Archive for October 23rd, 2015

From OVERSIGHT to PROMOTION; Glen James, CPM, & MHI Continues Along Its’ Own Path…

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

Blog # 371 Copyright 2015 COBA7® Worldwide Proprietary:

Perspective. ‘Land-lease-lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities and ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting is the national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media for all LLLCommunities in North America!

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

COBA7® Motto = ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’, & Goal of its’ print & online media = to ‘Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve Business Model Performance!’

INTRODUCTION to blog posting # 371. Some call it the perennial manufactured housing mystery! How for 40 years – come year 2016, the federal agency tasked with regulatory production OVERSIGHT of the most affordable housing in this nation, has done nothing to PROMOTE it as a practical answer to the U.S. affordable housing shortage! GLEN JAMES, one of the most well known and liked professional property managers in the Midwest to soon to be designated a Certified Property Manager® member of the Institute of Real Estate Management! Congrats Glen! And hey, ‘I’m sorry’ to have titillated you with last week’s hint of ‘historic news’ in this blog posting. Frankly, many of us thought MHI had finally come around, and would begin reporting monthly HUD-Code home shipments in the like manner as the Institute of Building Technology & Science (‘IBTS’), MHARR, and COBA7®. NOT!


Housing Facts, in 2015 JCHS Report,
Suggest HUD Evolve From


of Affordable Manufactured Housing Product!

Following information extracted from the 2015 State of the Nation’s Housing report prepared by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University – as quoted in the October 2015 issue of AFFORDABLE HOUSING FINANCE magazine, page # 8.

• Homeownership rate in the U.S., during year 2014, slid for the 10th consecutive year, to 64.5%.

• Percentage of U.S. households renting, rose to a 20 year peak of 35.5% during year 2014.

• In year 2013, 11.2 million extremely low income households (earning up to 30% of the area median income or AMI) competed for 7.3 million housing units they could afford. In other words, there were only 34 affordable units for every 100 extremely low income renters. See paragraphs following here in Part I of this blog posting…

• One-third of HUD-assisted households, during 2013, were headed by an adult age 62 or older, and another third were working age households that included a person with disabilities.

• Nearly 2.2 million assisted housing units could be lost from the affordable stock over the next decade.

Revisiting the third bullet point. Given the national average Area Median Income (‘AMI’), during 2013 & 2014, hovered in the neighborhood of $51,000., means the 11.2 million individuals and households earning less than $15,300 competed for 7.3 million housing units. Well,

If you’re familiar with the versatile ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet’, used mostly by land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators, to “estimate maximum recommended ‘affordable’ & ‘risky’ purchase prices for new & resale, privately-owned homes of any type, sited on realty owned fee simple with home, or leased – as in a LLLCommunity!”, you know it’s possible for an individual or household, making $51,000/year, to buy a new or resale HUD-Code manufactured home for up to $75,000. and pay $333/month in site rent! And if one chooses to pay household utility bills outside the 30% of AGI (annual gross income) dedicated to PITI (principal, interest, taxes, insurance) payments for said shelter, it’s also possible for the same $51,000/year wage earner to pay up to $113,000. for a new manufactured home, paying the same site rent rate or lower.

POINT? HUD-Code manufactured homes sited in professionally managed land-lease-lifestyle communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities) charging modest site rent, continue to be the most affordable, non-subsidized contemporary housing alternative available to U.S. citizenry today!

Still not convinced? OK, let’s ‘work the numbers’ using $36,000 AMI (or AGI, if you prefer, since former refers to local housing markets, the latter to an individual or household homebuyer). Given $36,000 AGI, and 30% of that being $10,800 – with which to buy said home, they can still ‘do so’, in ‘affordable’ fashion – again paying $333/month site rent, investing up to $41,000 to buy a resale, maybe even a new, HUD-Code manufactured home! And again, if choosing to pay household utility bills outside the 30% of AGI dedicated to PITI, it’s possible for the same $36,000/year wage earner to pay up to $68,000 for a new manufactured home, paying the same site rent rate or lower.

POINT! How long is it going to take the federal agency, HUD, who exercises new home fabrication oversight over the manufactured housing industry, to Wake Up & Promote this type factory-built housing and its’ corresponding lifestyle, as aggressively as it does various forms of subsidized housing?! During year 2016, HUD will ‘celebrate’ 40 years of federal oversight over the manufactured housing industry. It’d be timely, historic, even ‘smart move’ for them, to encourage tens of thousands of would-be homeowners/site lessees, to buy new and resale manufactured homes in land-lease-lifestyle communities from coast-to-coast! After all, there’s an estimated 250,000 vacant rental homesites nationwide today, and the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry continues to stumble along at a six year average of only 55,146 new homes shipped per year since 2009 – compared to the 372,843 shipped during 1998 alone!

SUMMARY & CHALLENGE. Given that homeownership, during 2014, slid by 64.5%; that the percentage of U.S. households renting rose to a 20 year peak, the same year, to 35.5%; and, that nearly 2.2. million assisted housing units could be lost from the affordable stock between now and 2025, HUD – What is HUD waiting for? You presently OVERSEE – and have done so for 40 years, the very ‘affordable’ housing alternative YOU should be PROMOTING! Again; What are you waiting for? The time is NOW!


Glen James, to soon be designated a

Certified Property Manager® (‘CPM®’)

member of the prestigious

Institute of Real Estate Management®

This is no small feat!

Only 153 CPM®s, nationwide, claim affinity for owning and or fee-managing land-lease-lifestyle communities…

And of these 153 CPM®s, this MHIndustry observer counts 20 of them as ‘friends in the MHBusiness’, longtime professional property managers of our unique type of income-producing property. And among those 20 professional property managers, nearly half routinely participate, as , consultants, & knowledge purveyors, at one or another national and regional MHIndustry trade event; and not only enjoy key corporate leadership roles, but serve within their state MHAssociations as well. Several examples:

• Allen Alt, CPM® of CA., heads Synergized Properties, and is past president of the WMA, and present member of their board of directors.

• Lori Burger, CPM®Emeritus of CA. She’s the 2015 chairperson of the Institute of Real Estate Management (‘IREM’)

• Mike Cirillo, CPM® of CA. Widely regarded as one of the best LLLCommunity owners/operators on the West coast. Past president of the WMA, and present member of their board of directors.

• Brian Fannon, CPM® of MI, is partnered with Ed Zeman of Chicago, developing a new land-lease-lifestyle community in Michigan. Brian has also been inducted into the prestigious RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN.

• Greg Johnloz, CPM® of AZ, is well-regarded as a freelance professional property manager and freelance consultant specializing in LLLCcommunity operations.

• Casey Kelly, CPM® of CA, longtime protégé of Matt Follett at FollettUSA

• John Rogosich, CPM®, MHM® of IL. Oft hailed as a journeyman executive property manager, capable of working under the most difficult of circumstances; and frankly, ‘everybody’s friend’ in the MHBusiness!

• Mike Sullivan, CPM® of CA, comes as close to being a MHIndustry visionary & national LLLCommunity owner/operator spokesperson, keynoting two International Networking Roundtable events. He also spearheads, with Steve Lefler, the ‘net zero energy usage’ movement in manufactured housing in California!

• Jon Zorn, CPM® of CA., founded Focus Management; a member of the WMA.

• And of course there’re many more friends and associates to name, e.g. Bill Cramer, CPM®, formerly with RIMCO Properties in PA; Barbara Holland, CPM® – managing LLLCommunities as long as I have; and Mollie Wood, CPM® out of Indianapolis, just to name a few.

So you see, Glen James, CEO of Barrington Investments in Indianapolis, IN., is about to join any esteemed fraternity of professional property managers! His formal induction will occur the evening of 4 November, at the annual gala banquet of the Indianapolis chapter of IREM, culminating ‘years’ of specialized education, required PM experience, and peer approval! Why not reach out and Congratulate Glen. And if interested in the CPM® program for yourself, phone (800)837-0706 or visit



Within the BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert) introducing last week’s posting, I hinted at an historic event about to occur. Well, it didn’t materialize. And here’s the sorry tale.

In the July 2015 issue of the Allen Letter professional journal we announced, ‘MHIndustry Mystery Solved!’ The mystery? ‘How & Why?’ different monthly new HUD-Code home shipment numbers were/are reported differently by the Institute of Building Technology & Science (‘IBTS’) -. the reporting agency, Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’), the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) and now, Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7®.

Well, we’d figured out why! MHARR & COBA7® report monthly new home shipment numbers just as the Institute for Building Technology & Safety reports them (for a price); MHI does not! MHI tweaks ‘the numbers’ so they’re always just a little different than from the norm. And this month’s reporting was unfortunately, no different – though we’d ‘hoped’ for improvement. Here’s the total – and MHI’s spin on it, for the month of August 2015:

IBTS = 6,330 new HUD-Code homes shipped

MHARR = 6,330 -ditto-

COBA7® = 6,330 -ditto-

MHI = 6,332 -ditto-

Go figure.

How does this monthly discrepancy help MHIndustry unity, credibility, and accuracy of reporting? It doesn’t!

So, if you’re a direct, dues-paying member of MHI, as I am, ask WHY they continue down this separate and (until they explain otherwise) erroneous statistical reporting road – and let everyone know! I’ve asked and continue to await any answer whatsoever.

But hey, if there’s good enough reason(s) to finagle ‘the numbers’, perhaps ‘everyone else’ needs to adjust to MHI’s modus operandi. But until ‘splained’ to everyone, we won’t know – and we’ll continue reporting IBTS shipment numbers as reported to us..


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