The Federal Register & You; Maybe….!

June 23rd, 2017

Blog # 452; Copyright @ 25 June 2017; at community-investor.com/blog

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

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION: The Federal Register, for many of us, does not make for engaging reading. However, it oft contains important information about our industry (i.e. manufactured housing), and other matters. Then there’s Part II. Sure hope you plan to participate on one or the other of the two upcoming land lease community-specific options: Think Tank and or interpersonal networking & superb educational opportunity.

I.

The Federal Register & You; Maybe…!

‘HUD’s Interpretative Bulletin for Model Manufactured Home Installation Standards Foundation Requirements in Freezing Temperature Areas Under 24 CFR 3285.312(b)’

Docket No. FR-6023-N-01

Pay attention to the above Docket No. You’ll need it, for reference purposes, if/when you ‘comment’ on HUD’s Interpretative Bulletin for Model Manufactured Home Installation Standards Foundation Requirements in Freezing Temperature Areas’.

Well, here’re my initial observations regarding some content of this bulletin, along with a special, even sage one, from a highly-respected ‘manufactured housing installation specialist’

• Land lease community specific? In my opinion, ‘Yes & No’. Here goes: “The purpose of this proposed Interpretative Bulletin (’IB’) is to provide guidance for designing and installing manufactured home foundations in areas subject to freezing temperatures with seasonal ground freezing, in accordance with the Model Manufactured Home Installation Standards, wherever soil conditions are susceptible to frost heave” & “”when footings do not extend below the frost depth at the site.” Observation: This clearly affects raw land developed as building sites conveyed fee simple, and (maybe) rental homesites in land lease communities being readied for new HUD-Code manufactured homes. But no requirement to retrofit existing foundation systems under existing homes in either instance. For that matter, there is no specific mention of land lease communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities) – that I saw – in this IB.

• What types of foundations systems? “Monolithic slab systems, ‘frost protected shallow foundations’ (’FPSF’), and alternative foundation systems”, e.g. frost free foundations (’FFF’). Observation: While some have disparaged FFF, in the recent past, this IB provides additional guidance for “installing manufactured home foundations, when non-frost susceptible soil conditions are available at the site to protect foundations against the effects of frost heave.” That reads to me like FFF remains ‘good to go’, when appropriate site drainage and foundation skirting measures are in place. Effectively making the area under such a protected home: of non-frost susceptible soil condition.

• But wait; the IB cites an SEBA Professional Services ‘assessment of design & installation practices’ report for manufactured homes in climates with seasonally frozen ground. (Some have criticized SEBA’s lone ranger, i.e. single engineer, preparation of this report). In any event, the “…report found some key factors needed for long-term and consistent success require special considerations that are often neglected, particularly for FFF designs and installations….” Said considerations are described later in the IB. Observation. Perhaps the manufactured housing industry (i.e. its’ housing manufacturers) should bear responsibility for some of the neglected considerations. How so? Installation Manuals required to accompany all new HUD-Code homes, in many cases (that I’ve seen), are often deficient in definition and description of FFF installation design and construction.

• The target audience for this IB? The Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (’MHCC’) recommended this IB target these audiences: installers, local jurisdiction, regulators, and manufacturers. HUD agreed. Observation: Should land lease community (a.k.a. manufactured home community) owners/operators take faint comfort in not being specifically named in this report? For that matter, the unique, income-producing property type is nowhere, in the IB, mentioned by any name, description, or any other means. Makes one wonder, a bit, about the role private (real) property rights might be playing here….Later, in this IB, there’s this statement: “Retailers should verify that the installations are performed only by licensed installers.” Observation: Hmm. ‘retailers’ , like land lease community’ owners/operators, are not identified as a target audience. So, are these two omissions accidental or purposeful omissions – hence potential loopholes, for two segments of the manufactured housing industry, relative to enforcement of requirements set forth in this IB?

• Are you an FFF aficionado? Then you should be interested in the ‘flaws or non-conformances’ identified in the aforementioned SEBA report: “a lack of clarity of technical requirements in manufacturer installation instructions, details, & notes” & “Missing or vague criteria for identification and measurement of soil frost susceptibility” & “Missing or vague guidance for determining soil moisture, sub-surface drainage conditions; and water table depth…” & “Missing guidance to direct appropriate site specific adjustments of important installation details….” Observation: If you’re going to use the far more economical FFF, ‘Get it Right’!

• Lest you think I strain at making the case for this IB being ‘not applicable’ to retailers and land lease community folk, read this from the Summary of said document: “…all responsible parties in the process should follow the guidance in this Interpretative Bulletin. These concerns and issues involve designers, DAPIAs, (presumably ‘housing’) manufacturers, installers, and regulatory authorities.” Observation: Nary a retailer or land lease community mention to be found.

• Now for that promised sage observation from a highly-respected manufactured housing installation specialist’: “I do not believe…HUD and …..(its’ employees) understand ‘ice 101′. And how “You need water”, to have ice under a manufactured home! Here’s an apt analogy: When pouring a monolithic slab, one is not required to effect the investigations described in this IB. Well, a manufactured home either on a rental homesite or a building site conveyed fee simple, is a slab in its’ own right, as it ‘covers the soil’ & = ‘No Ice!’

• Well, if you too would like to prepare a comment letter, relative to this IB, suggest you obtain a copy via (202) 708-6409. Then, read it for yourself, before penning your correspondence. You have until 21 August 2016 deadline to get your communiqué to HUD via: Regulations Division, Office of General Counsel, Dept. of Housing & Urban Development, 451 Seventh Street SW, Washington, DC. 3\20410-0500. Important REMINDER: Comment letter must reference this docket number & title: Docket No. FR-6023-N-01 & ‘Interpretative Bulleting for Model Manufactured Home Installation Standards Foundation Requirements in Freezing Temperature Areas Under 24 CFR 3285.312(b)

II.

REMINDERS…

In little more than a month’s time, 7 August, to be exact, nearly 700 RV & MH pioneers and leaders are expected to gather at the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s Museum, & Library to induct ten of our colleagues into the prestigious RV/ MH Hall of Fame! Will you be present? I sure will. Here’s the number to call to purchase tickets (574) 293-2344.

And earlier the same day, same location (21565 Executive Parkway, Elkhart, IN.), 7 August, from 9-11 AM, a dozen or two land lease community owners/operators will gather for an MHAlive! Think Tank session. Manufactured housing industry ‘concerned parties’ are welcome as well! There’s no fee to attend, but you must pre-register by phoning (317) 346-7156 or send an email to gfa7156@aol.com. Why? Because we’ll soon mail a comprehensive list of manufactured housing-related issues that have been collected from businessmen and women, during an Input Session in Chicago, last month.

In little more than two month’s time, 6-8 September to be exact, 200+/- land lease community owners/operators will convene at The Alexander Hotel in Indianapolis, IN., for the 26th annual Networking Roundtable. Event brochures are available for the asking (see previous paragraph for contacts). For several reasons, this promises to be one special MHIndustry & LLCommunity event! An MHM class will be conducted on the 6th, as well as a completely redesigned Investors Symposium, from 4-6PM. And during the next two days? Chock full education sessions and nine unparalleled interpersonal networking F&B (food & beverage) events! And if all goes to plan, everyone present will receive the gift of a new book: SWAN SONG, subtitled: ‘George Allen’s History of the Land Lease Community Realty Asset Class, from 1970 to 2017, & Manufactured Housing Shipment History from 1955 thru 2016′. How can you not want to be present for this special celebration of National Land Lease Community Week?! For an agenda, see the Networking Brochure attached to this blog posting.

George Allen, CPM & MHM
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247

George Allen’s Swan Song

June 17th, 2017

Blog # 451; Copyright @ 18 June 2017; at community-investor.com/blog

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

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

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

COBA7 Motto = ‘ U Support US & WE serve U! Goal of its’ print/online media = to ‘Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve MHBusiness performance!
_________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION: None really needed this week, as the title and few short paragraphs pretty much tell ‘the story’.

I.

Swan Song*

‘Swan Song’ is the working title of the book I’m writing for colleagues in manufactured housing and the land lease community real estate asset class.

The plan is to cover ‘our shared history’ from 1970 to present day; and starting with year 1955, publish a permanent record of ‘mobile home’ shipments between that year & 1976, when the shelter type became manufactured housing and continuing that shipment history, then thru to year 2017. I’ll explain along the way, why only the new HUD-Code home shipment totals for years 2013 through 2016 have been ‘verified’, using monthly data available only from the Institute for Building Technology & Safety (’IBTS’).

This book has been ‘in the making’ during the 40 years I’ve managed, owned, consulted and written about, this unique, income-producing property type. The goal is to have this shared history printed, bound and ready for distribution at the 26th annual International Networking Roundtable, 6-8 September 2017, in Indianapolis, IN.

How will Swan Song cover these topics? Decade by decade, over 50 years for the land lease community real estate asset class. Here’s a summary of chapter titles and subheadings:

1. 1970-79 All Time Acme Shipment Year for Mobile Homes

‘Debut of HUD-Code Manufactured Homes; Syndicators Spark
Consolidation of Mobile Home Parks’

2. 1980-89 MHI & MHARR Go Separate Ways!

‘Mobile Home Park Management text & ALLEN REPORT Debut’

3. 1990-99 ‘GO-Go Years’ Come to a STOP!

‘Allen Letter & Networking Roundtable Debut; ISC & NCC
Merge; REITs Emerge; New Texts; &, Consequences of 1998
Shipment Renascence’

4. 2000-09 New Paradigm Begins!

‘Manufactured Housing Sowed the Wind, During Late 1990s, only
to Reap the Whirlwind for the Next Two Decades!’

5. 2010-19 Long Road Back to Prosperity!

‘Land Lease Communities (a.k.a. Manufactured Home
.Communities) Come Into Their Own!’

And along the way, these historic periods will be matched with the estimated annual manufactured housing shipment totals, to help explain what happened during times of business prosperity, turmoil and near penury.

There are other features being written into this text. After all, it’s likely the last one, of the dozen books penned to date, that I’ll author for this industry and realty asset class – except, possibly, an autobiography, to join seven others written by RV/MH pioneers and leaders during the past 50 years. Other features? You’ll see and read them, along and within the five chapters, when you receive your copy of Swan Song on 6 September 2017. But here’re a couple hints: 1) Doing my best to include the names of dozens of individuals who’ve been ‘players’, especially in the land lease community realty asset class, during the last five decades. 2) Also some historic documents, e.g. Mission Statement & Objectives of the Industry Steering Committee (’ISCC’), 1993 predecessor to MHI’s National Communities Council division, 3) even a copy of latest ALLEN REPORT.

Not yet registered to attend this year’s Roundtable? Use brochure attached to the BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert) introducing this week’s blog posting, and or the link within said BEBA.

End Note.

Swan Song = ‘a metaphorical phrase suggesting one’s final gesture, effort, or personal performance.’

George Allen, CPM & MHM
COBA7, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

STAND & BE COUNTED! Your one time opportunity to influence HUD!

June 9th, 2017

Blog # 450; Copyright @ 11 June 2017; at community-investor.com/blog

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

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

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

COBA7 Motto = ‘U Support Us & We Serve U! Goal of its’ print/online media = to
‘Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve MHBusiness model performance!
_______________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION: We’re living& working in exciting times! This blog posting underscores that claim. Part I encourages YOU to make your concerns, about regulatory overreach, directly to HUD; Part II = How the manufactured housing industry continues to slowly recover, enduring ups & downs in monthly new home shipments; Part III = Another side of MHAction; & Part IV = Preparing for MHAlive! the Think Tank session, 7 August, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN.

I.

OK; Time Has Come For YOU to Make OUR Case!

Both national advocates for manufactured housing, the Manufactured Housing Institute (’MHI’) and Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (’MHARR’), as well as Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance (’COBA7), by dint (’power or force’) of this blog posting, encourage YOU to comment directly (per MHARR), or indirectly (via MHI), & Soon Comment on’ Reducing the Federal Regulatory Burden’ on our industry and realty asset class!

What’s this all about? Simple. In recent correspondence to members and interested parties, MHARR & MHI, parrot HUD’s request for input to its’ newly formed Regulatory Reform Task Force relative to the following six categories needing attention and change:

• Result in the elimination of jobs

• Inhibit job creation

• Are outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective

• Impose costs that exceed benefits

• Create a serious inconsistency, or otherwise interfere with regulatory reform initiatives and policies

• Rely, in whole or in part, on data, information, or methods not publicly available, or are insufficiently transparent to meet he standard for reproducibility.

Are YOU ready and prepared to comment? There is a coming deadline!

In MHI’s case you will need to get in direct contact with the institute’s Government Affairs Department via (703) 229-6208 to request they sign YOU onto their prepared letter to HUD. Whether they do so, or not, ask for a copy of their ‘talking points’ pertaining to the above six topics, forwarded to you as YOU draft your own letter.

In MHARR’s case, they approach this important and timely matter in a slightly different fashion. While the aforementioned six bullet points are apt guidance, MHARR rightly addresses the following eight key points:

1. expanded in-plant regulation

2. on-site construction

3. Subpart I

4. federalization of installation

5. HUD’s 2010 interpretive Rule that restricted the role of the MHCC

6. the formaldehyde health notice

7. appointed non-career administrator

8. new/competitive monitoring contract

And if you’d like guidance as to how to incorporate these eight points into your correspondence, reach out to MHAR via (202) 783-4087

Furthermore, MHARR provides the following postal mailing address for your correspondence and commentary, recommending YOU use Fed-X to get it in front of the right people in Washington, DC.

Regulations Division
Office of General Counsel
U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development
Room # 10276
451 7th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20410-0500

OK, you’ve been provided the tools with which to speak out in behalf of the manufactured housing industry & land lease community real estate asset class. NOW, the question is, ‘Will YOU do it?’ I certainly plan to do so!

DEADLINE! Your concerns, either via MHI’s form letter, or one you draft and send yourself, MUST arrive at HUD no later than Wednesday, 14 June 2017. So, there really isn’t much time left for us to make our views known.

II.

COBA7 presents Official MHShipment ‘#s & $s’ Report for April 2017

Institute for Building Technology & Safety (’IBTS’) – HUD’s contractor for collecting ‘MHShipment Data’ reports 7,184 new HUD-Code homes shipped during the month of April 2017. Same total is also reported by HUD, MHARR & COBA7. Any other reported total is fallacious – unless fully explained and justified by the reporting source.

A couple ‘takeaways’ from this valuable COBA7 monthly report:

• While 7,184 new HUD-Code homes shipped during April compares favorably (total is ‘up’) with April 2016, this monthly total is the lowest of any monthly shipment total since the first of the year, including January, February & March.

• Using Dr. Stephen C. Cook’s ‘production value’, the 7,184 new HUD-Code homes shipped are valued at approximately $30,481,717. And, considering YTD total of homes shipped is 30,568 – their collective value pencils out to be $131,827,550+/-

• COBA7’s Top Ten HUD-Code home shipment states varies from other reports (which report cumulative totals as being: TX, FL, LA, AL, MI, SC, CA, NC, MS, & GA, in declining order of shipment volume. And together, these ten states shipped 62 percent of all new HUD-Code homes shipped during April 2017.

Editorial Note to Readers. COBA7 is carefully preparing a detailed expose’, describing perennial statistical reporting errors perpetrated and perpetuated by one or more national advocacy entities claiming to represent the manufactured housing industry. The point to this ‘alert’? If one is going to make fallacious and or misleading reporting claims, be prepared to support same with accurate data and disclosed methodology on every front. To do anything less, sullies not only that entity’s reputation, but the public image of the entire industry and related realty asset class, in the minds of federal and state legislators and regulators. Hopefully, corrective actions will be taken soon, and said expose’ will become unnecessary. GFA

III.

‘MHAction’ Ride$ On The Back$ of Land Lease Community Homeowner/site lessees

Last week 55 of us sat in on a national conference call hosted by MHAction. It was an interesting experience, as this blog briefly reported in posting #459. Since then, we’ve come across the following informative and ‘telling’ info about MHAction.org.

According to Press Release Rocket, dated 5/3/2017,

“…MHAction is a non-profit based in Washington, D.C., part of the larger Center for Community Change. Although its website provides no details – not even a street address – a little cyber-sleuthing will uncover their Form 990 report (that all 501C-3s must file, and can be found at www.Guidestar.com). I shows the Executive Director Deepak Bhargava receives about $257,263 per year. At $24 per annum in dues, that means the first 10,719 mobile home park members just about fund his compensation. And the next four employees make a total of $1,004,904 – so it takes around another 41,871 mobile home park residents to send in their $24 to cover those folks. So, if you are among the first 52,290 members of MHAction.org, you’ve done a wonderful thing; you just covered the salary of five people who are living it up while you’re sitting in your trailer. But you better tell all your friends and neighbors to send in their dues quickly, as the Center for Community Change’s total payroll is more than $9 million. It’s going to take 375,000 members to cover that tab! I wonder if those who join MHAction.org are aware of how their money is being used?”

What this writer doesn’t tell us, but was disclosed during said conference call, is that an undisclosed portion of MHAction’s operating costs are covered by grants, etc., from other not for profit organizations.

IV.

MHAlive! the MHIndustry & LLCommunity ‘Think Tank’ to Meet at RV/MH Hall of Fame, Morning of 7 August 2017

OK, it’s time for YOU to start thinking about whether you want to be part of this rare business experience, i.e. sharing your thoughts and concerns about issues, trends, and threats to our business models. This MHAlive! Think Tank experience is the second of three , maybe four, opportunities for YOU to Input the Manufactured Housing Industry during 2017! The first occurred last month in Chicago, IL. Next one after the RV/MH Hall of Fame (Elkhart, IN) session will be during the 26th International Networking Roundtable, 6-8 September, in Indianapolis, IN. A fourth occasion may well occur at the rapidly growing SECO Symposium in mid-October in Atlanta, GA.

Now, here’s ‘the rub’. We already have 10 interested parties committed to participating in the 7 August MHAlive! Think Tank experience. We likely will keep the session to around 20-25 participants, to ensure participation by everyone present. If YOU are serious about attending, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764, or via email: gfa7156@aol.com And, if you’re going to be in Elkhart, IN., that day, plan to remain for the RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet that evening! A record attendance is already expected (more than 700 RV & MH industry pioneers & leaders), i.e. ‘Anyone who’s anyone in the RV & MH business types will be present that evening!)

A little background. MHAlive! Think Tank isn’t the first time MHIndustry & LLCommunity aficionados have met to ID and parse issues, trends, and threats to our business models. The Urban Land Institute (’ULI’) in year 2004, under the leadership of Randy Rowe, of Hometown & Green Courte Partners fame, launched the Manufactured Housing Communities Council (’MHCC’), in some minds, a quasi (almost) Think Tank. Well, this experience continued for 11 years, until 2015, when ULI disbanded MHCC for lack of interest and active participation. In reality, however, the declining participation had as much, if not more, to do with the high cost of membership, travel, and meetings.

In any event, at this point in time, the MHAlive! Think Tank is a voluntary and no registration fee event. If there’s any charge at all, it’ll be to offset meeting room space, depending on seating requirements at the time, on 7 August, and billed to attendees later.

So, if YOU have the Best Interests of the manufactured housing industry and land lease community real estate asset class at heart, YOU should be at the RV/MH Hall of Fame all day, 7 August 2017. For more info about the Hall of Fame Banquet that evening, phone (574)293-2344. And remember this, of the ten RV/MH pioneers and leaders being inducted that evening, four of them are well known to LLCommunity folk: Michael Sullivan, CPM, of Newport Pacific in CA; Spencer Roane, MHM, of Pentagon Properties in GA; Christine Lindsey of UMH Properties in TN; and, RV guru David Gorin of VA. How can YOU not want to be present at 21565 Executive Parkway, Elkhart, IN., on 8/7/2017? Carolyn and I certainly plan to be present, not only to host MHAlive!, the Think Tank, but to fete Michael, Spencer, Christine, David, and six other honor deserving colleagues!

***

George Allen , CPM & MHM

COBA7, MHAction, TexCO & SECO – All Making MHIndustry News & History!

June 3rd, 2017

Blog # 449; Copyright @ 4 June 2017; at community-investor.com/blog

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

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

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

COBA7 Motto = ‘U Support Us & We Serve U! Goal of its’ print/online media = to
‘Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve MHBusiness model performance!
______________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION: This week’s selection of blog topics runs the dispassionate & emotional gamut of ‘Special information & nostalgia’; to ‘Un Oh, what’s going on?’; to ‘Hey, another timely resource for land lease community owners/operators!’ And by now, you’ve gotta be, or should be, asking yourself, ‘Why doesn’t anyone else in the entire manufactured housing industry share this sort of useful news with me?’ Only via this weekly blog posting, monthly Allen Letter & the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletters – all from Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, or COBA7! You affiliated with the alliance yet? If not, use attached COBA7 brochure to do so today, or phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. You’ll be Glad you Did!

I.

COBA7 Announces the ‘George Allen Legacy Series’ of Mementos & Publications

I could end my 40 year career in factory-built housing tomorrow, and be satisfied with what’s has been accomplished during those four decades. All told, there’re a dozen books published or edited; two widely-read, subscriber-supported, monthly print business newsletters; more than 25 networking roundtables; a professional property management training & certification program designating 1,000+ Manufactured Housing Managers or MHMs; nearly 30 annual ALLEN REPORTs; &, 450+ weekly blog postings at www.community-investor.com and before that, via Manufactured Home Merchandiser magazine’s website.

But there’s something more I wish to ‘leave behind’ for my fellow owners/operators of land lease communities and HUD-Code home manufacturers. I see one memento, and three special publications, comprising the ‘George Allen Legacy Series’, maybe more….

• The unique COBA7 Challenge Coin, is already in the hands of hundreds of affiliates throughout the U.S. and Canada1 If, somehow, you’re an affiliate and have not received your Challenge Coin (Its’ design, in part, is based on the Gadsden flag, a Revolutionary War symbol of ‘American independence & freedom’) , let us know via gfa7156@aol.com and we’ll send you one. I carry mine all the time, reminding me of the many friends I have in the land lease community business. You should do the same!

• Pocket Lexicon/Glossary of Manufactured Housing & Land Lease Community Terminology. This is a bound version of the Signature Series Resource Document (’SSRD’) distributed as a lagniappe in the Allen Letter professional journal for the past ten years. May well be the last such lexicon/glossary published for the MHIndustry & LLCommunity real estate asset class! All COBA7 affiliates will receive a copy with their June 2017 issue of the Allen Letter. Not yet a COBA7 affiliate? Use attached alliance brochure, or phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. No extra charge for the lexicon/glossary if you’re an Option II or III affiliate. It really is a MUST HAVE, for your corporate library, personal reference, and use.

• Something completely new! In 1991, Allan Wallis authored Wheel Estates: History of the Manufactured Housing Industry, Oxford University Press, NY. There’s been little since then; only Bruce Savage’s The First 20 Years, PMN Publishing, IN., 2013, tracing the history of (then) manufactured home communities, from the Industry Steering Committee (circa 1993), thru 1996, the birth of MHI’s National Communities Council (’NCC’), then onto 2013. Well, if all goes according to plan, there’ll be a bound sequel to the Wallis & Savage texts, distributed at the 26th annual Networking Roundtable, 6-8 September, in Indianapolis, IN. The working title? ‘History of Land Lease Communities & Manufactured Housing Shipments, 1970 thru 2017′. And yes, you’ll have to be an affiliate of COBA7, or present at the networking roundtable, to receive a copy of this rare history of our industry and realty asset class.

• 29th ALLEN REPORT, a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among Land Lease Community Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!’ Research for this seminal SSRD begins in August (2017), with publication and distribution in January 2018 as a lagniappe in the Allen Letter. Unlike recent past editions of this widely-referenced document, this one will likely enjoy a bound format. And frankly, there is an additional good reason why you NEED this document…(?)

Is there anything else in the ‘George Allen Legacy Series’? Nothing envisioned at present, as it’s going to be challenge enough to research, prepare, publish, and distribute the latter three items. Just know there’ll likely not be updates, in the future, by me..

II.

‘MHAction Conference Call’, 1 June, Presages Allen Letter Feature Story in July 2017 Issue, titled:

‘The Fruit of Voluntary & Involuntary Consolidation in Factory-built Housing Appears to be Peer (& perhaps, Homeowner/site lessee) Domination’

55 of us listened in Thursday evening, 1 June 2017, as three leaders of MHAction moderated a national conference call, to discuss what they, as homeowners/site lessees, view as ‘flagrant rent increases’ & ‘failure to maintain’ issues characteristic of a couple of the largest portfolio owners/operators of land lease communities in the U.S. An indeterminate number of participants in the call, mostly as listeners, were owners/operators of land lease communities.

Goal of the conference call, and immediately thereafter? To identify and recruit 500 LLCommunity homeowners/site lessees, to confront one of the allegedly offending portfolio owners/operators. In the short term however, conference call hosts encouraged homeowners/site lessees, when they feel victimized, to take their complaints to their state’s attorney general.

The leadership of MHAction, a national tenant activist group and part of the larger Center for Community Change, is apparently funded by grants from non-profit non-government organizations (’NGOs’), and donations from homeowners/site lessees. Their executive director, Deepak Bhargava, according to Press Release Rocket’s (an online presence) review of the non-profit’s Form 990 Report, earns $257,263/year.

It was apparent, during the 1 June national conference call, that MHAction clearly believes manufactured housing, and the land lease community lifestyle, remain the most affordable housing choice and opportunity combination in the U.S. today.

A surprise during the conference call, occurred when one of two partners, of one of the allegedly offending portfolio firms spoke up, encouraging MHAction to do more for LLCommunity residents, by helping them identify local resources to assist with rent payment, home repairs, forming Neighborhood Watch groups, and other like matters.

It was also surprising, to this observer, how naive MHAction leaders are about certain land lease communities matters. For example; one leader from Illinois suggested residents get in touch with their state’s licensure agency, usually a state board of health, about alleged abuses. Well, only about a dozen states, including Illinois, have state licensure of LLCommunities. So that’s a non-starter. And repeatedly, leaders cited two property portfolios by name, evidently not aware these are past and present names of the same company.

So, how did this one hour conference call presage next month’s feature article in the Allen Letter professional journal? One of the MHAction leaders cited ‘…15 years of consolidation of small ‘mobile home parks’ owned by developers, into large conglomerate developer companies…’ has supposedly caused much of what’s being experienced today.

An almost comical moment occurred, when one homeowner/site lessee attempted to make a positive case for living in a LLCommunity, and paying water bills based on submetering, rather than – as had been her earlier experience – living in a conventional apartment community where, via the RUBS system*1, she had to participate in paying a supposed fair share of the entire property’s water bill for the billing period. MHAction leaders struggled for an answer to that unexpected kudo toward the affordability of LLCommunity life.

Where does MHAction go from here? That remains to be seen. To learn more, however, visit info@mhaction.org

There’s a New Kid on the Block, Regional Meeting Wise!

Have you heard? TexCO 18-Huston ( a Texas Community Owners event) will occur 7 February 2017. This will be the second time around for this new regional event!
Led by Kurt D. Kelley, J.D., owner of Mobile Insurance, located in The Woodlands, TX., this venue will focus on land lease community upgrades and improvements!

For more information & to sponsor, phone (800) 458-4320 X 17

Some perspective. TexCO joins SECO (Southeast Community Owners) as one of the few regional, let alone national, events planned by and for owners/operators of land lease communities nationwide! The only other such events is upcoming 26th annual International Networking Roundtable, 6-8 September, in Indianapolis, IN. Here, visit www.community-investor .com or phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764, to register and or sponsor.

Info about SECO Symposium, 10-12 October? Genevieve@secoconfernece.com

Now here’s an interesting, albeit discouraging, factoid for us all. Notice how MHI does NOT include these land lease community events on its’ published schedule of industry meetings? Well, that’s their policy decision. (Where’s MHI’s National Communities Council division when you need them?). So, small wonder they, in turn do not get much publicity from other venues throughout the MHIndustry. One more clear example of the sad lack of unity so characteristic of the manufactured housing industry!

End Note.

1. Ratio Utility Billing System . Oft used in multifamily residential rental
properties where sub metering is impractical.

***

George Allen, CPM & MHM
Box # 47024, Indpls, IN. 46247

Two Blockbuster Articles Coming; plus, Energy & Consumer Activists

May 27th, 2017

Blog # 448; Copyright @ 28 May 2017; community-investor.com

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

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

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

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

_______________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION: ‘A Time to Honor’ & ‘A Time to Question’, are respectively, the ‘most fun’ article, and ‘most difficult’ expose’, I’ve penned in a long long time. I like honoring our mutual, but dislike being a naysayer! And if you didn’t know energy and consumer ‘activism’ is a-coming, you’d better become sensitive to both intrusions upon your business interests. Written your ‘industry-saving’ letter to Dr. Ben Carson, Secretary, HUD, yet? Here’s the correct zip code.

I.

A Time to Honor & A Time to Question

I’ve penned two articles that’ll be published in upcoming issues of the Allen Letter professional journal, likely, July and August issues. Truly believe it’s past time, in the first instance, to identify and honor pioneers and leaders in manufactured housing and land lease communities, who’ve shared their respective business experiences and Lessons Learned, in autobiographies – encouraging others and you to do likewise. In the other instance, much has been opined during past decades, about the ongoing consolidation of HUD-Code housing manufacturers (Gobbling up other manufacturers and independent – street – MHRetailers nationwide), as well as land lease communities, into conglomerates and property portfolios respectively. But little has been written about the consequences thereof.

Manufactured Housing & Community Pioneers is the title of the first (two part) article; subtitled, ‘So Far, Sorry to Say, It’s been a Man’s World!’ In Part I, we identify seven autobiographies, in and out of print, beginning with Kristian Jensen, Sr. an immigrants tale of success, in his A Danish American. The article works its’ way thru the late John Crean of Fleetwood Enterprise fame, to contemporary industry personality Jim Clayton; then, onto the Cohron twins (Harrell & Darrell) in Indianapolis, Mike Conlon in North Carolina; the late George Goldman, and finally, Alvan L. Schrader – the author and LLCommunity owner/operator feted at the 25th Networking Roundtable in Nashville, TN., last Fall.

In Part II of Manufactured Housing & Community Pioneers, we describe a five step process pursuant to writing and self-publishing one’s autobiography. The suggested procedure is to pen and hone many memoirs (’short stories from one’s life experiences), to be later collected, printed and bound as a book length story. And while not explicit about this in the blog, know that if or when you need advice and publishing assistance in the future, can reach out to PMN Publishing – the only manufactured housing and land lease community publishing company, via Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

Now, A Time to Question? The title and subtitle are likely the longest in recent manufactured housing history, but together they drill down to the very core of the op/ed story finally told. Here goes: The Fruit of Voluntary & Involuntary Consolidation in Factory-built Housing Appears to be Peer Domination. And the subtitle? ‘How Pappy Peacebucks (a fabricated name) & His Big Business Power Brokers & Cronies Dominate Factory-built Housing; Its’ Personal Property Housing Finance Market; &, the Industry’s Unique, Income-producing Property Type’ (a parody of sorts)

The articles are already penned, awaiting placement in the Allen Letter professional journal. You do not want to miss either one! In the first instance, it’s my way of honoring four longtime friends ‘in the MH & RV businesses’; being inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame, in Elkhart, IN., on 7 August 2017, just two months away. Hope you’ll join me there, as we honor Michael Sullivan, CPM; Spencer Roane, MHM; Christine Lindsey, MHM; and RV guru David Gorin. Plus, there’ll be six additional inductees, in this Class of 2017, from the RV & MH industries. For more information and to register, phone (574) 293-2344. Expect to dine and celebrate with between 400 & 700 of ‘the finest’ from the manufactured housing and recreational vehicle industries.

To receive 12 issues of the Allen Letter professional journal, affiliate with the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, or COBA7 for $134.95/year, or $544.95/year – to receive the annual ALLEN REPORT, annual National Registry of ALL Lenders, and ten more Signature Series Resource Documents or SSRDs. How to do so? Phone (317) 346-7156.

II.

Energy Conservation Activism Coming…

Here’s what a manufactured housing colleague in California wrote to me recently, describing a new wrinkle in buying resale homes in that state:

“I bought an old single section ‘mobile home’, in one of our land lease communities, from a local real estate agent. Turns out, here in California, there’s a new (?) disclosure form, designed to quantify the cost to operate said home (i.e. energy efficiency) – urging homebuyer to be aware, and possibly beware. Then comes the HOME ENRGY RATING SCORE (’HERS’) index, ostensibly designed to not only ’score’ the home, but suggest cost-effective improvements thereto. And there at the end, is a disclosure form to be signed by the homebuyer a
and home seller.” (Paraphrased. GFA)

An interesting feature of the Home Energy Rating Book are these pithy quotes:

• Whether you are buying or selling a residential property, or staying in your current home, every Californian should know his or her home energy rating.

• You wouldn’t buy a new car without knowing its’ ‘miles per gallon’ rating. So, why buy a home without a ‘home energy rating?’

• A $100 per month reduction in your utility bills frees up enough cash to pay for a $17,000 increase in your mortgage (Assuming six percent interest over 30 years).

• After your mortgage payment, your energy bill is often the second largest monthly home ownership expense.

So, thought you’d like to see what may be making its’ way East during the months and year ahead. After all, told you here earlier, of strict energy conservation standards already arriving in New England this year.

III.

Consumer Activism Is Here!

For years, even decades now, we’ve talked and written, using letters to represent and abbreviate ‘manufactured housing’ lingo. For example: MHousing, MHCommunity, MHImprovement Act of 2000, MHIndustry, MHAlive! (Think Tank), MHicki & MHarrio (Poetic license nicknames for MHI & MHARR), MHBusiness, and on and on.

Well, there’s a new MH contraction on the scene: MHAction; short for Manufactured Housing Action. This is a loose collection of homeowner/site lessees living in land lease communities nationwide. In this instance, MHAction calls on their peers to “Join MHAction Community Leaders in a nationwide discussion, on June 1st, regarding one of the largest LLCommunity portfolio owner/operators, …” relative to ‘rapidly escalating lot-rents’ and community maintenance issues. For more details, email: info@mhaction.org

Point? All of a sudden, it appears we, as an industry and realty asset class, are fighting increased government $ regs and new landlord tenant legislation, e.g. rent control, in several states. And now this, a call to action nationally. Not the best ways for us to improve our industry/asset class’ image on the local and national scene. Perhaps the time has come for MHI’s National Communities Council (’NCC’) division to openly address this serious matter (At their Washington, DC., meeting in June? Don’t count on it, as this is simply a fly-in to visit federal legislators). And COBA7? Sure. Plans are already plans afoot to address ‘industry image & national advertising campaign’ at MHAlive! (Think Tank) meeting, 9-11AM on 7 August, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN., and at the 26th Networking Roundtable, 6-8 September, in Indianapolis, IN. For info on both these events and to register, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

IV.

Oops! Got the Zip Code Wrong!

When writing your letter to Dr. Ben Carson, Secretary, HUD, in Washington, DC., be sure to use the correct zip code, that being 20410. Did you get that? It’s 20410 And if you haven’t yet written, please do so NOW. Several COBA7 ‘blog floggers’ (readers) have already sent me copies of letters they’ve penned and mailed to Dr. Carson.

Sorry ’bout the postal zip code error. GFA

***

George Allen, CPM & MHM
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

May 20th, 2017

Blog # 447; Copyright @ 21 May 2017; community-investor.com

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

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

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

COBA7 Motto: ‘U Support US & We Serve U!’ Goal of its’ print/online media = to
‘Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve MHBusiness model performance!

______________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION: Wow! All sorts of developments breaking loose in the MHIndustry:
a ’seller finance fly-in’ to Washington DC this Summer; ID of opportunities to make your views known on MH ‘issues & matters’; Clayton Bank merges with FirstBank; and, letter writing campaign to Dr. Ben Carson, Secretary of HUD, continues. Read on….

I.

Something Exciting On MH $ Agenda!

Willing to Fly into Washington, DC., on 18 & 19 July, to Lobby for Manufactured Housing Seller Finance Legislation?

YES!

Details forthcoming here, as well as in the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter, and the Allen Letter professional journal – all COBA7 print and online media publications! If you’re not yet an affiliate of COBA7, do so today, using brochure attached to this blog, or phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. What’s affiliation cost? Your choice; only $134.95/year for 12 monthly issues of the Allen Letter; $544.95/ year if you want to receive, in addition to the newsletter, the annual ALLEN REPORT, National Registry of ALL Lenders, and ten additional Signature Series Resource Documents.

Back to this Summer’s fly-in to Washington, DC. Actually, we’ve told you about the Seller Finance Coalition before, as COBA7 is, in our behalf as LLCommunity owners/operators, dues-paying member. How ’bout MHARR & MHI? In my opinion, they should be, but you’ll have to ask them yourself.

Anyway, for more information, continue to read this weekly blog at community-investor.com, or reach out directly to krepass@sellerfinancecoaliton.org
In any event, the 18 & 19 July fly-in is on my calendar as a Must Participate Opportunity, to promote federal legislation designed to make on-site, contract financing of new HUD-Code homes in land lease communities, easier than it is today. If you agree seller-financing of new HUDCode homes on-site, continues to be ‘a major challenge’ to the manufactured housing industry and our realty asset class – Plan Now to Attend!

II.

‘MHIndustry Issues & Matters Input Day’ = Success!

The Illinois Manufactured Housing Association (’IMHA’) annual meeting was a success in several ways:

• Full day of intense ‘new home sales’ training by freelance consultant Ken Corbin
• Training in new manufactured housing installation, by Frank Bowman, MHM
• An afternoon of strategic planning (preparation) for the IMHA organization
• Fair Housing ‘like you’ve never heard it before’, & informative national legislative update; both by Rick Robinson, esquire, VP @ MHI.
• ‘State of the Manufactured Housing Industry & Land Lease Community real estate asset class’, by George Allen, CPM & MHM

A highlight of the day, as suggested by the above title, was the opportunity to identify and submit personal views on ‘issues & matters’ relative to the MHIndustry & LLCommunities. This input will be melded with like contributions from Think Tank & Networking Roundtable opportunities occurring during the next six months – then published en masse, in all print and online MH trade publications! It’s about time….

Next input opportunity? At MHAlive!, the informal Think Tank occurring, the morning (9-11AM) of 7 August, at RV/MH Hall of Fame,in the board room at that museum/library facility! For information about MHAlive! session, phone (317) 346-7156. To register for the RV/MH Hall of Fame induction banquet, later the same day, phone (574) 293-2344. Remember, three of this year’s inductees come directly from the LLCommunity segment of the MHIndustry; being: Michael Sullivan, CPM; Spencer Roane, MHM, & Christine Lindsey, MHM. How can you not want to be present to honor and fete these longtime leaders in our realty asset class? I certainly plan to attend. See you there!

And the next input opportunity? A month later, on 7 September, during the first morning session of the 26th Networking Roundtable, in Indianapolis, IN. For an information brochure and or to register, again, phone (317) 346-7156. Attendance, this year, limited to 200, so don’t be left out by registering late.

III.

Clayton Bank Merges with FirstBank

Here’s the way the Press Release reads: ‘Clayton Bank & American City Bank Announce Merger with FirstBank, a fully-owned subsidiary of FB Financial Corporation – the third largest TN-headquartered bank, with 45 full-service branches in TN, AL, & GA.

Where does this merger leave Jim Clayton? According to the Press Release, he’s ‘committed to the merger, functioning as chairman of East Tennessee & Clayton Specialty Finance.’ How ’bout Kevin Kimsey?

IV.

Have YOU Written to Dr. Ben Carson, Secretary of HUD yet?

In last week’s blog posting, COBA7 encouraged all manufactured housing professionals and land lease community owners/operators, to pen a letter to Dr. Ben Carson, Secretary of HUD, describing “…how we need ‘relief from onerous installation regulations”, on one hand (including dissolution of the unneeded Dispute Resolution program); and, for HUD – for the first time in ‘40 years of industry oversight’, to publicly and enthusiastically promote manufactured housing as this nation’s best quality and form of affordable housing!”

Have you done so yet? If not, here’s the address to use:

The Honorable Dr. Ben Carson, Secretary
U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development
Suite # 10000
451 Seventh St., SW
Washington, DC. 201410

Need additional motivation to do what you should want to do? Know that both national advocates of manufactured housing, MHARR & MHI, met recently with senior staff at HUD, with the express purpose of identifying present day regulations that should be sunset ASAP – and to make recommendations to HUD, going forward.

Hey, no one can force you to do this. However, if you have ’skin in the game’ (i.e. business ownership) of manufactured housing and or land lease communities, and you value your Free Enterprise future, present and future, you should want to be proactive for a change, and not passively reactive! If you’re the latter, you’ll have only yourself to blame if matters don’t improve markedly at HUD during the next six months.

Me? I’ve penned and mailed three such letters since the first of the year! Recommend you send yours by Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested. Sure, it’s more expensive than simple First Class, but an almost guarantee the letter will get to where you want it to go!

***

MHIndustry Letter Writing Campaign to HUD, & on 5/17 Express Your Views!

May 11th, 2017

Blog # 446; Copyright @ 14 May 2017; community-investor.com

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

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION: Do you, as a businessman or woman, care enough about the over-regulatory nature of what’s going on at HUD these days, relative to land lease communities and installation of new manufactured homes within – and the dire need for change? If so, read and answer the challenge presented in Part I following. And, if you can be in Chicago on 17 May, to share your views on various MH issues & matters, please do so! No one else is providing this sort of bully pulpit for the grassroots folk of the MHIndustry & LLCommunity asset class. Time to stand and be counted!

I.

Want to do Something Important NOW, for the Manufactured Housing Industry?

WE have a Unique & Timely Opportunity to do Something Much-Needed by Our Industry & Land Lease Community Asset Class
&
You Don’t Have to be a Member of MHARR or MHI,
even an affiliate of COBA7 to Participate!

With the change in administrations in Washington, DC, the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry, and its’ sister segment, the land lease community real estate asset class, must stand together and tell Dr. Ben Carson, Secretary, of the Housing & Urban Development federal agency, how we need ‘relief from onerous installation regulations’, on one hand (including dissolution of the unneeded Dispute Resolution program); and, for HUD – for the first time in its’ 40 years of industry oversight, to finally’ publicly promote manufactured housing, as this nation’s best quality and form of affordable housing’!

I’ve already penned two such letters to that effect, via COBA7, since the first of this year. Know one thing I’ve learned? If/when you mail your letter by Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, you will receive a reply!` Oh, it might well be vanilla correspondence, but you know someone had to sign for it, likely read it, and directed someone to pen a reply. And when enough such letters, from manufactured housing industry & land lease community owners/operators land on HUD’s doorstep, we stand a much better opportunity of having our dual case heard by Dr. Ben Carson..

Are you willing to draft and mail such a letter to Dr. Ben Carson, Secretary of HUD? Well, if so – and I surely hope so, here’s the appropriate address:

The Honorable Dr. Ben Carson, Secretary
U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development
Suite # 10000
451 Seventh St., SW
Washington, DC. 201410

And I’m not suggesting a form letter here, from MHARR, MHI, COBA7 or anyone else. Your considered opinion will likely carry more weight than if you simply copied what someone else suggested you pen.

In my opinion, the two cases you should make in your letter are these:

• We, at present, are an over-regulated industry, when it comes to new home installation standards and an all but useless Dispute Resolution program at HUD. Who better to decide how to best site and install their affordable housing product, than the manufacturer who fabricated it, in accords with the HUD-Code, then shipped it to its final destination?

• Manufactured housing is the best quality and form of truly affordable housing available anywhere in the U.S. today! Our per square foot housing product cost is less than half that of site–built residential construction (not considering the value of underlying real estate). HUD well knows this truism! Now is time for the department to promote this type factory-built housing to prospective homebuyers and homowners/site lessees nationwide!

Can you do this? More important, ‘Will you do what needs to be done NOW? I hope so.

This is one time when it does not matter whether you are a member of MHARR or MHI, even an affiliate of COBA7. Though you should ask yourself: ‘Why aren’t manufactured housing’s national advocates encouraging and participating in this unique and timely letter writing campaign?’ What matters is, you are a businessman or woman actively involved producing, shipping, siting, and managing the most affordable type housing in the U.S. today, and that WE petition HUD to address the Action Areas cited in the previous paragraphs. Don’t wait to do so!

To discuss this matter further, reach me via (3170 346-7156 or gfa7156@aol.com.

II.

Here’s First Public Opportunity to
State Your MH Views & Opinions!

It’s this simple; be at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Rosemont, IL., on 17 May 2017, during the lunch hour!

At that time, I’ll share the only ‘State of the Manufactured Housing Industry & Land Lease Community Asset Class’ briefing available from anyone, anywhere, nationwide. (Everyone else covers only MH matters, etc.)

Then we’ll open the floor for public sharing of manufactured housing & land lease community-related views & opinions from the audience.

To register to attend, contact Frank Bowman via www.IMHA.org & (217)528-3423

FYI. There’re tentative plans in place to do something similarly on 7 August in Elkhart, IN., at the RV/MH Hall of Fame (9-11AM in the board room), & on 7 September at the 26th annual Networking Roundtable, in Indianapolis, IN. Is anyone else offering such opportunities? NO!

***

‘Net Zero Energy Usage’ & Responses to last week’s FINAL WARNING!

May 6th, 2017

Blog # 445; Copyright @ 7 May 2017; community-investor.com

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

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION: At the same time, the manufactured housing industry & land lease community asset class forges ahead with ‘net zero energy usage’ HUD-Code homes in communities; it falters badly, as ‘lack of chattel $, onerous federal regs, & consolidations / power grabs’ diminish the autonomy of manufacturers and LLCommunity owners alike.

Remembering Curt Hames & Mac McClanahan….friends recently departed…

1.

They’re Coming; They’re Coming!
What?
‘Net Zero Energy Usage’ New Homes!

This from a Press Release, distributed by the Modular Home Builders Association, headquartered in Charlottesville, VA. MHBA is one of four regional/national trade entities ‘claiming to represent’ modular type factory-built housing:

‘Massachusetts Governor Announces ‘Zero Energy Modular Affordable Housing Initiative’ designed to provide “low and moderate income Massachusetts residents access to cost-saving, clean and efficient energy technologies.” Furthermore, recommendations include the Zero-Energy Modular Affordable Housing Initiative (include) “the energy performance of manufactured housing in the Commonwealth through the replacement of existing manufactured homes, with new modular zero energy housing.”

Frankly, this should come as little to no surprise to alert and informed manufactured housing professionals, and land lease community owners/operators, who seeking to improve housing product performance and the community lifestyle of homeowners/site lessees from coast-to-coast.

FYI. Steven Lefler of Modular Lifestyles, a division of the Newport Pacific Capital companies, in Irvine, California, has led this transition to ‘net zero energy usage’ in manufactured housing for the past decade; and the parent firm routinely replaces worn out ‘;mobile homes’ homes in the LLCommunities they fee-manage, with just this sort of contemporary affordable housing manufactured housing. Reach Steve Lefler via steve@modularlifestyles.com

II.

Responses to Last Week’s ‘Final Warning!’

Our previous blog posting (#444) warned how ‘Land Lease Community Owners (are) Losing Autonomy (i.e. ’self-government, independence’) as Businessmen & women’, due to:
1. lack of reasonable access to chattel capital to seller-finance on-site manufactured housing transactions

2. increase in onerous financial regulations at state and federal levels

3. unnecessary replacement of perfectly good concrete runners and piers with new, expensive ‘below the frost line’ concrete foundations for new HUD-Code housing installations in LLCommunities

4. (added after the fact) continued consolidation of LLCommunities into one or another of 500+/- property portfolios in the U.S. today; &, the unfortunate ongoing power grab by a few mega-firms, at highest level of national advocacy.

Well, we sure did receive replies; 100% in support of the above tripartite (now four part) case demonstrating declining autonomy for LLCommunity owners – and by extension, smaller regional manufacturers of HUD-Code manufactured homes.

Here’re two examples of replies received to date:

“Once again our industry is ‘asleep at the switch’. The Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 was supposed to impose more strict installation standards AND provide chattel financing. Now, with HUD-s enforcement of those standards and minimal support of the manufactured housing, we’re getting all the bad with none of the good.” (’Asleep at the switch’ refers to a national advocate entity missing the emergence of the S.A.F.E. Act a few years ago)

&

“________________(you fill in the blank; hint = a national MH advocacy entity) provides little more than lip service to representation of small and mid-sized community owners, despite being funded by floor dues paid on most manufactured homes purchased by those communities. The organization is a reflection of bloat created in our industry, in years past, far exceeding the functions of a lobbyist, with its’ educational programs, shipment data manipulation, expensive meetings, and levels of bureaucracy. Yet _____________ (another national MH advocacy entity) operates much more efficiently and effectively, but unfortunately, only directly represents the interests of smaller MH manufacturers. COBA7 representation of small and mid-sized communities, at the national level, can’t come soon enough!”

Not too late for YOU to weigh in with your views on this ‘losing autonomy’ topic.

And remember, an MHAlive ‘think tank’ session is being planned for the morning of 7 August 2017, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN., where these types of industry killing, asset class tribulations, and national advocacy shenanigans, can be brought out into the open and discussed among one’s Free Enterprise peers! To get onto the ‘invite’ list, phone the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 or grfa7156@aol.com

III.

MHIndustry & LLCommunities Lose a Pioneer!

Curt Hames, land lease communities owner/operator and independent (street) MHRetailer, for decades in Iowa, and Class of 2001 RV/MH Hall of Fame Inductee , died this past week.

I’m, unfortunately, short on details, as I was out of commission all week. As I learn more, I’ll let you know.

But we’ll certainly be adding his name to the In Memoriam column in the June issue of the Allen Letter professional journal; just as we did Mac McClanahan in the May issue. In two weeks our industry/asset class, in the Midwest, has lost two of its’ most honorable and beloved businessmen.

***

FINAL WARNING! To land lease community owners!

April 29th, 2017

Blog # 444; Copyright @ 30 April 2017; community-investor.com

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

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

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

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

Final Warning!

Land Lease Community Owners Losing Autonomy
(i.e. ’self-government, independence’) as Businessmen & Women!

Here again is COBA7’s explicit Goal for our industry and realty asset class; to,

‘Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve the manufactured housing business’ model performance in general, & that of land lease communities in particular!’

To this end, and since no one else except MHARR is sounding the ‘losing autonomy’ alarm; here’s our FINAL WARNING for you! But first, some background history…

You likely already know what happened at the turn of this century. As an industry, we (deservedly) lost our ‘easy access to chattel capital’ for new HUD-Code homes sold and sited within (then) manufactured home communities. To date, even ‘reasonable access to chattel capital’ continues to elude us. Shortly after the dawn of this century, we suffered the S.A.F.E. Act, when our national advocate(s) did not see this first wave of state, then federal financing regulations, coming, to negatively impact our traditional business model:

Supplying truly affordable, quality housing to citizens least capable of buying housing of almost any sort!

S.A.F.E. was followed by onerous $ regs from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (’CFPB’). And such, the first step in the ‘lost autonomy’ die was cast.

Well, what you probably don’t realize, is this: Thanks to now near universal enforcement of installation regs dating back to year 2007, but lying dormant until present administrator of HUD’s manufactured housing program came aboard, moving them – along with Dispute Resolution, forward – we’re faced with forced levies of $5,000+/- per retrofitted rental homesite, when installing a new HUD-Code home on them!

What will this mean to your business plan, your business model? Hmm. Let’s say you’re going to site two dozen new HUD-Code homes during the balance of 2017. Well, that could require a minimum outlay of $120,000.00 in (unexpected & unbudgeted) capital expenditures for you, and ultimately, your homebuyer/site lessee customers! Are you ready for this expensive addition to your business model? Are your homebuyer/site lessee customers willing and able to pay a minimum of $5,000.00 more for their new home?

Yes, this present and emerging manufactured housing business environment is every bit that bad for land lease communities too; i.e. again, 1) lack of reasonable access to chattel capital to seller-finance on-site housing transactions; 2) increase in onerous financial regulations at state and federal levels; and now, 3) unnecessary replacement of perfectly good concrete runners and piers with expensive new ‘below the frost line’ concrete foundations for new HUD-Code housing installations in LLCommunities.

Some suggest there’s a fourth (4) ‘losing autonomy’ factor afoot – a conspiracy no less, to force all regs, along with major business decisions, re policy & procedures, back ‘inside the Washington beltway’, to benefit regulators and largest of home manufacturers and property portfolios. But that’s an expose’ for a subsequent blog posting at this website.

I fear less for the largest property portfolio firms, given their significant inherent economies of scale, resulting in super low operating expense ratios and mega profits. It’s the smaller portfolio folk, and owners of small to mid-sized land lease communities, I fear for most today. How so? Not only do they, the smaller owners/operators, now incur – for the first time in their careers, risks involved in buying and servicing new HUD-Code homes on-site (i.e. Since there are 10,000+/- fewer independent – street – MHRetailers filling vacant rental homesites today, than in year 2000); and they must oft supply seller-financing under the oversight and pressure of aforesaid onerous state and federal financial regulations. And now, going forward, will be wasting valuable, scarce capital upgrading rental homesites, that frankly, don’t need upgrading (i.e. Properly graded and drained sites, along with well-installed perimeter skirting, prohibits freezing under homes!).

A pre-WARNING question.! Just WHO, today, is representing land lease community owners on the national level, to 1) regain reasonable access to chattel capital; 2) reduce the burden of financial regulation on the only type affordable housing serving low to middle income citizens; and, 3) demand a roll back of the wholly-unneeded foundation retrofit requirement, and/or obtaining blanket approval of Frost Free Foundation methodology, when so-approved by HUD-Code manufacturers? Answers? MHARR vigorously holds forth on all three fronts; MHI touts # 1 & 2, but is generally and inexplicably silent on # 3; and, COBA7 is not yet in position (i.e. domiciled in Washington, DC.) to wield much influence or pressure to these ends – except in commentaries like this.

There is a possible dark horse in this race back to PROSPERITY (i.e. measured in new HUD-Code housing shipments) or frankly, OBLIVION (i.e. given a serious reduction in the number of new housing shipments, due to reasons # 1, 2,& 3 cited above). And that ‘horse’ could well be HUD, the federal agency tasked with manufactured housing oversight, if, for the first time since 1976, the department overtly markets and effectively promots manufactured housing as this nation’s most affordable type shelter – to citizens unable to afford $250,000.00 site-built behemoth homes.

Is anyone at HUD listening? Does anyone at HUD care? If so, NOW is the time to HELP! And begin, by backing off the apparent ‘power grab’ to end state control of all new home installations, then address the matters described in previous paragraphs.

The consequential WARNING! If not one, but all three ‘business model changers’ are not sunset or ameliorated in the near future, expect to see fewer new HUD-Code homes shipped into land lease communities, hence fewer new HUD-Code home shipments! After all, we shipped only 81,136 new homes in 2016; up yes, from 48,789 during the industry’s nadir year 2009 – but way way below that short-lived renascence of 1998, when 372,843 new HUD-Code homes rolled down the highway! And don’t forget, there’s an estimated 250,000 vacant rental homesites to fill throughout the U.S. Neither manufactured housing, or its’ land lease communities subset, can afford yet another body blow, like the three or more we’ve suffered since the turn of this century. And frankly, HUD’s new and historic public and ongoing endorsement of its’ regulated housing type, as preferred affordable housing, would go a long long way facilitating manufactured housing’s eventual recovery.

SO, who will stand in behalf of manufactured housing and land lease communities, to protect this most affordable housing type available today for the U.S. citizenry? Manufactured housing political interests are well represented by two national advocates, even in their disunity. But land lease communities have little to no national representation. (Not everyone will agree with the latter statement, but it is true). The leadership vacuum is upon us! Who will lead to restore our autonomy as businessmen and women in the manufactured housing industry and throughout the land lease community real estate asset class?

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We welcome your response to this blog posting, and ideas for restoring autonomy, via Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 or gfa7156@aol.com

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George Allen, CPM & MHM c/o COBA7, Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247

Make Your Views Known! (&) Juxtaposition of MHARR/MHI Priorities!

April 21st, 2017

Blog # 443; Copyright @ 23 April 2017; community-investor.com

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

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

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

COBA7 Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U! Goal of it’s print/online media = to
‘Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve MHBusiness model performance!’
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INTRODUCTION: Some will view the following blog message as akin to spitting into the wind, pissing up a rope, or standing on Superman’s cape. Maybe. But how else will we, the grassroots businessmen and women who comprise the greater manufactured housing industry & land lease community asset class, make our views known and get them acted upon? If you have workable ideas, please tell me via gfa7156@aol.com
Ready? Let’s go….

I.

You’ve Asked For It; Now It’s Happening!

WHAT?

Opportunities to Express Your Views Regarding Manufactured Housing Issues

I knew this was an area of considerable pent-up demand throughout the manufactured housing industry and land lease community real estate asset class, but had no idea how timely, volatile, and far reaching this matter is.

TIMELY, because until the national election of a new administration this past November, the MHIndustry & LLCommunity owners/operators had endured, and continue to face, an onslaught of new regulatory measures relative to HUD-Code home fabrication and installation, as well as difficulty sourcing chattel capital needed to finance new home sales transactions on-site.

VOLATILE, because Free Enterprise businessmen and women, particularly of the smaller variety, have too oft been left out of ‘communication & policy-making circles’ of at least one national advocacy entity – thus, they’re tired of being victims of trade association benign neglect, and focus of regulatory agencies in Washington, DC..

FAR-REACHING, in that pent-up demand for opportunities to express views regarding manufactured housing issues, extends coast-to-coast throughout the industry and realty asset class! How do I know this? During the past two months, I’ve visited and or talked with frustrated Free Enterprise businessmen and women, even a few like-minded state association executives, in PA & NY; New England; FL & GA; the Midwest; and AZ & CA. They, for the most part, are fed up with the status quo, and want to address regional and national forums where their views can be expressed publicly.

Already, four such opportunities are scheduled during the remainder of year 2017. Why not pick one or more of the following venues to attend, to make your views regarding manufactured housing issues known – for passage onto our national advocates, and others, who influence the present and future of our industry and realty asset class.

• Annual Conference of the Illinois Manufactured Housing Association (’IMHA’), 17 May, at the Rosemont Hilton/Chicago O’Hare in Rosemont, IL. Here, a ‘State of the Manufactured Housing Industry & Land Lease Community Asset Class’ presentation will be followed by an hour long Open Discussion of Manufactured Housing Issues! To register, phone Frank Bowman via (217) 528-3423 or visit www.imha.org Trust me; you don’t want to miss this unique and historic opportunity to Make Your Views Known to MHIndustry Leaders & Trade Press!

• MHAlive! There’ll likely be a ‘think tank’ session, from 9-11AM on 7 August, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN. The board room is already reserved for this seminal event – and we can move into the amphitheater or library if need be. For info, phone (317) 346-7156 or gfa7156@aol.com. And plan to attend the Hall of Fame Induction Banquet that eve, phone (574) 293-2344 for tickets. As I’ve told you before, Mike Sullivan, CPM; Spencer Roane, MHM; Christine Lindsey, MHM; and, David Gorin, of RV fame are among the ten to be feted at this event.

• 26th Networking Roundtable, this year, introduces the ‘first ever’ National Manufactured Housing Input Day! This occurs 7 September, during this 6-8 September event in Indianapolis, IN = birthplace of manufactured housing! The plan is to build upon discussion items gleaned from the previous two venues, to prepare an MHIndustry & LLCommunity issues agenda for year 2018! So, don’t miss this opportunity to input! For an invitation to participate, gfa7156@aol.com

• SECO Summit in the South, 11&12 October, at the Marietta Hilton Hotel & Conference Center in Marietta, GA. This is the fastest growing regional MH trade show in the U.S.- exhibiting new Community Series Homes! While not yet on the formal agenda, there’ll be opportunities for you to express your views, positive & negative, about the industry & asset class – along with their issues. Contact? genevieve@SECOConference.com

Yes, I realize this is heavy-duty East coast and Midwest venue scheduling. However; if your state MHAssociation is planning a major gathering of members during 2017, consider adding an opportunity for manufacturers and community owners/operators to express their views on manufactured housing industry issues. And if you need an impartial moderator to stimulate conversation, and take your members’ message (i.e. views) to our national advocates, let me know via gfa7156@aol.com

As a related aside. Observe how the three final bulleted venues are not listed on the quasi-official meetings schedule posted by one national advocacy entities. Ask ‘Why?’

And by now, you should be asking yourself. ‘Why are there no opportunities for this sort, for sharing important and timely manufactured housing issue(s) at the MHCongress in Las Vegas, NCC leadership forums, and periodic meetings of national advocacy entities?

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Postscript to Part I & Introduction to Part II

Read this carefully & thoughtfully. All you’re about to read in Part II following, in the first instance, was in my opinion, crafted in an (association) vacuum, with little to no input from direct, dues-paying members; and in the second instance, only with input from small regional HUD-Code housing manufacturers. That’s what Part I seeks to address and correct during the months ahead. What? 1) Identify industry and asset class issues of concern to grassroots businesses, large and small, throughout the U.S! Then, 2) Offer said input to MHARR, MHI, & COBA7 for consideration and possible action. And finally, 3) If ignored, publicize these issues in the print and online trade press for all to see and read.

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II.

WOW!

Here’s a Heady Juxtaposition of Contemporary MHIndustry Issues, Side by Side, Both Published the very same day!

Let’s begin with the HOUSING ALERT, dated April 19, 2017, from the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI’). Here’s the solitary headline:

“Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act Included in Financial CHOICE Act”

Now, that’s good news to everyone in manufactured housing and those owning/operating land lease communities, re: MHI’s’ “…reform legislation (that) provides regulatory relief for main street and community financial institutions.” For additional information on this timely and important legislation, contact MHI’s Senior VP of Government Affairs & Chief Lobbyist, Dr. Lesli Gooch, at (703) 229-6208 or lgooch@mfghome.org

&

Then there’s this REPORT AND ANALYSIS, dated the same day, April 19, 2017, from the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Affairs (’MHARR’). Their headline reads:

EXCLUSIVE REPORT & ANALYSIS, listing no fewer than seven bullet points:

• HUD Defies President Trump’s Regulatory Reforms. (Time after time after time)

• Latest HUD Meeting shows need for (MH) program shake-up (Starting at the top)

• De Facto Regulations dodge regulatory reforms/2000 Law (Dr. B. Carson: Help!)

• Industry must resist HUD Installation power-grab. (Stakes? State/federal control)

• Strict Oversight of HUD Program Budget Must Continue. (Factories/contractors)

• DOE Manufactured Housing Energy Rule Takes Another Hit (Flaws cripple rule)

• MHARR Response Highlights Urgent Need for Securitized Chattel. (FHFA to ensure secondary market for seasoned loan securitization is mandatory for GSEs)

Now, all that too, is good news to everyone in manufactured housing, and owning or operating land lease communities. But MHARR’s continuing, strenuous efforts to secure regulatory relief for the industry and asset class must be occurring in a near vacuum as well, since one rarely reads or hears of parallel or similar efforts by any other national advocate for manufactured housing and land lease communities! For additional information on these seven matters, contact Mark Weiss, esquire, at MHARR via (202) 783-4087.

All this begs several pithy, and certainly timely, questions:

Why can’t these two national advocates for manufactured housing ‘get their act together’, in our (businessmen & women nationwide) behalf, and present a united and powerful lobbying presence to legislators in our nation’s capitol? (’Ah, the perennial – and heretofore ignored and unresolved manufactured housing industry conundrum!’)

Where’s COBA7 in this mix? It’s now well established, the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Associates, is the sole provider of valuable research, resources, print & online publications, networking & deal-making opportunities, and professional property management training & certification for land lease community owners/operators nationwide – but is not yet their lobbying arm, leaving that to MHI’s NCC division. LLCommunity members, of any advocacy entity, should be asking: ‘What tangible products & services am I receiving from this trade group, or am I just paying for lobbying?’

MHARR frequently calls for the formation of a new national advocate for post-production segments of the manufactured housing industry and land lease community asset class. Might this be an unnecessary addition to national advocacy, if/when said segments actively and effectively share in the ongoing leadership of existing national trade entities? Do you see either alternative happening anytime soon? (’Neither do I!’)

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