Archive for June, 2019

Affordable & Obtainable – the new MH couplet!

Wednesday, June 19th, 2019

2019; Copyright 2019; www.educatemhc.com

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 erin@educatemhc.com

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

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!

I.

DID YOU NOTICE?

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

PROMOTE HUD-CODE MANUFACTURED HOUSING & LAND LEASE COMMUNTIES AS U.S. SOURCE FOR AFFORDABLE OBTAINABLE HOUSING!

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 @ zipwho.com, 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 www.educatemhc.com

II.

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 gfa7156@aol.com or via the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

III.

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
EducateMHC
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

Thursday, June 13th, 2019

June 2019; Copyright 2019; www.educatemhc.com

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 gfa7156@aol.com

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

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+!?

I.

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 housingtoolkit.nmhc.org 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 www.educatemhc.com

II.

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 www.educatemhc.com 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

Saturday, June 8th, 2019

2019; Copyright 2019; www.EducateMHC.com

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: EducateMHC@gmail.com

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

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!

I.

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.

II.

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
EducateMHC
Box # 47024, Indpls, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156