Archive for October, 2021

NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON FOR LAND LEASE COMMUNITY OWNERS?

Friday, October 29th, 2021

Blog Posting # 662 @ 29 October 2021: EducateMHC

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: I have long attempted to not make the content of this weekly blog personal in nature. Well, this week’s focus runs counter to that goal. Why? Because, in my opinion, come January 2022, there will no longer be an independent third party Spokesperson holding forth, publicly, in behalf of land lease community owners/operators nationwide! Lest you think I exaggerate, right now name one person who routinely researches and reports on the realty asset class in print, online, and in person? Here’re the details of where we are today….

I.

NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON FOR LAND LEASE COMMUNITY OWNERS?

And who might that be going forward? It really hasn’t been an issue until now. Because, up until the end of December this year, we’ve had folk filling that role via weekly blogs, a monthly subscriber-supported newsletter, national networking roundtables or conferences, the ALLEN REPORT, and op/ed columns in various trade publications, e.g. ‘Manufactured Home Mechandiser’, the ‘Journal’, and now MHInsider magazine. And of course there were occasional communiques from MHI, where land lease communities were concerned, presumably from its’ National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division.

But much of that will soon be changing, albeit ‘going away’! Then ‘who’ will land lease community owners/operators look to for timely news reporting, regulatory concerns, issue resolution, professional property management training & certification, and networking opportunities? Here’re the possibilities as I see them today.

Frankly, first and foremost, spokesperson responsibilities and services should – in my opinion – be coming from NCC leadership, but that’s not the case today. Some illustrations: What salaried MHI staffer routinely functions and speaks in behalf of the realty asset class? No one since Jim Ayotte, CAE, and a couple of his successors, post 1996 founding of the council. And this. During a recent Senate Banking Committee hearing (21 October 2021) titled, ‘How Private Equity Landlords are Changing the Housing Market’, MHI representatives (not the NCC) felt they were successful “…ensuring the conversation was not disparaging to the land-lease community model overall.” OK, but when one reads their Statement for the Record, here’s a sampling of what they told the Senators:

• Land-lease manufactured housing communities, manufactured housing communities, and land-lease communities. These trade terms were used interchangeably throughout the presentation. Confusion anyone? Among journalists today, it’s land lease communities!

• Time and again, ‘research’ and ‘studies’ were cited to buttress claims about ‘rent payment increases’, ’31 percent of new manufactured homes placed in land-lease communities’, and ‘why residents choose professionally managed land-lease manufactured housing communities’, and more – with NO substantiation of claims!

• Much ado is made about professional property management training and certification of community managers, but only MHEI’s ACM program is identified. NO mention of IREM’s Certified Property Manager (‘CPM’) designation, or EducateMHC’s Manufactured Housing Manager (‘MHM’) program, or California’s statewide program. Too narrow a focus for a truly effective national spokesperson for the realty asset class.

• At one point MHI commissioned research, representative of 1,000 communities, to cite statistics relative to CapEx spending. Impressive number until one realizes, according to the 32nd annual ALLEN REPORT, just the top three portfolio owners/operators profiled, own and or fee-manage 1,103 communities! So 1,000 communities is not a representative sampling of 55,000+/- such properties nationwide.

Point? Again, logic would suggest MHI and its’ NCC division is/are natural national spokespersons for land-lease communities. But, again – in my opinion – without a salaried staffer heading the NCC, one that ‘knows’ the community business and is capable of communicating it in an appropriate, accurate, and substantiated fashion, they have no business posing as national spokesperson. Perhaps this matter can be addressed at the NCC Leadership Forum in downtown Chicago during early November? Anyone listening out there?

Then there’re the land lease community owners/operators in Georgia who, 11 years ago, launched what today is widely known and respected as the SECO conference. From the very beginning there was but one audience – land lease community owners; initially in the Southeast, but today, nationwide, attracting 500+/- businessmen and women. National spokesperson for the realty asset class? Perhaps, if they hire an executive director, and start communicating regularly and digitally with their audience nationwide.

Now, just about everyone else has their ‘interest in two pockets’: manufactured housing production/sale and land lease communities. Think DATACOMP with its’ MHVillage and MHInsider magazine. Yes, they research MH and community statistics on a routine basis, but to the best of my knowledge, there isn’t a land lease community owner/operators on staff – for handling the finer points and nuances of property ownership and management.

And then there’s manufacturedhomes.com, a fairly new online entry into the fray. It is primarily focused on manufactured housing production/sales – related topics. Any land lease community firsthand influences on their staff?

That brings us to the end of this discussion today. Yes, land lease community owners/operators need and deserve an effective national spokesperson (organization) functioning in their behalf. Looking back almost 30 years, the need for focused national advocacy, via a spokesperson or organization, is why 19 community owners gathered in Indianapolis, IN., on 31 August 1993. Three years later, we had the NCC in place at MHI – with a salaried staffer at the helm. That is not the case today. And given my recent retirement, we will not have an independent third party spokesperson producing a newsletter, networking roundtable, or ALLEN REPORT, in behalf of land lease communities, going into year 2022.

What are we going to do about that?

George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC

I. AGAIN, ‘DOE REGS MUST BE DOA!’

Friday, October 22nd, 2021

Blog Posting # 661 @ 22 October 2021: EducateMHC

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: Quite a mix of topics today! First, some important and timely information relative to DOE regs that threaten the intrinsic affordability of HUD-code manufactured housing. Then a personal pique relative to how ‘others’ attempt to affect our daily lives. And finally, a personal lamenting of the passing of more than three decades of dedicated work in behalf of land lease community owners/operators nationwide and in Canada.

I.

AGAIN, ‘DOE REGS MUST BE DOA!’

That’s the ‘short title’ to Part I of this week’s blog posting. Here’s the ‘long title’, so to speak, quoting from the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (‘MH’) latest newsletter to members:

“The Department of Energy (‘DOE’) has published a proposed rulemaking on energy standards for manufactured housing which, if finalized, will eliminate manufactured housing as an affordable housing option for hundreds of thousands of potential homebuyers.”

Did you get that? MHI’s communique goes on to say: “The current DOE proposal is fundamentally flawed and must be completely rewritten to ensure manufactured home remain an available option for American families.”

So, YOU on board with ensuring the DOE regs are ‘DEAD ON ARRIVAL (‘DOA’)?’ If so, YOU must contact MHI’s Policy Department via (703) 558-0675 and ask how YOU can participate in their Call to Action program right now! I’ve already done so.

LATE BREAKING NEWS! Deadline has been extended from 25 October to 26 November 2020! That gives YOU and ME more time to submit written comments relative to DOE’s Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (‘SNPR’) concerning manufactured housing energy conservation standards.

II.

YOU WOKE?

What do the following words have in common?

America, Mute, Freshman, Straight, Depressed. War. Policeman. Handicapped parking, Mr & Mrs., You guys. Long time, no see. Rule of thumb. Hold down the fort.

According to FIRE, a.k.a. Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, “they’re all included in a list of ‘words to avoid’, compiled by Colorado State University’s Inclusive Communications Task force.” And while not banned, per se, they’re words faculty and students are encouraged to avoid, in favor or words that make everyone feel welcomed and ‘safe’.

Don’t know about you, but I’m increasingly pissed off at the wokeness that seems to be occurring these days, especially where the use of personal pronouns is concerned. While completing an application, for something, recently, I was asked to indicate what pronouns I identified with, not whether I was a male or female.

III.

DO YOU REALIZE?

The date, 1 January 2022, is fast approaching, when there will be no annual update to the ALLEN REPORT. We did not survey the 500+/- known owners/operators of land lease community property portfolios this fall, so I have no statistics to compile and write into what would have been the 33rd annual ALLEN REPORT. What does ‘having no updated ALLEN REPORT’ mean to you and me?

• No historical perspective of contemporary land lease communities. In the 32nd edition we identified the seven types of shelter now commonplace on rental homesites.

• No historical perspective relative to HUD-Code housing shipments during the past 50 years, and how our industry sullies its’ ‘cred’ by reporting two totals each month.

• Overall total of rental homesite counts among reporting portfolios, and number per portfolio; as well as number of land lease communities owned and or fee-managed.

• Volume of rental homes and contract sales per property portfolio.

• Average national physical occupancy among reporting property portfolios.

• Average national Operating Expense Ratio (‘OER’) among reporting portfolios.

• Status of professional property management certification among portfolios.

• Growth in rental homesite count to date (i.e. between 1994 & 2020) among all real estate investment trusts (‘REITs’) during the past 26 years. Who will tell you now?

• And in the 32nd ALLEN REPORT, a list of a dozen Evergreen Issues (i.e. ‘always present, always important!’) re manufactured housing and land lease communities.

That’s pretty much what’s ‘leaving the body of land lease community knowledge and statistics’ researched and faithfully reported during the past 32 years. Hopefully someone will come along, in time, and shoulder the mantle (‘covering’) of this unique income-producing property type and popular real estate asset class.

After all, and to date, the ALLEN REPORT opened the door to annual Networking Roundtables, two monthly subscriber-supported newsletters, a weekly blog, the Manufactured Housing Manager (‘MHM’) professional property management training and certification program, as well as a host of Resource Documents such as the National Registry of ALL Lenders, and directories of freelance consultants, MH factories, national and state trade associations, as well as GSE & NGO organizations influencing manufactured housing and the asset class.

GFA

George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC

NEW LEASE REQUIREMENTS FOR LAND LEASE COMMUNITIES

Monday, October 18th, 2021

Blog Posting # 660 @ 18 October 2021: EducateMHC

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: Just realized I’ve been penning this weekly blog posting for nearly 13 years! It started back in the latter days of the ‘Manufactured Home Merchandiser’ magazine (2008), the year before manufactured housing shipments hit rock bottom, the nadir year being 2009. Anyway, here’s the news of today (Part I), tomorrow (Part II), and maybe/maybe not another book for you to read sometime in the future. GFA

I

NEW LEASE REQUIREMENTS FOR
LAND LEASE COMMUNITIES

On September 13, 2021, Freddie Mac issued a Press Release pertaining to its’ financing of land lease community purchases. Per that Press Release, the GSE is implementing eight tenant protections as a condition on all future transactions involving the GSE.

1. Lease length & Ability to Not Renew. One year renewable lease term, unless there is ‘good cause’ for non-renewal.

2. Rental Increase Notice Period. 30 day written notice of rent increases.

3. Grace Period for Rental Payments. Five-day grace period for rent payments and the right to cure defaults on rent payments.

4. Tenant’s Sale of Home Without Relocation. Right to sell home to a buyer that qualifies as a new tenant in community, without having to first relocate it out of the community.

5. Tenant’s Sale of Home after Eviction. Right to sell home in place within 30 days after eviction by the community owner.

6. Tenant’s Right to Sublease. Right to sublease, or assign the site lease, for the unexpired term to the new buyer of the tenant’s home without any unreasonable restraint, so long as buyer/sublessee qualifies as a tenant within the community.

7. Tenant ‘For Sale’ Signs. Right to post home ‘For Sale’ signs that comply with community rules and regulations.

8. Notice of Planned Community Sales. Right to receive at least 60-days notice of planned sale or closure of the community.

Of course these eight tenant protections will be required only when a land lease community mortgage is being guaranteed by this GSE.

II.

Four Ways Runaway Housing Prices Might Affect the U.S. Economy

In a communique from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, Don Layton writes of an “astounding increase of 19.2 percent” in the Housing Index during the past 12 months, leading him to observe these have become nothing less than ‘runaway home prices’. Then he asks, more than rhetorically, is the impact such runaway home prices will likely have on our national economy. He cites four; the first one positive, the next three not so much so.

1. Helping GDP (Gross Domestic Product) to grow. “Household consumption is the biggest source of GDP, and is influenced not just by the wages and other income of the typical family but by the household’s net worth. This is known as the wealth effect….” Given the meteoric rise in the Housing Index, this translates into more than $50,000 per household – increasing their willingness and capability to spend more if they wish to do so.

2. Making income inequality noticeably worse. Especially between the homeowner population, as the Housing Index continues to increase, and the35 percent of American families who rent their residences and do not enjoy the residual benefits of this rise in wealth. “Thus, ‘have’ and ‘have not’ is increasingly becoming synonymous whether a family owns their home or not.”

3. Pushing down the homeownership rate. “…a family looking to buy their first home is suffering a major decline in purchasing power.” This has much to do with the 22.5 percent increase in house prices since the pandemic began (offset somewhat by lower mortgage rates), leading to a net increase of more than 10 percent. This will especially impact the first time would be homebuyers.

4. Inadvertently causing reports of inflation to be misleadingly low. This is a complicated, difficult to explain, phenomenon – having to do with the manner in which the federal government computes inflation rate, along with the aforementioned increasing Housing Index coupled with decreasing mortgage interest rates. Suffice it to say here that the present five percent inflation rate (per U.S. government) may or may not come down if/when the supply chain issues are resolved.

It behooves each and every one of us to be alert to news and accounting reports that address one or more of the preceding four potential impacts on our national economy and lifestyle.

III.

‘SMITTYALPHA6’, A NOT SO SMALL TALE

By now, most of my friends – in and out of business environs, and family, are familiar with the book title: ‘From SmittyAlpha6 to MHMaven’. Writing that collection of memoirs (i.e. ‘short stories’) into my autobiography was a project decades in the making. And if I have a single thing to be grateful for, where the pandemic is concerned, it’s having 400 days of self-quarantine with Carolyn, during which we read books, did jigsaw puzzles together, and I finally put pen to paper. Now I’m trying to self-motivate to begin reading through, by coincidence, 400 letters I penned and sent to Carolyn during years 1968 & 69. I know there are more ‘SmittyAlpha6’ (i.e. my radio call sign while a company commander in Vietnam) tales contained in there to, once again, share with family and friends. But I also fear some of the memories they might stimulate….Guess I’ll have to wait and see.

Point in telling you all this? If reading this 200 page non-fiction book interests you, make it a point to order it soon. Only a few dozen copies remain from the initial printing and there are no plans, at this point, to do a second printing. So, to order, visit www.educatemhc.com

George Allen, CPM, MHM
Educatemhc

LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE!

Friday, October 8th, 2021

Blog Posting # 659 @ 8 October 2021: EducateMHC

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

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: This week’s blog posting was exciting (Part I), disturbing (Part II), and nostalgic (Part III) to pen. You’ll see ‘why’ as you read on through. GFA

I.

LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE!

Institute for Building Safety & Technology (‘IBTS’), along with HUD, MHI, MHARR, and EducateMHC, all reported – as they had in July, the same HUD-Code new home shipment total for the month of August, when there were no ‘Destination Pending’ units to ‘muddy the statistical waters’, as has usually been the case for decades.

This is noteworthy, being a second lightning strike – so to speak, because the manufactured housing industry’s long standing penchant for reporting ‘two different new home shipment totals every month’ (due to presence of ‘Destination Pending’ units at reporting plants) has done nothing to improve its ‘cred’ (i.e. credibility) among Washington policy makers, business regulators, and other influential parties.

Bottom line? How nice it would be to continue, from this point on, to boldly publicize ‘one new MH shipment total’ every month of the year! Will this occur? Let’s wait and see. Sorry to say; but I, for one, am not holding my breath.

II.

DOE ENERGY REGS MUST BE DOA!

Did you know? Quoting here from MHI’s newsletter dated 1 October 2-021:

“The Department of Energy (‘DOE’) has published a proposed rulemaking on energy standards for manufactured housing which, if finalized, will eliminate manufactured housing as an affordable housing option for hundreds of thousands of potential homebuyers. The current DOE proposal is fundamentally flawed and must be completely rewritten to ensure manufactured homes remain an available option for American families.”

You read a similar, albeit much longer similar condemnation of proposed DOE energy regs, here last week, penned by Mark Weiss in behalf of the MHARR.

MHI has already launched a Call to Action about this important matter. Member or not, reach out to MHI, via their website, and offer to send a letter opposing the DOE rule. I’ve already done so! The DOE rule must be DOA (‘Dead on Arrival’) where manufactured housing is concerned.

And hey, there’s more to come. When given an opportunity to make further public comment, and or attend a hearing on this matter, in Washington, DC. do so. I did last time around, in 2014, and consider the experience a top personal learning experience during my career.

III.

‘CHANGING OF THE GUARD’

It happens slowly and quietly, as matters about personal and professional retirement usually do. As I look back, it kinda began – this time around, with the slow-paced retirement (i.e. extending over a year period of time) of Danny Ghorbani, 1985 founder and decades long leader of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’). Today, Mark Weiss fills the Washington Watchdog’s shoes.

Yes, there is an ongoing, perennial, ‘changing of the guard’, so to speak, taking place these days. And the names that follow just ‘scratch the surface’ of who should be listed.

Then came Gary McDaniel, intrepid leader of ROC Properties (No, not ‘resident owned communities’!), REIT – Chateau Communities, and finally, YES! Communities. (I may have got Properties & Communities labels reversed; could never keep them straight – and I believe there was a firm in there between Chateau & YES!). In any event, Gary’s pretty much disappeared from the MH scene, in much the same fashion as Barry McCabe, former Hometown America property management executive, a decade or so earlier.

While I just know I’m going to unintentionally miss a few – or many, recent retirees during this recitation; how can I be faulted when so many go so quietly. Examples. Greg Johnloz, CPM, out of AZ; Win Moses, community owner, Indiana state legislator, and mayor of Ft. Wayne, IN; William Carr, consultant and husband of the late Judy Carr in Iowa.

Then there’s a raft of men and women who tell you they’re retired, but continue to show up at MH industry events, etc. (Like me). Here thinking of Lou Vela, the $ guy; Joe Stegmayer of AZ and former chairman of MHI, the RV/MH Hall of Fame, and Cavco Industries. Betty Whittaker of KMHI was a surprise retiree – to me anyway, so now I follow her on Facebook. And early this year, we learned of Cary Monroe and John Jacobs, both community loan originators, taking down their shingles. And George Porter, recent RV/MH Hall of Fame inductee, will likely disagree with me listing him as a recent retiree. But as a veteran combat pilot from the Vietnam era, he outa be retired! Maybe someday, with his permission, I’ll share his exciting short story, ‘My Tet Offensive, January 1968’ here or in MHInsider magazine.

A couple local ‘friends in the business’, Sharon Niccum (multi-community owner and appraiser), and Ron Farren, both in Indiana, have reduced their business footprint of late – though Ron has acquired a community or two ‘for fun’ (My comment, not his). And now we learn of Joe Kelley, executive of the Iowa MH Association retiring during November 2021 – that’s next month! Spencer Roane, MHM, and I plan to attend his send-off, to ensure he receives the praise and accolades he deserves after all these years in the saddle. And I’m unsure what to pen about Adriane DeRose, MHM, also here in Indiana. She recently sold her family’s land lease community. If she retires, it will mark the end of an era started many decades ago by ‘mobile home’ manufacturer, the late Robert DeRose (He was inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame in 1988).

OK, I know, there are many more individuals out there who deserve their due in this week’s blog posting. And I’m sorry I overlooked you. Let me know via gfa7156@aol.com

I’ll close this out with some musings from Greg Johnloz, CPM, mentioned earlier. “Semi-retirement is fun, you get to pick and choose what you want to do with a minimum of actual responsibility. You will find you are just as busy as you ever were, but enjoying it more.”

And that’s pretty much how I’ve found retirement to be. Plus, in my case, I got to author my autobiography, ‘From SmittyAlpha6 to MHMaven’. Most of the first printing are in readers’ hands, but if you’d like a copy – and I’m told it is a Good Read, visit www.educatemhc

Uh Oh! I haven’t even posted this blog and already I’m thinking of friends not included. Like Ross Kinzler of WI, now AZ; former community owner Jim Reitzner, also of WI; and the most visionary guy I’ve known in MH and land lease communities, Chuck Fanaro of SaddleBrook Farms and HI-Tech Housing reknown. Now my subconscious will start kicking in….

George Allen, CPM, MHM EducateMHC