Archive for September 29th, 2017

Press Porn, New Classes of MH, # LLCommunities

Friday, September 29th, 2017

Blog # 466; Copyright, 1 October 2017; at

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

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

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

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

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



‘It Ain’t Got No Juice!’

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

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

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

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

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

And now, 36 years later?

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

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

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


2/28/2009 & 9/18/2017

Two Trend Launching Dates to Remember & Respect

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Characteristics? Likely either singlesection or multisection in configuration,

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

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

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

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


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

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

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



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

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

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

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

Buy and enjoy!