-zine has set a new and higher standard for news coverage online than what existed beforehand! Buttressed by a stable of industry writers, covering specialty topics, the publication has made itself a ‘must read’ experience. To subscribe, visit


• The Allen CONFIDENTIAL! Digital business newsletter has been serving the manufactured housing industry for more than a decade, in large part tracing the unfolding of the ongoing paradigm shift reshaping manufactured housing distribution since the turn of the century. It’s most well-known for the ‘advance news’ it shares confidentially with subscribers, facilitating strategic business decisions that otherwise would have been made with less guidance. To subscribe, visit Cost? $544.95/year for 12 monthly issues


• MHI. Visit

• MHARR. Visit

• NAMHCO. Visit

So, are YOU presently ‘fully informed’, or about to become fully informed, as you take steps to read this blog weekly, the Allen Letter monthly, MHInsider and Manufactured Housing Review quarterly, and Press Releases and news alerts from MHI, MHARR, & NAMHCO? And don’t forget the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! This is the ‘sleeper’ of the eight resources designed to position you successfully as you make key business decisions.


Still Making Up My Mind…

To identify or not, elected leaders (board members) of MHI, MHARR, & NAMHCO.

Recently, Mark Weiss, president of MHARR, in a treatise titled: ‘Lead, Follow…or Get Out of the Way’, told how his board has decided to ‘take the bull by the horns’ to launch a new post-production national advocacy entity to represent interests of these segments of the manufactured housing industry. At the time, I suggested MHARR’s ‘not identifying’ board members by name, was a major flaw in the plan. After-all, who’d you rather follow? The leader(s) you know or ones you don’t know? Well, I’m ‘working’ on the matter, relative to all three bodies: MHI, MHARR, & NAMHCO. So keep reading this blog to ‘stay informed’. Also…

If you’d like to do your own ‘leadership research’, visit to review, for a price, the #990 tax forms, to learn the names of association board of director members.

Your Responses to Blog Posting # 531’s…

May 7th, 2019

7 May 2019;

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

This blog posting is sole national advocate, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter, education resource & online communication media for North American land lease communities

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

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Online media goal? Inform, opine, transform & improve manufactured housing & land lease community lifestyle! Visit


Your Responses to Blog Posting # 531’s

Rejoinder to MHARR’s ‘Lead, Follow…or Get Out of the Way’

I hardly hit the SEND button, getting blog # 531 on its’ way, before we started receiving responses continuing well into the following week. And the comments have been interesting, thought-provoking, confirming. Here’re three response categories we’ll cover here: blog # 532

• Blog # 531 missed the ‘elephant in the room’! The next change, and potential trend setter, for the manufactured housing industry! Know what it is? Read on…

• Thanks to an industry colleague, I now know who MHARR board members were at year end 2017. Have asked MHARR to confirm contemporary accuracy of list; but to date, no response. Not surprised. Remember; these are the ‘take the bull by the horn’ leaders few people know. I recognized barely half the names on the list I received.

• Actionable Items. One blog reader didn’t feel I went far enough encouraging attendees at MHI’s MHCongress in New Orleans, to force discussion of key, timely industry issues during that venue. Then at MHI’s Washington, DC fly-in on 3 June; and again, at an MHAlive Think Tank gathering on 5 August at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN.

So, let’s begin anew, and in more detail.

The ‘elephant in the room’ = “…imminent departure of Dick Jennison” – MHI’s top salaried executive. Why ‘so described’? Because this is our (meaning ‘thee & me’, if an MHI member) first opportunity in nearly a decade, to persuade-pressure-petition the institute’s board members in general, the selection committee in particular – for the first time ever – to hire a STRATEGIC THINKER for us to follow, leading our industry back to prosperity! Have you read or heard anyone else encouraging such thinking & action on this matter? Neither have I! This industry observer has endured no fewer than six, in my opinion, milquetoast leaders since 1978! NOW we have an opportunity for positive, forthright change! Let’s prepare for it! Let’s experience it! We deserve the BEST available! OR, will we squander the opportunity – again?

More on the elephant. One commentator, relative to this MHJI succession matter, suggests each job applicant ‘…write a paper describing their view of the industry’s future. Let the finalists’ papers, without attribution, be widely circulated, with comments directed back to the selection committee’ – before they make a final decision. Agreed! And said papers could easily be published in MHInsider magazine, Manufactured Housing Review, and the Allen Letter.

MHARR board members. Still researching this, striving to ‘fill in the blanks’, putting corporate identities next to names of 16 board members and Mark Weiss. In my opinion, if MHARR truly believes in a need for improved national advocacy among post-production segments of the manufactured housing industry, they should step forward and clearly identify themselves as leaders of said effort, rather than be publicly identified in some other fashion. Agree?

Actionable Items. Well, MHARR to its’ credit has fired off a worthy ‘first volley’ to this end, given their ‘Call on HUD Secretary to End Discriminatory & Exclusionary Zoning of HUD-regulated Manufactured Homes’ (4/30/2019 Press Release). Hey, correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t’ that headline have been more effective if the word ‘against’ had been used instead of ‘of’ in front of ‘HUD-regulated…’? After all, ‘discriminatory & exclusionary zoning’ are typical, widespread ‘local regulatory barriers to all forms of affordable housing’. And the time has come to set them aside. to increase the supply of affordable housing where needed = everywhere!

There are certainly other actionable items germane to getting the HUD-Coded manufactured housing industry back on its’ 100,000 units/year shipment pace. What steps are YOU taking to this end? The inquiring weekly blog postings at would like to know! Also via


Affordable Housing Battles

Everyone’s heard of the discriminatory & exclusionary zoning abbreviation NIMBY (‘Not In My Back Yard!’), but how ‘bout LULU & BANANA? The former = ‘Locally Unwanted Land Use’), the latter = ‘Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone!’

Well, guess what, there’s a new anti-discriminatory & exclusionary zoning abbreviation ‘in town’, so to speak. It’s YIMBY, and the letters stand for ‘YES, In My Back Yard!’ it’s OK to build affordable housing! It’s the enlightened mantra land use planners and zoning regulation reformers use to “clear away the regulatory barriers and let developers build more housing”, figuring “the laws of supply and demand will take over…and (housing) prices will go down.” But all is not well with YIMBY these days. According to Land Lines magazine, “zoning changes…only accelerate gentrification and displacement – disproportionately harming low-income families and communities of color.” Where does that leave YIMBY? Guess we’ll just have to watch and see.

Then there’s the contemporary notion, “When it comes to the income of those who deserve a government handout, how high is too high?” Thinking about public safety employees (firemen & police officers) and those in the medical support fields (nurses & technicians) here. Critics of this refocus on affordable housing for the middle (working) class, claim it risks redirecting scarce $ resources away from citizens with little to no income….” And with this, come claims of ‘political showmanship’, where a section of the local population who votes at higher rates, is maybe viewed more sympathetically – and supportively, than those living in poverty or are homeless. Comments in this paragraph edited from the Washington Post.

Do you see how affordable housing is demanding more and more attention these days? Well, if you want to learn more, and become involved in helping resolve this perennial national crisis (i.e. shortage of affordable housing), plan to be present the morning of 9 September, 2019, at The Alexander Hotel in Indianapolis, IN. This is the occasion of the 28th annual Networking Roundtable, planned and hosted by EducateMHC. U.S. Senator Todd Young will be keynote presenter that morning. He heads a nine senator task force on affordable housing, and being from Indiana, is in the midst of a vibrant Midwest manufactured housing industry. For more information, visit or phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.