Archive for October, 2020

The Trojan Horse Christmas Card

Friday, October 30th, 2020

Blog Posting # 610 @ 30 Oct. 2020; Copyright 2020: 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, & communication media for all land lease communities throughout North America!

To input this blog and/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: to promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. #1 source of affordable attainable housing! Attend MHM class!

INTRODUCTION: Part I is a rare look into my personal and political life. Here sharing the content of a Trojan Horse Christmas Card, because it’s timely and thought-provoking, given the soon-to-occur U.S. presidential election. And Part II? As an industry and realty asset class, we’re fortunate to have two national advocates representing us in our nation’s capitol. In this instance, one advocate continues to pressure federal bureaucracies to do us a far better job!

I.

The Trojan Horse Christmas Card

We received our first 2020 Christmas card on Thursday 22 October. Imagine our surprise and anticipation opening the envelope, to see the holiday greeting from friends we’ve known for more than four decades! Imagine our surprise and disappointment as we read the vitriol-laden political message contained in the enclosed typed lengthy message! Opening lines?

“The COVID-19 pandemic could not have been stopped completely, but it could have been controlled. Trump’s failure to act, his lying and ignoring medical advice cost us at least 170,000 lives and has sent our economy down the tubes. This did not happen in any other developed country. He did not even protect his own family.”

And it gets worse the further one reads into the screed. First a list of six personal deprivations, e.g. ‘I have not been to a symphony, a live performance, movie, or museum.’ Horrors! Then a recitation of seven COVID-19 factoids (i.e. questionable or unsubstantiated facts) such as: “Hospitals are unable to care for all the patients.” Really? Where? Since this letter was penned in the Pacific Northwest (You know, ‘blue state mismanagement’), so may be true there. But you get the drift. Someone is very unhappy, politically charged, and wants everyone to know.

We enjoy receiving holiday greetings, but not of this stripe. Sure, the writer is entitled to their view and opinion on any matter; but to harangue (i.e. a long, vehement speech) one’s friends with “I beg you to vote Trump out of office.” & “VOTE for Biden-Harris, to begin to put this virus back in its box…and to bring our Democracy back and rescue us from this madness.” Is an ideological ‘bridge too far’ afield for those who’re patriotic Christian citizens in this great country! We are grateful for a president who has kept his campaign promises, by lowering taxes and deregulating wherever possible; and before the coronavirus emerged, lowered the unemployment rate, especially among minorities; strengthened our military and secured our nation’s borders! Oh, and let’s not forget, where foreign policy is concerned, he negotiated better trade deals for the U.S., pressured NATO members into paying their fair share for defense, defeated ISIS once and for all, and ensure ‘no nuclear war’ with North Korea! What more could we possibly ask of a first term U.S. President? Hmm. How ‘bout appointing constitution ‘originalists’ to the Supreme Court (three to date) and other Federal courts? Done!

This Trojan Horse Christmas Card did not fly, let alone walk where and how its writer likely intended. Many, if not most, U.S. citizens are happy living in this great country; self-quarantining through the COVID-19 pandemic (This is our 227th day enjoying one another’s company); and soon deciding, whether they want ‘more of the same Trump’ during the next four years (i.e. ‘Make America Great Again! & ‘Keep America Great!’) OR, vote to take the first wrongful step toward failed socialism via liberal and progressive politicians!

II.

MHARR Keeps Pressure on FHFA & GSEs

In…comments responding to a September 23, 2020 ‘Request for Information’ (‘RFI’) published by Fannie and Freddie’s federal regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (‘FHFA’), the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’) – as it did at (the) recent FHFA ‘Listening Session’ – maintains the ‘implementation’ of Duty to Serve (‘DTS’), within the manufactured housing market, to date, has been a failure, which has severely prejudiced the industry’s smaller businesses, as well as American consumer of affordable housing! MHARR’s comments…call on FHFA to scrap its current baseless and ineffective approach to DTS, and instead, within a very brief time, take action to fully implement DTS in a market-significant manner across all sectors of the mainstream manufactured housing market! (Lightly edited. GFA)

The MHARR is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing. Reach Mark Weiss via (202)783-4087

Get Over It!

Friday, October 23rd, 2020

Blog Posting # 609 @ 23 Oct 2020; Copyright 2020: 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, & communication media for all land lease communities throughout North America!

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

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U! Goal: to promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S> # 1 source of affordable attainable housing! Attend MHM class!

INTRODUCTION: Something quite different this time around! The Federal Housing Finance Agency (‘FHFA’) – sponsored Listening Session (16 October 2020), relative to ‘underserved market of manufactured housing’ – in time, will be viewed either as a ‘same-o, same-o’ exercise in nothingness; OR, a ‘line in the sand’ of factory-built housing history!

This was the third Listening Session, on this timely topic, to occur during the past five or so years. And frustration and disappointment with the FHFA and Government Sponsored Enterprises (‘GSE’s’) Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac ‘lack of Duty to Serve (‘DTS’) program progress, was strikingly evident in several key presentations! And those sentiments are what we’re bringing to you today in this blog posting.

‘Get Over It!’ is the edited composite of MHI, MHARR & EducateMHC critiques of the FHFA, Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, as presented at said Listening Session. After you’ve read through this blog, please take time to reach out to those who commented in your behalf, and assure them of your continued support, and share recommendations regarding how to proceed. All of our business futures depend on getting the FHFA and two GSE’s off dead-center, where chattel capital (personal property finance) for home-only loans is concerned!

Get Over It!

MHI, MHARR & EducateMHC Critique FHFA, Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac
at 16 October 2020 Virtual Listening Session

More than a dozen panelists and nearly 100 registrants participated in the FHFA (Federal Housing Finance Agency) – hosted Listening Session on Friday, 16 October 2020.

What follows here are synopses of presentations orated by representatives of the Manufactured Housing Institute (Dr. Lesli Gooch), Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (Mark Weiss), and EducateMHC (George Allen). For more information on these presentations, contact the responsible individual.

I.

Let’s begin with the shortest of the presentations, the one by EducateMHC. Knew it was important for me to ‘set the stage’, as a businessman with equity interest in the activities of the FHFA and both GSEs – and how, on two previous occasions (not counting two earlier Listening Sessions in Chicago & St. Louis), I’d witnessed their actions and inactions, relative to manufactured housing and land lease communities. Specifically…

• Year 2010. 100+/- Midwestern businessmen & women met in a downtown Elkhart, IN. office building (I was there), and were told by FHFA & two GSEs: “You are now on your own, relative to personal property (chattel) capital!” This, following year 2009, when only 48,789 new HUD-Code homes were shipped, in large part, due to lack of easy access to home-only financing’, which had disappeared due to MH industry’s financial finagling, i.e. 300,000 repossessed homes valued at $1.3 billion, per Consumer Finance Protection Board.

• Year 2014. When representatives from FHFA, Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, participated in lively panel discussions at the annual Networking Roundtable I hosted, in Peachtree City, GA. Why important? That event marked the ‘return’ of FHFA and both GSEs, in a rudimentary fashion, to the industry and realty asset class. This has been followed by further meetings, ever since, with industry and realty asset class representatives.

So, what does all that mean today? Well, to be gracious about the matter, one might say the latter event, and three Listening Sessions since then, demonstrate FHFA and GSEs ongoing interest in working with us to cultivate and secure more sources of chattel capital for new home sales. However, there’s a continuing ‘dark side’ to that perspective, and that’s what I attempted to communicate during my presentation, in the following fashion…

“Ongoing recalcitrance pursuant to Congressional fiat, on the part of the FHFA and GSEs Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, to secure realistic, appropriate, and ongoing access to chattel capital for (manufactured) home-only loans is, in my opinion, profound benign neglect – by definition: “…an attitude or policy of ignoring an often delicate or undesirable situation one is held to be responsible for dealing with….”

What might be remedies for this pattern, now sad culture, of profound benign neglect?

• Once and for all ‘Get over it!’ – the chattel capital lending debacle of 1998 – 2003! Begin a new and helpful chapter via GSE’s tangible and overt support of manufactured housing and land lease community lending! Stop pretending progress!

• Reverse 12 years of minimal activity, relative to GSE’s Duty to Serve (‘DTS’) plans and programs – to date, appearing to be languishing and, in a word, ineffective.

• During year 2021, buy many seasoned chattel manufactured housing mortgages, to stimulate a much-needed secondary market for selling these specialty loans; in the end, freeing up capital for additional manufactured housing sales and financing.

And yes, there’s more that could be said – specifically; but why waste time elucidating measures likely to be, once again, ignored; until FHFA & GSE’s ‘Get Over’ what happened two decades ago?!

II.

MHARR “…has rebuked FHFA, as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, for their continuing failure to fully and faithfully implement the remedial DTS directive within the mainstream manufactured housing market, to the profound detriment of both consumers and the industry.”

This is what we expect from the ‘Washington watchdog for the manufactured housing industry’! MHARR goes on to say…

“…some 12 years after enactment of DTS, as a remedy for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s long-term failure to serve the mainstream manufactured housing market, and the lower and moderate-income American consumers who rely on inherently affordable manufactured homes, only 5-6 percent of the total market for new manufactured homes is being ‘served’ under DTS, while the industry’s single largest and most affordable segment – comprised of homes financed as personal property – has been left totally unserved. Worse yet, FHFA, in various reports to Congress, has falsely certified that both Enterprises are in compliance with the DTS mandate, when they clearly are not. Thus…94-95 percent of the current-day manufactured housing market remains completely unserved under DTS.” (Lightly edited. GFA)

Therefore, “…more than 90 percent of manufactured housing personal property borrowers (have been forced into) ‘higher-rate’ loans, according to federal data, with less-than-fully-competitive lending market dominated by a relative handful of ‘portfolio’ lenders, most of which are directly affiliated with the industry’s largest corporate conglomerates. This discrimination in the implementation of DTS not only subjects millions of lower and moderate-income Americans to needlessly high borrowing rates for mainstream, personal property manufactured home loans, but also needlessly excludes many more families from the American Dream of homeownership altogether.”

MHARR’s recommended remedies:

• “…FHA must conduct a thorough internal investigation into its failure to faithfully implement DTS within the manufactured housing market for 12 years…”

• (Ensure) the two Enterprises terminate their diversionary tactics under DTS and scrap their current non-complying ‘plans’ and programs.

• (Ensure) Fannie and Freddie immediately implement effective, market-significant and fully comp0liant DTS programs within all segments of the mainstream HUD-Code manufactured housing industry….”

MHARR is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing. (202) 783-4087

III.

The following remarks have are quoted directly, in part, from Dr. Lesli Gooch’s presentation, in behalf of MHI at the subject Listening Session on 16 October.

“In light of the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, MHI believes the importance of the Enterprises carrying out their charter access-to-credit and statutory Duty to Serve (‘DTS’) manufactured housing responsibilities should be a priority. In the longer term, as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac move toward eventual exit from conservatorship, adherence to DTS responsibilities become increasingly critical to ensure these underserved areas are not ignored.

In assessing progress in meeting their statutory DTS responsibilities so far, let’s first look at the GSE’s performance on manufactured homes backed by real estate. Both Fannie and Freddie’s plans promised to develop more flexible, innovative loan products for real property loans – and we believe they have done so.

MHI is also pleased both GSE’s have introduced new programs that provide conventional financing for manufactured homes with site-built features. Qualifying home features for the MHAdvantage and CHOICE Home programs align closely with the industry’s new CrossMod™ homes with higher roof pitches, permanent and lower profile foundations, garages or carports, and porches. CrossMod™ homes are a point of entry for home buyers who are currently priced out of homeownership because traditional site-built housing is not produced at below $200,000. homes, with higher roof pitches, permanent and lower profile foundations, garages or carports, and porches.

A secondary market for chattel manufactured home loans, also called personal property loans, is an area that continues to elude the manufactured housing industry. Chattel loans are mortgage loans which are only backed by the manufactured home, and not by underlying land. Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had included the acquisition of existing chattel loans as a pilot project within their three-year plans. We assume this (COVID-19) has been a factor in Fannie and Freddie not making any visible progress to develop a secondary market for chattel financing in the first three years of their plans.

We would also appreciate candor about how long this delay in re-entering the chattel loan market will continue – and more specifically, what Fannie and Freddie hope to accomplish next year.

There has been much discussion about the GSE’s support for the purchase of land lease communities, both within and outside of DTS. Land lease communities offer more than affordable housing. Communities offer a sense of neighborhood and often feature a range of amenities. MHI recently conducted a national survey of people living in manufactured housing, which showed 87 percent of residents in all-age communities are satisfied with their homes.

MHI understands some parties have raised concerns about some bad actors raising rents excessively and otherwise acting in bad faith. Raising rents and evicting tenants is counter to the prevailing business model of every professional land lease community owner-operator who relies upon stable rent and high occupancy. Going forward, MHI remains committed to responsible, professional ownership of (land lease communities) – and to the homeowners in those communities.” (Lightly edited. GFA)

In closing, MHI appreciates FHFA and the GSE’s for setting up these Listening Sessions.

MHI is an Arlington, VA. – based national advocate for all segments of the manufactured housing industry, including the land lease community real estate asset class. (703)558-0400

IV

Who else was scheduled to address the
Enterprises’ ‘Underserved Markets Plans for the Manufactured Housing Market: Proposed 2020 Modifications and 2021 Additions’?

Todd Kopstein, Cascade Financial
Doug Ryan, Prosperity Now
Bruce Thelen, Sun Communities, Inc.
Paul Barretto, MH Initiatives
Stacey Epperson, Next Step Network
Paul Bradley, ROC USA, LLC
Garth Rieman, National Council of State Housing Agencies
Keith Wiley, Housing Assistance Council
Thomas Heinemann, Heinemann Consulting

George Allen, CPMEmeritus, MHM Master @ EducateMHC

Nostalgia or Timeless Truths?

Friday, October 16th, 2020

Blog Posting # 608 @ 16 Oct. 2020; Copyright 2020: 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, & communication media for all land lease communities throughout North America!

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

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: to promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. # 1 source of affordable attainable housing! Attend MHM class!

INTRODUCTION: Two widely divergent points of view this week. First, a retrospective look at manufactured housing history stimulated by the closing of my outside office; and, what I plan to share at the FHFA Listening Session on Friday, 16 October 2020.

I.
Nostalgia or Timeless Truths?
During weeks, maybe months, ahead, I’ll be sharing a raft of information that surfaced as I closed our Franklin, Indiana office. You see, the coronavirus pandemic, and Carolyn and I being self-quarantined at home for more than 210 days so far, have eased me into semi-retirement.
So, I no longer need a remote office – but what to do with hundreds of books, along with other manufactured housing and lend lease community resources? (It’s long been said, our corporate library is the most comprehensive collection of texts and material, on those two subjects, in existence anywhere!). Well, we’ve been boxing-up this intellectual treasure (20 large boxes so far) in preparation for delivery to the RV/MH Hall of Fame library in Elkhart, IN. At one time or another, the Library of Congress and Building Institute, in Washington, DC. have expressed interest in ‘housing’ our extensive collection. But when one gets ‘right down to it’, this trove truly belongs where our industry and realty asset class’ legacies are honored and preserved.
I’ll be describing some of these intellectual treasures here in future blog postings, and in The Allen Confidential! For that matter, the November issue of TAC! will contain a fascinating description of early 1960s ‘mobile homes’ and mobile home living, penned by famous writer John Steinbeck, in his bestseller – at the time – Travels with Charlie, In Search of America. His descriptions are priceless, educational, and timeless. To subscribe to the newsletter, visit www.educatemhc.com
This time around, here in this blog, I’ll share six steps to do Before Each Sales Call:
1. What do I wish to accomplish with this call?
2. Am I calling on a qualified prospect and decision maker?
3. Am I presenting the best solution for the customer?
4. Would I buy if it were my business?
5. What really needs to be done to get the order?
6. Can I get the order today? If not, when?
And seven steps After Each Sales Call
1. Could I have closed the account today?
2. Will they really buy, or am I just doing things?
3. How do I know they will buy?
4. What have I learned from this call?
5. How would I do it again?
6. Do I know what is needed to close this account now?
7. Did I ask for a referral to another potential client?
Quoted from a Calling Card by Lynn K. Munson of Practical Business Consulting.
Yes, I know, these steps aren’t necessarily the ones we use in manufactured housing sales and rental homesite leasing, but there are indeed good suggestions contained therein. And there’s much more to come.
II.
Listening Session @ 10/16/20
What follows here is ‘a work in progress’. Simply, the following paragraph and bullet points describe my view of what’s been going on – or better said, ‘not going on’ at federal bureaucracies Federal Housing Finance Agency (‘FHFA’) and two Government Sponsored Enterprises (‘GSEs’), Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, relative to their Duty to Serve (‘DTS’) plans/programs these past few years:
‘Ongoing recalcitrance pursuant to specific Congressional fiat, on the part of the FHFA and GSE’s Fannie Me & Freddie Mac, to secure realistic, appropriate, and ongoing access to chattel capital for (manufactured) home-only loans is, in my opinion, profound benign neglect”, being “…an attitude or policy of ignoring an often delicate or undesirable situation one is held to be responsible for dealing with….’
What are remedies for this pattern – now culture, of federal profound benign neglect?
• Once and for all ‘get over’ the chattel capital lending debacle of 1998-2003. Begin a new and helpful chapter via GSE’s tangible support of manufactured housing and land lease community lending!
• Reverse 12 years of minimal activity, relative to GSE’s Duty to Serve plans and programs – to date appearing to be languishing and ineffective.
• During year 2021, buy many seasoned chattel manufactured housing mortgages, to stimulate a much-needed secondary market for selling these specialty loans.
And yes, there’s more that could be said – specifically; but why waste time elucidati9ng measures likely to be, once again, ignored?
***
George Allen, CPM™Emeritus; MHM™Master; & Emeritus member, MHI
Senior consultant & lead author of EducateMHC
Gfa7156@aolc.om

Did YOU know?

Friday, October 9th, 2020

Blog Posting # 607 @ 9 Oct 2020; Copyright 2020: 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, & communication media for all land lease communities throughout North America!

To input this blog and/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: to promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. # 1 source of affordable attainable housing! Attend MHM class!

INTRODUCTION: Hang onto your seat! This is the first time, in a long while, that we’ve had five major parts to a blog posting – but every one of them is newsworthy and likely of value to you!

I.

FLASH ANNOUNCEMENT

RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet has, once again, been postponed; this time from 3 December to 13 May 2021.

For more information and to purchase tickets, phone (574) 293-2344

II.

Did YOU Know?

(Quoting from MHARR’s recent epistle titled: ‘Wasted Opportunities Mount as the Clock Ticks Down’, dated October 2020.)

“Fannie Mae seeks approval to back away from any further 2020 loan purchases under its’ ‘enhanced manufactured housing loan product for quality manufactured housing and purchase loans, “ and instead, “replace loan purchases with expanded outreach and education activity.” Sure! And Freddie Mac, in its’ proposed 2020 Plan modification and 2021 extension proposal, totally eliminates its’ previously proposed ‘chattel pilot’ program for 2019-2020, and its’ previously proposed purchase of 800-2,000 manufactured home chattel loans over the same period. Not content with that, though it also would cancel its’ alleged ‘outreach’ and education programs related to chattel lending over the same period.

Do you understand what’s being penned here? Read the paragraph again, before proceeding to the next ‘kill manufactured housing’ bombshell.

“And lest anyone be confused over Federal Housing Finance Agency (‘HFA’) intent to seriously consider Duty to Serve (‘DTS’) stakeholder input (Hey, that’s YOU and ME!) on these ‘proposed’ revisions at a scheduled October 16, 2020, ‘listening session’, or in written comments (due October 23, 2020), FHFA, in its’ Request for Input (‘RFI’) regarding the proposed modifications (Previous Paragraph in this blog!), helpfully notes it ‘expects to issue Non-Objections to the Enterprises proposed modifications…after considering…public input,…by January 11, 2021.” So, it sounds like ‘public input’ will get about as much ‘consideration’ from Fannie, Freddie and FHFA as it has in the past, which is zero to none.”

I’ve already signed-up to ‘public input’ at the Listening Session hosted by the FHFA on 16 October 2020. But now it seems, given accuracy of MHARR’s quoted commentary above, that effort will be akin to ‘pissing up a rope’ in terms of policy change efficacy. Good thing the session is ‘virtual’, or I’d really be upset about spending money to travel to Washington, DC, to speak in behalf of manufactured housing and land lease communities nationwide.

Want your own copy of MHARR’s epistle just quoted? Inquire of Mark Weiss via (202) 783-4087

And if you do wind up with a copy, be sure to turn to page # 2 and read the third (full) paragraph thereon, beginning with this sentence: “But what about the missed opportunities of the past four years – such as those at HUD under Secretary Carson?” Would have quoted it here but for space limitation.

III.

SECO20 in the eyes of its founder…

What follows here is quoted directly from a feature, describing this year’s SECO Conference, penned by one of the event founders, Spencer Roane, MHM. To enjoy and learn from the entire HOW TO article, read it the November issue of The Allen Confidential! business newsletter. To subscribe, read heading to this blog.

“When COVID-19 forced the SECO20 Planning Group to cancel plans for the 10th annual conference, the 16 member group, primarily headquartered in Atlanta, began looking into a virtual meeting instead.”

“MHVillage narrowed the list of capable platforms down to a half dozen.” Then, “MHVillage ….began programming the Sococo platform – and selling sponsor and exhibit space.”

:”Co-founder (David) Roden suggested two important additions to SECO20: Manager Monday and Founders Friday.” Maria Horton, MHM, of Newport Pacific wound up handling most of the scheduling details for the first event.

“In the end, SECO20 proved to be a resounding success. This was the first large scale (almost 500 registrants from 35 states – with twice as many from CA than from GA) event in the manufactured housing industry!”

IV.

MHI Holds Annual Meeting Virtually

Monday through Thursday of this week, featured morning and afternoon sessions for MHI members. This observer listened in on Monday, as Dr. Leslie Gooch and Mark Bowersox announced 2020 board officers would ‘repeat’ during year 2021. Then introduced a new purpose statement ‘elevating housing innovation & expanding attainable housing ownership’ – or words to that effect. (And how does this purpose statement address land lease communities?) Also presentation of various awards to members. Learned, when attorney Marc Lifset was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award that he either has retired or is in the process of doing so. Wonder if he’ll ‘disappear into the woodwork’, so to speak, like former MHI chairmen Barry McCabe and Gary McDaniel, or continue to influence the industry from afar, like Ross Kinzler and Tim Dewitt? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Now, there’s more I’d share with you from these meetings; but ‘years ago’, MHI instituted a gag restriction on news reporters and journalists of all stripes – for good reason at the time. Remember ‘YKW’? Personally, I’d like to see MHI ameliorate those restrictions on press privilege. Had that been the case now, I could – and would, have lengthened this part of the blog posting by

• pointing out an oversight relative to institute’s new Purpose Statement – besides the fact that ‘what we do’ (i.e. manufactured housing) is not even mentioned in it!
• how No Mention was made of CrossMod™ housing being a ‘no starter’ during year 2019 – and question ‘where it is’ this far into year 2020. A finance or design problem?
• some of the naïve commentary couched in the DuckerFrontier ‘Community Cost-Benefit Analysis’ as presented to the National Communities Council division during their meeting on 7 October 2020.

As it stands now, my writing, as an historian for the manufactured housing industry and land lease community realty asset class, is at a near standstill. Is that what we want or need?
V.

A Not-So-Rhetorical Question

One well-known portfolio owner/operator of land lease communities ordered two identical manufactured homes from the same factory, destined for the same location, with delivery three months apart. Second home arrived with invoice pricing nine percent (9%) higher than the first home. WHY?

According to the home’s HUD-Code manufacturer, it was due to drastic increase in lumber cost. And this might well be true. But it sure doesn’t make our unique HUD-Code housing product any more affordable, let alone attainable, by our traditional markets of the ‘newly wed & nearly dead’.

George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC

MHIndustry ‘watchdog’ on a roll!

Friday, October 2nd, 2020

Blog Posting # 606 @ 2 Oct 2020; Copyright 2020: 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, & communication media for all land lease communities throughout North America!

To input this blog and/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: to promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. # 1 source of affordable attainable housing! Attend MHM class!

I.

MHIndustry ‘watchdog’ on a roll!

Last week (blog # 605), we encouraged you to contact the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’), to request a copy of their REPORT & ANALYSIS, (‘R&A’) distributed during early September. Did you?

Well, here’s a new REPORT & ANALYSIS, dated 21 September 2020, you should read and ponder. Titled similarly to aforementioned R&A, ‘MHARR Exposes Fannie and Freddie Deception of Regulators, Congress, and Trump Administration on DTS.” (Duty to Serve)

The lead paragraph is probably the most indicting one I’ve read, to date, relative to the two GSEs (government sponsored enterprises), its’ overseer the FHFA (Federal Housing Finance Agency), along with “one or two industry conglomerates”.

Then, on page # 2 (second paragraph), Mark Weiss ‘makes his case’ as to how lack of affordability relates to – what he, in my opinion, erroneously refers to, as ‘MH Advantage’ & ‘new class’ homes. The correct terminology is CrossMod™. Be that as it may, his bottom line conclusion, is that this new shelter alternative “…would cost more than double the amount (i.e. $121,000 – $137,000 compared to $54,000 – $64,000) for current manufactured housing consumers DTS was designed and mandated to serve….” Hard to argue with that.

I’d like to have read MHARR Mark’s opinion, not just about what he felt were the shortfalls, e.g. DTS and the GSEs, but WHY they continue to occur. My opinion on the matter? Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, along with their FHFA overseer, simply don’t want to RISK a repeat of what happened to them at the turn of the century, when they lost so much money and went into conservatorship – and remain there, though some say there’s a ‘light at the end of that tunnel’. Any commentary out there, about the efficacy or not, of that opinion?

Besides two post-production factors – “discriminatory consumer financing restrictions and discriminatory zoning and placement mandates” (Reads to me like pre-production factors, and classic ‘which came first’, the chicken or egg, conundrum?), MHARR blames much of this sorry state of affairs (i.e. recovering housing industry but declining shipment volume of HUD-Code homes) on “the absence of independent post-production sector (i.e. retailers, communities, finance companies, etc.) representation at the nation’s capital.” Once again, why doesn’t the writer of this opinion, share his reason(s) why this has not happened to date. WHY? I’ll offer one observation. As long as the largest national advocate for manufactured housing is funded and controlled by HUD-Code housing manufacturers, the three post-production sector business models will NEVER wield the type and degree of influence in our nation’s capital necessary to address issues, and regs, lamented early in the paragraph! And to date, no charismatic leader has stepped forth to lead ‘us’ out of captivity.

On one hand, I’ll give MHARR, a housing manufacturers’ trade association, a lot of credit for attempting to address macro issues germane to the land lease community realty asset class. However, doing so, from a less than fully-informed perspective, risks misunderstanding, even error. That happened on page # 5 of this P&A, when the writer pens: “the expansion of existing communities has largely been stymied; while existing communities are being sold and re-developed for other purposes at significant pace.” Not. According to annual ALLEN REPORTs, community expansions continue, and the hot trend of ‘park closures’, early this century, has cooled.

As I did last, week, encourage you to contact MHARR and ask them to email you a copy of this nine page REPORT AND ANALYSIS, dated 21 September 2020. You’ll be glad you did.

II.

A potpourri of MHIndustry Information…

A Storm Cloud on the Horizon?! Affordable Housing Finance magazine, in its’ Sept/Oct 2020 issue opines, “An estimated 30 million to 40 million people could be at risk of eviction in the next several months, according to a team of prominent housing experts….” P.8 Why? “…millions of Americans remain out of work due to COVID-19 and federal, state, and local protections expire.”

“Freddie Mac (in its’ midyear multifamily outlook report) predicts U.S. multifamily loan originations will drop severely for all of 2020, due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the big blow the virus has dealt the U.S. economy.” Heartland Real Estate Business tabloid, p.18

A whisper of good news! “According to latest Federal Fair Housing Agency House Price Index (‘FHFA HPI’), house prices rose 6.5 percent from July 2019 to July 2020.” FHFA will release its’ next HPI report on 27 October 2020, with housing data through August 2020.

Did you do SECO last week? If you did, you were part of the first and largest national virtual gathering (i.e. 400+ registrants) of manufactured housing and land lease community (though ‘too many’ of the presenters kept referring to ‘mobile home parks’) to occur in the U.S. since the Louisville MHShow way back in January 2020. The SECO National Conference for Community Owners featured more than a dozen timely topics, covered by nearly three dozen speakers. I’ve requested input from the show’s organizers to use in next week’s blog posting, perhaps even a feature story in the November issue of The Allen Confidential! newsletter. The entire event was recorded, so visit SECO online to learn how to obtain a copy if so desired.

Are YOU signed-up to attend the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (‘FHFA’) Listening Session for Manufactured Housing on 16 October 2020? I am. It’s virtual and extends from 1-4PM that day. Visit the FHFA website for more information. There is no registration fee.

Last call! If you or your firm owns and or fee manages a portfolio of five or more land lease communities, or a minimum of 500 rental homesites (at one or more properties) you qualify to be listed in the 32nd annual ALLEN REPORT, scheduled for distribution as an addendum to The Allen Confidential! newsletter during January 2021. To obtain a questionnaire to complete, simply email me via gfa7156@aol.com or phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

Will I see you at the RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet in Elkhart, IN., on 3 December 2020? Sure hope so! To purchase banquet tickets, phone (574) 293-2344. This is an ‘in person’ event.

George Allen, CPM, MHM
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