Archive for January, 2020

Responses to Request for Information Pursuant to Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing

Friday, January 24th, 2020

Blog # 568 @ 17January 2020; www.educatemhc.com

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

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, asset class historian, data researcher, education resource and communication media for all land lease communities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877)MFD-HSHNG or 633-4764. Also email gfa7156@ao.com , & visit www.educatemhc.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U! Goal: promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. source of affordable attainable housing! Attend an MHM class!

INTRODUCTION: Call this a potpourri of topics today! Part I is your glimpse of packages submitted to the White House council on eliminating regulatory barriers to affordable housing. Part II summarizes what occurred at the semi-public meeting of land lease community owners/operators during the Louisville MHShow. Part III is your hint of a resource possibly to debut during year 2021. And Part IV; well, it’s my need for input from you, relative to a unique career pattern among MHIndustry & LLCommunity executives. Enjoy!

I.

Responses to Request for Information Pursuant to Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing

At least one real estate, and two manufactured housing-related, national advocacy bodies have prepared and submitted formal replies to the White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing! Copies of packages were received from the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’), The Real Estate Roundtable*1, and EducateMHC. At this writing we can only assume the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) submitted a like formal reply to the White House Council request for input. As an MHI member, I’d have liked to seen and read it along with the three just mentioned.

Frankly, everyone in the HUD-Code manufactured housing business should read the comprehensive response researched, prepared and submitted by MHARR. It is textbook-like in presentation and content, and useful to boot (‘in addition’). To request a copy, phone (202) 783-4087. Talk to Mark Weiss and tell him ‘George Allen sent you!’

Four topics stood out in The Real Estate Roundtable white paper: support for more manufactured housing; YIMBY not NIMBY; need for GSE reform; and rent control as a non-solution. Specifically:

• “Promote strategies to increase production of manufactured housing.” Or, meet dire Need with more Supply! While recommendation described only one of the two (i.e. Freddie Mac’s Choice MH program, but not Fannie Mae’s MHAdvantage) realty-secured DTS (Duty to Serve) programs, it made NO mention of the continuing need for reasonable access to chattel capital by hundreds of owners of land lease communities nationwide, except for the following remark:

• “Deploy GSE reform efforts with a focus to improve liquidity for mortgages serving low and middle income homebuyers, and prioritize middle-income rental housing creation.” Chattel capital should be the focus of the second round of DTS program planning, but will it be?

• “Support ‘Yes in My Backyard” (‘YIMBY’) land-use policies….” – just as is the case with contemporary ‘zoning reform’. But why stop with morphing from NIMBY to YIMBY? Let’s also flip LULU from ‘Locally Unwanted Land Use’ to ‘Locally Useful Land Use!’, and BANANA from ‘Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything’ to ‘Build New Apartments (or Assets) Near Affordable’ housing need areas!

• ‘Rent Control is Not a Long-Term Solution to Address the Housing Crisis” Amen to that.

There was much more contained in The Real Estate Roundtable submission. Perhaps, in time, more of the content will appear publicly.

Then there’s the response submitted by EducateMHC. The distinguishing feature here, unlike the two aforementioned replies, was the point to carefully and clearly define the concept of ‘affordable housing’ in general, then Low Income Housing (‘LIH’) & Very Low Income Housing (‘VLIH’) in particular, followed by the six widely-used measures of said concept:

• Housing Expense Factor or HEF, commonly used in manufactured housing sales environments, using the ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Form’ for estimating housing price points.
• Housing Opportunity Index or HOI; formerly NAR & NAHB’s ‘Housing Affordability Index
• Housing Wage or HW measure
• Workforce Housing or WFH measure
• Income to Home Value Ratio or IHVR measure
• ‘One, or anyone, who believes they live in affordable housing’, a matter of perspective.

Much of the remainder of this response had to do with citing examples of how HUD-Code manufactured housing, and its’ sister lifestyle, the land lease community, when allowed to do so, outperform traditional, site-built housing time and again.

End Note.

1. “The Roundtable brings together leaders of the nation’s top publicly-held and privately-owned real estate ownership, development, lending and management firms with leaders of the major national real estate trade associations, to jointly address key national policy issues relating to real estate and the overall economy.” From correspondence date 17 January 2020.

II.

LLCommunity Owners Convene During Louisville MHShow

It wasn’t a big meeting, it was not intended to be a big meeting. Rather, an opportunity for interested land lease community owners/operators to convene in a semi-public meeting, to identify and discuss various industry/asset class issues and emerging trends, troubling and otherwise.

What happened? Nearly 20 individuals met for 1 ½ hours late morning on the 16th of January.

• Dr. Leslie Gooch, CEO of MHI, and the institute’s VP of Communication were present and assured everyone of improved communication and advocacy, especially via the National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division.

• Some talk about MHI’s ‘new type’ HUD-Code manufactured home. identified as a CrossMod™, and appropriate for GSE’s realty-secured loan programs (i.e. MHAdvantage & Choice MH), but not for home-only financing needed for in-community placements.

• Passing mention of self-help measures, to influence and pressure acquirers of land lease communities from outside the industry, who have been raising site rental rates flagrantly.

• The most passionate conversations occurred when Spencer Roane, MHM, of Pentagon Properties in Atlanta, GA., called for a National Advertising Campaign – one funded with floor fees from manufacturers, to promote manufactured homes nationally, and land lease communities locally!

No plans were made for a future ‘continuation’ of this meeting. However, it was noted, every time land lease community owners caucused nationally in the past (e.g. 8/31/1993; 2/27/2008, 2/27/2009 & more), significant progress occurred, resolving troubling issues such as need for improved national advocacy; an ‘action plan’ to revive ‘everyone’, following the year 2009 nadir; and, agreement on the need for a Community Series Home design. So, continue to follow the news shared in this weekly blog posting series to be the first to hear of ‘the next time we get together’!
III.

Is It Time?

In 1996, John Wiley & Sons, New York publishers, revolutionized the marketing and acquisition of (then) manufactured home communities, with the release of the first case bound text ever researched and authored on the specialized investment realty property type.

The 500 pages book, How to Find, Buy, Manage & Sell a Manufactured Home Community, when released, sold out within six months, there was so much demand for this information. A second printing sold out in another 12 months, and today the text is out of print – though used copies continue to be sold on amazon.com, often for a higher price than the $95.00 charged 25 years ago! So, is it time to readdress this timely and strategic topic?

Given there are no quality HOW TO acquire land lease community texts on the market these days – discounting collections of real estate broker ‘war stories’ masquerading as guidance, consideration is indeed being given to preparing a new edition of the 1996 tome.

If YOU believe you have bona fide ability and experience in one or more skill areas, where land lease community marketing and sales is concerned, let me know – in writing via gfa7156@aol.com You see, the first edition featured input from more than a dozen individuals with such specialized skills in this area, but most have since retired or left the realty asset class. So, we’re not in the process of beginning to recruit new contributors for this project. Interested?

IV.

Allen Legacy column in MHInsider Magazine…

I’m seeking to identify manufactured housing industry executives and land lease community owners who served in the U.S. military during the 1960s & 70s, and served a combat tour of duty in the Republic of Vietnam during that timeframe. If this describes you, or you know someone with this background, please let me know via voicemail: (317) 346-7156. I think this would make an interesting and appropriate Allen Legacy column during the months to come.

George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC

Three Times in (Land lease) Community History, Owners/operators Have Convened to Plan & Effect Their Collective Business Future

Wednesday, January 8th, 2020

Blog # 567 @ January 2020; 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 is the online national advocate, official ombudsman, asset class historian, researcher, education resource & communication media for land lease communities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-=HSNG or 633-4764. Also email: gfa7156@aol.com, & visit www.educatemhc.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. source of affordable attainable housing! MHM class: 1/14/2020 in KY

INTRODUCTION: One of the intriguing things about being an industry and realty asset class historian, is sensitizing oneself to historic happenings before and as they occur. Year 2020 finds us on the cusp of circumstances potentially affecting the near and interim futures of manufactured housing, and land lease communities – large and small – coast to coast. Read on….

I.

DID YOU KNOW?

Three Times in (Land lease) Community History, Owners/operators Have Convened to Plan & Effect Their Collective Business Future

First time was 31 August 1993 in Indianapolis, IN. Then, 19 owners/operators, anticipating the REIT wavelet of 1994 & 1995, formed an Industry Steering Committee, to ensure better national representation and advocacy as a viable realty asset class! RESULT? On 1 January 1996, MHI launched its’ National Communities Council (eventually) division. The NCC story is told in Bruce Savage’s 2013 book, The First 20 Years! available at educatemhc.com

Second time was 27 February 2008 in Tampa, FL. Then, 100 owners/operators, dismayed by the continuing HUD-Code housing shipment slide (81,889+/- that year), met for the first time, in a National State of the Asset Class (‘NSAC’) caucus. RESULT? Five Strategies & Action Areas: Need to improve political influence & community advocacy; need for an advertising campaign; importance of value proposition re housing product, loan terms, and rental homesite rates; need to improve resident relations practices; and, need for reasonable access to chattel capital for home-only loans on-site, plus creation of a secondary market. A decade later these five strategies and action areas continue to influence the business model.

Third time was 27 February 2009 at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN. Then, 100+ owners/operators and HUD-Code housing manufacturers convened for a second NSAC caucus, to address the now precipitous housing shipment slide (49,789+/- that year). Two RESULTS? Agreement on a new housing design for HUD-Code homes going into land lease communities. These were singlesection and modest-sized multisection homes with WOW factors, and durability-enhancing features to speed ‘make ready’ between owners and or renters. This new model, later that year named Community Series Home, replaced the Developer Models (a.k.a. ‘big box = big bucks’ units) of the mid to late 1990s. Second RESULT? In 2009, only 24% of new HUD Code homes (i.e. 12,000 units) went directly into communities; by year end 2014, the volume increased to 40%, or 26,000 new HUD-Code homes! Today? Likely plateaued, and…

Once again, Land Lease Community Owners/operators Are Expressing Interest in Convening, to Plan & Effect Their Collective Future

The informal, semi-public open discussion meeting planned to occur during the upcoming Louisville MHShow in Kentucky, on 16 January 2020, is NOT intended to be large like the three historic meetings just described. Rather, it will be a dozens gathering, during which a decision will be made whether to plan and facilitate a major national convening of land lease community owners/operators, and interested parties, mid-year 2020. If sincerely interested, and have ‘skin in the game’ as a HUD-Code housing manufacturer executive, or community owner/operator, even a GSE or NGO rep, let me know, via gfa7156@aol.com or Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Attendance is somewhat limited by meeting space availability.

So, what matters appear to be precipitating this push for a major national convening of land lease community owners/operators, mid-year 2020? Here’re some of the key factors brought to my attention of late:

• To direct, dues-paying members of MHI’s National Communities Council, the division appears to be askew, given recent departures of key NCC staffers; especially one who’s kept members abreast of Federal Fair Housing matters. And there’s still no NCC-dedicated news media published on a regular basis.

• Given that CrossMod™ HUD-Code homes meet GSEs MH Advantage & CHOICE Homes DTS program requirements for real estate-secured lending, what will present & future access to home-only (chattel) loans be, during this second round of DTS program planning?

• In days of yore, say the 1970s, when ‘mobile home park’ owners increased site rent unconscionably, other investment property owners in the same local housing market, would visit the offending party and entreat them to ‘back off’ or face blackballing. What might be practical and effective remedies today, when outsiders (some say interlopers) likewise abuse their homeowners/site lessees?

And there’s more, much more that could be penned here. If interested in the complete list of 13 Evergreen (‘always present’) Issues worthy of industry and asset class leadership action, read them in the 31st annual ALLEN REPORT, distributed by EducateMHC during January 2020. To obtain your copy, visit www.educatemhc.com

In summary, the goals of meeting together informally, in a semi-public, open discussion venue during the Louisville MHShow are to:

1) Gauge interest in participating in a national convening of land lease community owners/operators during mid-2020. Who is interested in leading & facilitating?

2) What are the ‘hot topics’ to include in the meeting agenda? Does not have to be restricted to the known and publicized, albeit perennial, Evergreen Issues. Have you noticed? No one else is asking!

3) One or two day program? Involvement of MHI, MHARR, NAMHCO, EducateMHC?

4) Preferred locations? Probably Midwest, to attract coastal owners/operators. Chicago, RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN, Indianapolis, etc..?

Finally, and again; if desiring to participate in the Louisville MHShow meeting, you must let me know via email and or telephone this week! On or before Friday, 10 January 2020! Remember, attendance is limited! And if unable to attend, but interested in staying abreast of national meeting plans during mid-200, let me know likewise, via email. GFA

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POSTSCRIPT

Be aware, The Allen Confidential! Publication, effectively a merging of the Allen Letter and the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletters is much more, content wise, than the two predecessors. We’ve really ‘pulled out all the stops’ to get you the latest land lease community news; photos you’ll see nowhere else; muckraking – when need be, not effected by anyone else; and, so much more! Visit www.educatemhc.com today and become a subscriber if not one already! CLICK HERE for BASIC EDITION OR CLICK HERE for PRIME EDITION. GFA

George Allen , CPM, MHM (317) 346-7156
EducateMHC
Franklin, IN

31st annual ALLEN REPORT a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among Land Lease Community Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!

Friday, January 3rd, 2020

Blog # 566 @ 3 January 2020; 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 is the online national advocate, official ombudsman, asset class historian, researcher, education resource & communication media for land lease communities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email: gfa7156@aol.com, & visit www.educatemhc.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. source of affordable attainable housing! MHM class: 1/14/2020 in KY

INTRODUCTION: Most owners/operators of land lease communities, large & small, throughout the U.S. & Canada, are familiar with the annual ALLEN REPORT. After all, it’s researched and reported on community portfolios for more than 30 years. And frankly, a high proportion of the 500+/- portfolio owners/operators purchase the report each year to stay abreast of benchmark statistics and trend identification needed to manager their properties professionally and well.

ANSWERS to Challenges in Land Lease Community Ownership/Operations continues to point out key passages, within the 8th edition of Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry, that make this 250 page tome a MUST HAVE reference on-site in every land lease community throughout the U.S. & Canada! Have you purchased copies for your on-site and regional property managers yet?

On a similar subject, know the next one day Manufactured Housing Manager (‘MHM’) training and certification class is scheduled for 14 January in Louisville, KY. To register, phone (317) 738-3434 and or visit www.educatemhc.com

I.

31st annual ALLEN REPORT
a.k.a.
‘Who’s Who Among Land Lease Community Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!

Year 2020 celebrates the beginning of a New Era for land lease communities, large & small, nationwide! For the first time in the 80 year history of the realty asset class, there’s now a dedicated source for community-focused products (books, directories & newsletters) and services (Professional Community Evaluation & property management training/certification). Heretofore, community owners/operators relied on print material I produced and distributed via GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing. Henceforth, EducateMHC, will cover all those bases, and more, digitally. All ten of EducateMHC’s invaluable Resource Documents are identified in this ALLEN REPORT.

The written history of the land lease community property type begins during the mid-1980s, and is summarized in this 31st edition of the ALLEN REPORT. Did you know, in 1989 we knew of only 38 portfolio owners/operators? And today we know of 500+/- such firms; 100 of which are ranked by total rental homesite count, and profiled by home office location and more, in this ALLEN REPORT.

Did you know there are now, no fewer than five national advocacy entities serving HUD-Code manufactured housing in general, land lease communities in particular? Well there are, and they are identified by name, along with their telephone number for contact purposes.

To assist the ‘first time reader’ of an ALLEN REPORT, we’ve included two paragraphs; one summarizing the types of factory-built housing and related shipment volume history, along with other related statistics and curiosities. The other paragraph focuses on the land lease community income-producing property type, and the spread of that 50,000+/- community inventory throughout the U.S.

Then, the ALLEN REPORT proper begins, covering these major categories of land lease community portfolio operations information:

• State summary of portfolios, relative to where portfolio home offices are located.

• Overall summary of rental homesite tallies, and number of communities in portfolios

• Top Ten reporting portfolio firms, by total MH & RV rental homesite count

• Presence of rental units and contract sales within land lease communities

• Average national physical occupancy, from year 2014 to present day

• Average national operating expense ratios (‘OER’), from year 2010 to present day

• Evergreen Issues. Debuted in 30th anniversary ALLEN REPORT and continued here! Nowhere else will you find a more comprehensive recitation of ‘always present’ issues and obstacles affecting manufactured housing and land lease communities nationwide !

And that’s not all that’s featured in the 31st annual ALLEN REPORT. The firm, DATACOMP, has supplied Figures, again, showing average rental homesite rents in MSAs throughout the U.S. and a list of the number of land lease communities estimated to be in every state of the union.

It should be obvious to you by now, that if you own and or fee manage one or more land lease communities, you need to acquire a digital copy of the 31st annual ALLEN REPORT. To do so phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 or subscribe to the Prime Edition of the Allen CONFIDENTIAL. The report is available as a standalone purchase (after January 8th), or in conjunction with obtaining 12 monthly issues of the newly-formatted Allen Confidential business newsletter as a Premium Subscriber.

II.

ANSWERS to Challenges in Land Lease Community Ownership/Operations…

Good resident relations within a land lease community is a key indicator professional property management is an important and routine effort effected by the owner/operator, and appreciated by homeowner/site lessees, a.k.a. residents. But getting to that desirable end requires knowledge, and takes effort to achieve! How? Well first, a quick look at the beginning and history of resident relations in this unique, income-producing property type.

It didn’t occur until mid-1993, when 19 (then) manufactured home community owners convened in Indianapolis, IN., to lay plans for achieving better national advocacy and representation – before the REIT wavelet would begin in 1994. Among matters discussed at the meeting, there was concern community owners/operators take steps to foster good resident relations, in a manner similar to what was routinely observed within apartment communities.

Enter (now retired) Martin Newby of Newby Management, headquartered in Ellenton, FL. Newby Management, was and is, a 100% fee management company, specializing in land lease community operations. The firm, under Martin’s leadership, had unique resident relations enhancing practices in place, e.g. 24 Hour Rule, where any problem on-site, brought to management’s attention, would be fully resolved within 24 hours, or a written commitment to do so provided to the resident at the time! The firm also had a chaplain on staff who traveled among the firm’s all adult communities, meeting residents’ needs of all sorts, performing marriages, etc.. And on-site managers routinely collected rent from shut-ins, by going from home to home on a golf card, distributing fresh donuts to residents as they went.

Though Martin is long retired, his firm’s cutting edge resident relations efforts continue unabated via top management succession of Tim Newsy, and now Todd Newby.

How can YOU effect practices fostering Good Resident Relations? Buy a copy of EducateMHC’s Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry, 8th edition. by Allen, McCarty & Smith, all certified Manufactured Housing Managers! Chapter # 5 of the text is dedicated to this timely and vital topic; and teaches the ‘Six Rs of Resident Relations’ as a training aid! If not familiar with these six practical practices, you need the book, and you need to apply the unique formua!

To order the book, visit www.educatemhc.com

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