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?

***

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

***

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!’
______________________________________________________________________

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?

***

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.

***

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!’)

***

Stop Erroneous Shipment #s Reporting! (&) Civil Revenge Responses!

April 15th, 2017

Blog # 442; Copyright @ 16 April 2017; commuity-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. Part I. As an industry, why do we continue to ’shoot ourselves in the foot’ by reporting conflicting data about the very same important subject: monthly HUD-Code manufactured housing shipments!? Part II. Civil revenge, ‘deep state’ machinations, & lack of assistant secretary appointments at HUD affecting manufactured housing? Yes! Part III. 26th Networking Roundtable planning now well underway. Same educational & networking format but new twists, topics, and an MHM class, for starters! Part IV. A model offering of seminar topics for state MHAssociation execs & board chairpersons.

I.

Let’s Be Very Clear About This!

The official total number of new HUD-Code manufactured homes shipped from factories, during February 2017, according to HUD’s contractor ‘for keeping statistical score’, the Institute for Building Technology & Safety (’IBTS’) was 7,312 units, NOT the 7,318 reported elsewhere. To underscore this reality, know HUD, MHARR, & COBA7 concur with the 7,312 unit total!

As a means of achieving manufactured housing industry unity, ‘getting everyone onto the same #s page’, when it comes to reporting new HUD-Code homes shipped monthly, should be a no-brainer, but it hasn’t happened to date. If YOU have influence where it matters, in this regard, do your part to bring everyone onto the same page when it comes to reporting this monthly total of units shipped. Otherwise we continue to not only appear to be, but are, a major industry divided!

II.

‘Civil Revenge & Manufactured Housing – a WARNING!’
prompted immediate positive, supportive responses.

This first response occurred while we were still sending BEBAs (’Blast Email Blog Alerts’) to 1,000+/- recipients.

“You did your job – and you warned them, George! that’s excellent…Now…any bets on how many, if any, will heed the warning, and get off their ass, and on their feet, and out of the grass, and into the (political) heat?”

Then this, from yet another manufactured housing aficionado:

“I enjoyed your civil discourse comments George, and diligence is needed always. MHI’s future continues to amaze me, since (in this responder’s opinion) they represent HUD better than the industry, and while I prefer ‘no national code’, either way our (national advocacy) groups should rep US.”

And, there’s more to this matter than earlier reported.

First off; turns out it’s difficult to rid the U.S. government of ‘deep state’ political appointees left over from the previous administration, until new assistant secretaries (e.g. at HUD) can be appointed, approved, and active. Maybe by August, if not much sooner.

In the meantime, pressure your national (manufactured housing) advocacy entity of choice (.e.g. MHARR &/or MHI) to unify their respective lobbying efforts, and liaise with Secretary Dr. Ben Carson, to refocus policies and agenda at HUD – backing off suffocating installation regulations, and openly promoting non-subsidized HUD-Code housing, as the only real answer to the U.S. affordable housing crisis!

Finally, do your part, to bring Democrat civil revenge activities to an end! Enough is enough. We do not need a shadow government in Washington, nor do we need two presidents leading this nation, nor do we need ‘deep state’ foot-dragging and anti-Trump machinations slowing down the restoration of American culture, military power, and more. In my opinion, the longer these, and similar negative measures continue, the more political ground the Democrat Party will loose over time, as they’re tagged ’sore losers’, unfit to lead in the future.

III.

26th Networking Roundtable Planning Underway!

Where will YOU be on 6-8 September 2017? Hopefully, participating in one or more of the very special activities being planned for this year’s ‘Return to Indiana Event’! Yes, you read that right. Manufactured housing got its’ start in Indiana 70+/- years ago, and this will be the first time the longest-running national trade event will occur in the state. Watch for details.

So, what are some of the special activities being planned for this year’s gala event, beside it being held during National Land Lease Community Week?

• A Manufactured Housing Manager class planned for 6 September. Perfect opportunity for you to bring one or more trusted on-site or regional property managers, to become trained and certified as an MHMs – you too!

• New and exciting emphasis on land lease community deal-making! We’re departing from the community investors symposium format of years past, and introducing a new and exciting way to view, value, & invest in LLCommunities!

• First ever ‘National Manufactured Housing Input Day’; where your views and hopes for the industry & realty asset class matter. Be present to express them. It’s hoped this becomes a perennial source of grassroots input to national advocates.

• ‘How to Buy, Sell, & Seller-finance New HUD-Code Homes On-site in LLCommunities!’ A digest & expansion of pithy material presented at last year’s ‘Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars’ in Elkhart, IN.

• A COBA7 strategic planning session, for affiliates committed to ensuring the alliance moves into the future as LLCommunities’ primary source of statistics, resources, print/online communication, networking, & PM training/certification

• And yes, there’ll be the usual full array of educational and networking sessions during the 2 1/2 days we’re together, including an update about the charitable activities of MHGives. However, no MHI PAC $ solicitation this year.

We are excited to bring the 26th Networking Roundtable to Indianapolis, IN. If you’ve not visited before, it’s one of the cleanest cities in North America, and awash with great eateries, and things for attendees and guests to enjoy. More details to follow….

IV.

Special Message to State MHAssociation Execs & Board Chairpersons

Emulate NYHA’s Northeast Super Symposium VI (11-13 April 2017) to Better Serve Your Members!

Want filled-room learning experiences for your members? Consider these offerings, among the many, featured in Albany, New York, this past week.

• The day before your official program begins, host the one day Manufactured Housing Manager, professional property management training & certification program, taught by Katie Hauck, MHM & Kathy Taylor, MHM. Today, more than 1,000 MHMs own/operate LLCommunities nationwide & in Canada! gfa7156@aol.com

• Begin your program with the Official State of the Manufactured Housing Industry & Land Lease Community Asset Class presentation – the only such overview that includes ‘all you wanted to know about LLCommunities but didn’t know who or what to ask!’ (317) 346-7156

• Invite Dr. David Funk, LLCommunity owner, and professor at Roosevelt University, to hold forth on ‘Understanding New Housing Economics’ – and how they relate directly to manufactured housing and land lease communities. (740) 591-4738

• Today’s hottest topic industry wide? ‘How to Sell More Homes into Land Lease Communities’ – well covered, with passion, by Ken Corbin. (888) 823-4945.

Of course there was much more on the agenda at the recently completed New York Housing Alliance’ annual Northeast Super Symposium VI – but these are highlights easily transportable from that state to yours.

And don’t forget; if lease-option, as a means of seller-financing new HUD-
Code home sales on-site, is permissible in your state, add that timely topic to your agenda as well. Spencer Roane, MHM, is considered to be the national duty expert, so to speak, on lease-option methodology. Contact him via (678) 428-0212. And ask him to cover PQW when he ‘presents’, it’s a game changer when it comes to reducing loan defaults.
***

Civil Revenge & Manufactured Housing – a WARNING

April 8th, 2017

Blog # 441 Copyright @ 12 April 2017; communnity-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!’
_______________________________________________________________________

Civil Revenge & Manufactured Housing

A WARNING…

‘Specifically; will Democrats Civil Revenge Campaign Spill Over Into the Business Arena in General, Manufactured Housing & the Land Lease Community Realty Asset Class in Particular?

Since last November (Think Presidential Election) I’ve watched and read, then commented in the secular press, on the number and variety of angst measures pursued by Democrats’ in their civil revenge campaign, over having lost said election big time.

In the Midwest, college professors – not surprisingly, have gone on record, on the editorial pages of local newspapers, favoring such outlandish schemes as:

• Encouraging the Democrat Party to form a shadow presidency! Here’s what professor DC penned: “Am I suggesting a type of shadow presidency (by Democrats), a visible alternative to the Trump administration and reasonable critic of its’ extreme policies? Yes, that is exactly what I am proposing.” My rejoinder? At its’ worst, that’s potentially seditious. How so? It’s akin to what 18th century colonists did, relative to the King of England, until they could no longer abide ‘taxation without representation’ – then they revolted! Is that what Democrat civil revenge will lead to this time around? Let’s hope not.

• Demand the seating of co-presidents or bipartisan executives to run the U.S. Seriously. Another professor, quotes from David Orentlicher’s 2013 book, Two Presidents Are Better Than One: The Case for a Bipartisan Executive, “having two presidents, one from each political party, would serve us better.” Really? And from which two parties should they be selected? Libertarian and who ? Probably not the answer the author had in mind; however, that suggestion demonstrates how half-baked this idea really is.

Now we hear hearing rumors of ‘deep state’ machinations against the Trump presidency! What’s ‘deep state’? To some, if not many, a U.S. conspiracy theory, characterized by career government employees, intent on influencing national policy sans regard for democratically-elected leadership! Hmm. Anything in that short paragraph ‘ring a bell’, sound an alarm, where manufactured housing land lease community installation regulations are concerned? It should. Think about it….

My ‘take’ on this? A month or two ago, I’d have said, “Heck no. This is simply a change in administrations; no harm, no foul!” After all, there was discontent when President Obama took office; as he’d never had a real job – other than as political organizer; and certainly never ‘made payroll’ during his adult life. But the Republican party, to its’ credit, and in accords with more than two hundred years of tradition, did not launch a civil revenge campaign! On the other hand, look what’s happened, and continues to occur unabated, as the losing political party, this time around, continues to do everything in its’ power to be a visible force of opposition to President Trump.

Today, nothing surprises me, where the Democrat campaign of civil revenge is concerned – especially in the underground arena of ‘deep state’. Washington is awash with ‘career government employees’ who believe they enjoy tenure of sorts, along with power, to ‘more than influence national policy the way they view it’, even if opposed to corrective measures sought by the new, democratically-elected leadership.

So, where does this ‘deep state’ talk leave us, relative to the manufactured housing industry and land lease community real estate asset class? For now, I suggest vigilance! We sure don’t need more regulation, but if we don’t actively support the lobbying efforts of MHARR and MHI; we’ll surely get that. Start here by asking, are there career government employees within HUD that should be changed out , the sooner the better?

***

‘CAlling All Land Lease Community Owners!’ (&) Keep 7 September open on your calendar…

April 1st, 2017

Blog # 440 Copyright @ 5 March 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: This weekly blog posting probably needs no introduction. It’s clear from the first two lines in Part I, land lease community owners have some important decisions ahead. Part II. A mystery? You bet. Details to follow….

I.

Calling All Land Lease Community Owners!

As LLCommunity owners, we’re close to having to decide whether to ‘continue suffering perennial benign neglect toward our realty asset class’, by one or another of the national manufactured housing trade advocates,

OR

We take control of our collective free enterprise destiny, by demanding equal representation, helpful research, useful resources, regular print & online communication, networking & deal-making opportunities, and professional property management training & certification!

*****

OK, backing up a little, just what is ‘benign neglect’. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, it’s (Now read this carefully):

“…an attitude or policy of ignoring an often delicate or undesirable situation that one is held to be responsible for dealing.”

With that definition in mind, what contemporary manufactured housing national trade association, or advocacy arrangement, in Washington, DC., comes to mind? Specifically, what national body, or entities, actively and overtly, promote land lease communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities) – i.e., the ‘delicate or undesirable situation’ of a ‘modern lifestyle featuring affordable housing’? Frankly, None Come to Mind! And therein lies ‘the rub’.

As land lease community owners, are you (we) prepared to continue on into manufactured housing’s future, subject to this attitude of benign neglect, or do you (we) want – even demand, much more?

You’re going to have to make such a decision, to that end, sooner than you realize.

Why?

Because the day is fast approaching, when and where the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, or COBA7, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing, will no longer be willing or able to shoulder the ’seven part product & service’ agenda alone – those unique features so many LLCommunity owners/operators, in the U.S. and Canada, rely upon as matters of daily and weekly routine.

Some examples follow. After 28 years, if and when the annual ALLEN REPORT (a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among LLCommunity Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!’),, is no longer researched, published and distributed among 500+/- property portfolio ‘players’, who will maintain that exclusive and confidential data base, to annually update our benchmark statistics? No One comes to Mind!

Today, more than a dozen Signature Series Resource Documents, or SSRDs, are updated ‘one-per-month throughout the year’: e.g. 19th annual National Registry of ALL Lenders; ‘Who Ya Gonna Call in 2017?’ directory of consultants; official MHIndustry lexicon; the Industry Briefing Sheet (official record of annual MH shipments going back to 1955); directory of factory-built housing manufacturing firms; and much more. Who will continue to trim and carry those torches to light the way for LLCommunity owners to come? No One Comes to Mind!

And communication. Not only has the manufactured housing industry taken a major hit in this area, during the past decade or so – but the LLCommunity realty asset class, frankly, has no regular news reporting and op/ed sharing than what occurs within the pages of the Allen Letter professional journal, the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter, and this weekly blog posting at the community-investor.com web site. Who will pick up the slack in these three areas? No One Comes to Mind!

Networking and deal-making? This is the sole area where there’s a fair amount of activity and cross-pollination, via the annual Networking Roundtable, SECO Summit in the South, Super Symposium in the Northeast, the MHCongress in Las Vegas, and two NCC Leadership Forums.

Professional property management training and certification. This area is pathetic. Are you aware, of all the realty asset classes, LLCommunity ownership and management, has fewer Certified Property Managers (only 100+CPM members of the Institute of Real Estate Management) and 1,000+ Manufactured Housing Managers (’MHM’s) via COBA7, than any other income-producing property type? There’s not even a viable Accredited Community Manager (’ACM’) program at this time. Is it any wonder we continue to suffer an ongoing public image challenge? Who to champion this worthy cause? No One Comes to Mind!

*****

So, what’s in the wind?

COBA7 is routinely invited to state MH meetings (KY, IN, IL, NY, New England, GA, PA, TN, AZ, etc.) and various corporate venues, to teach MHM classes, share the ‘Official State of the MHIndustry & LLCommunity Asset Class’ lecture, and explain ‘How to Buy, Sell & Seller-finance New HUD-Code Homes On-site in LLCommunities!’ And that’s good.

However, COBA7 is NOT invited to share this knowledge and experience with attendees at the annual MHCongress in Las Vegas, or Leadership Forums, even after offers have been made to do so! Yet the annual Networking Roundtable showcases speakers from one or another of these national advocacy entities; and, until this year, has been a major means for collecting PAC $ Funds. What’s wrong with this picture? It’s obvious. Via benign neglect, the national advocates are not supporters of research, resources, communication, networking/deal-making, and professional property management training and certification provided by anyone but themselves – and their ‘offerings’ leave much to be desired.

My guess is, by year end 2017, COBA7 will undergo some major changes. Already, MHM classes are well taught by two MHMs. Several writers now assist with research and report/directory writing. But there’s still much to be shared. The question is, ‘Who will do it?’ No One Comes to Mind!

In the meantime, if a land lease community owner/operator, your affiliation with COBA7 is important and telling! We already rely on affiliate fees to underwrite the ’seven areas of products and services’ provided to YOU. Your affiliation with COBA7 is nothing short of ‘telling’, to national trade advocates who presently do little in behalf of our realty asset class nationwide! So, affiliate today, if not already on board with COBA7!

And sure would appreciate your input on this timely and challenging matter(s). GFA

II.

7 September 2017

National Manufactured Housing Input Day?

Could be. Watch here Sunday mornings for details if/as they emerge.

After all, why patronize national meetings where your views on industry and realty asset class issues are not sought, implying they are worthless.

No, we’re planning a new and different venue for manufactured housing aficionados and land lease community owners/operators. Yes superb interpersonal networking and education will be on the agenda; but most important of all:

‘What is it YOU want to tell our national elected and salaried leaders?’

They will be individually invited to participate. Whether they attend or not, will tell YOU how much, or little, your input is valued. But no matter. If they don’t attend, your input will be featured in print and online trade media – publications that will also be invited to participate in the first National Manufactured Housing Input Day!

If you’re one of the aforementioned leaders or publications, and would like to volunteer to help plan and facilitate this first National Manufactured Housing Input Day, reach me via the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (87) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

***

‘Jim Keller, Where Are You?’, HUD-Code Shipment Analysis; &, ‘Cut Bait or Go for the Big One!’

March 25th, 2017

Blog # 439 Copyright @ 26 March 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:

We’ve all seen visionaries and activists come and go in the manufactured housing business. Jim Keller was one of those unique personalities. While a staffer at the Indiana MHAssociation, nearly a decade ago, he launched the Super Symposium movement that continues to this day.

Louisiana, Michigan, Florida, Maryland & Indiana ‘lead the way’, 2017 trending wise, when it comes to increasing the number of new HUD-Code homes being shipped in-state.

And, ‘Cut Bait or Go for the Big One!’ – that ‘line in the sand’ article – for HUD’s The FACTs newsletter, is in the hands of the department’s manufactured housing program staff. Let’s watch to see if/when it gets published under Secretary Dr. Ben Carson’s leadership. That will tell you whether the next four years will be maintenance of status quo – or expect Big Changes to the relationship between the manufactured housing industry and its’ federal regulator (business as usual) and or promoter (badly needed)!

Finally. Read upcoming issues of the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter, the Allen Letter professional journal, and this weekly blog posting, for changes in how Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance provides products & services to land lease community owners/operators nationwide! It has been pointed out repeatedly, of late, NO OTHER NATIONAL TRADE ADVOCATE or REPRESENTATIVE, other than COBA7, researches; prepares, produces & distributes benchmark statistics, salient reports & directories, asset class-focused news stories; and, professional property management training and certification opportunities in classroom settings. Yes, something special is a-coming….

I.

Jim Keller, Where Are You?

Well, he’s moved onto other challenges, but his idea of planning & hosting manufactured housing state and regional Super Symposiums, continues to thrive in Atlanta, GA., Albany, NY., & Indianapolis, IN.

Nearly a decade ago, while on staff at the IMHA/RVIC in Indianapolis, Jim planned and facilitated the first symposium for land lease community owners/operators. His inaugural event was a complete success for the state MHAssociation. Unfortunately, ‘industry hard times’ prevailed, and Jim found himself without a job. But not before he was invited to Atlanta, GA., where frustrated LLCommunity owners were attempting to rally their number for some sort of training and networking function. There he shared the symposium concept; and a year or so later, what’s known today as SECO was born.

SECO, short for Southeast Community Owners, has grown and grown and grown during the past several years. During 2016, the event attracted m ore than 200 participants, featured a half dozen Community Series Homes on display – and for purchase. Several dozen vendors displayed their wares and explained their wide range of services. The event has become so well-regarded and attended, there’s some discussion about it becoming the East coast equivalent of the annual MHCongress in Las Vegas.

What’s in store this year, for SECO 2017? Bigger than ever before, expecting more than 350 owners/operators of land lease communities to convene at the Hilton Marietta Conference Center. Already 42 vendors and exhibitors committed, along with several Community Series Homes (manufactured homes) on display to buy! Dates? 11 & 12 October 2017, with pre-SECO workshops on the 10th of October. For more information, visit www.SECOConference.com I know I certainly plan to be present for the three day event!

The next region to catch Jim Keller’s vision of Super Symposiums, was the New York Housing Association. Here too, land lease community owners/operators flock to be educated and engage in some serious interpersonal networking. In their case, they attract MHIndustry folk from throughout New England, PA, NJ, NY, MD, & DE. – all coming for the education and networking value, and some years, new HUD-Code homes on display. On 4/11 dozens of LLCommunity managers will be trained and certified as Manufactured Housing Managers, or MHMs. And on the 12th & 13th, they’ll learn Fair Housing from Rick Robinson, esquire, of MHI; industry stats from Dr. David Funk, and the State of the MHIndustry & LLCommunity Asset Class from yours truly. So, plan to be in Albany, NY., 12 & 13. For info, phone (800) 721-HOME & www.nyhousing.org

So, what’s happened in Indianapolis since Jim departed several years ago? Well, the IMHA/RVIC continues to plan and host annual symposiums for their land lease community owners/operators from throughout the Midwest. One will be held this Fall; dates to be announced.

II.

New HUD-Code Home Shipments Trend Analysis 2017

As manufactured housing’s statistician, COBA7 was recently made privy to composite MH shipment data, per state, going back a full decade in time. What this information allows, is for analysts to compare ‘ten year monthly shipment averages per state’, with how many new HUD-Code homes are being shipped per month to date, into the same states.

For example, the state of Nevada = total of 2,248 new HUD-Code homes shipped into the state during the decade (1/1/2007-12/31/2016). Divide this total by ‘10′, to average 225 per year; then divide by 12 months = 19 new homes shipped/month, on the average during that decade. Now, how’s that compare with month ending 12/31/2016? Well, there were 36 new HUD-Code homes shipped that month, so a positive trend of 15 units or homes!

Here’re the Top Ten states, led by a Louisiana anomaly (to be ’splained’ later):

• Louisiana 1458*
• Michigan 228
• Florida 113
• Maryland 66
• Indiana 35
• N. Carolina 23
• Oregon 21
• Rhode Island 19
• Alabama 19
• Nevada 15
• California 11

Here’re the Bottom Ten states, with fewer homes being shipped 2017 YTD
.
• N. Dakota (55)
• Oklahoma (54)
• Virginia (49)
• Texas (44)
• Missouri (39)
• Alaska (38)
• Tennessee (38)
• W. Virginia (35)
• Arkansas (33)
• Illinois (33)

There are surely interesting stories behind each of these ‘jumps & falls in shipments’. Perhaps the most interesting, is the state of Louisiana. Here, the composite 1,458 new homes is double the 749 shown on the IBTS report for January 2017, and slightly fewer than the 1,900 identified by the IBTS during December 2016.. When queried, turns out theses are large numbers of FEMA homes being shipped into the state during December and January.

III.

‘Cut Bait or Go for the Big One!

Well, the manufactured housing-focused article bearing this provocative title, is now in the hands of HUD staff, responsible for compiling the department’s periodic newsletter, The FACTs. Will it get published? Only time will tell. Copies of the manuscript will soon appear within the April issue of the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter.

In the meantime, correspondence continues to arrive at COBA7 offices, expressing opinions, mostly by land lease community owners/operators, as to the gist of the aforementioned article. Here’s latest input:

“I agree wholeheartedly with the response you quoted in this blog posting. I too want to remove all restrictions that impede me from filling vacant rental homesites with quality residents who want our housing product and can afford it!

Regarding the continuation of the HUD-Code, I think this can only be answered by the housing manufacturers. Does it help them sell more houses? Is the cost of complying with the HUD-Code, which allows them to ship new homes anywhere in the USA via preemptive building code, more than the benefit?

Likewise for the community owners. Would the potential increase in cost of losing the preemptive code be too high? The answer would have to come from the manufacturers quantifying the cost of meeting local codes. I certainly have no way of estimating the impact. And I do know I probably do not want to start dealing with local building inspectors. Just a guess.

Thanks George.

***

Difficult Choices; Progress Report; &, Cut Bait or Go for the Big One!

March 16th, 2017

Blog # 438 Copyright @ 19 March 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

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‘Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve MHBusiness model performance!’
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INTRODUCTION: Hang onto your seats! On the next several pages we’re going to ’step on superman’s cape’, disturb a couple sacred cows, and stimulate thinking-if-not-action about changes to the manufactured housing business plan as we know it today. There’s also ‘good news’ about how keeping score (new MH shipment counts each month) has been usurped by folk committed to getting the data right for present and future research.

I.

Difficult Choices…

Four Manufactured Housing-related Scenarios to Ponder

1.

For owners/operators of land lease communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities), these are the most challenging and potentially prosperous of times! Most Challenging, in that filling vacant rental homesites today, oft requires owners/operators to buy, sell, and seller-finance new HUD-Code manufactured homes on-site. This increases owner/operator risk and encumbers the income-producing property with home mortgages until paid off, or otherwise – affecting investment value either way. Now, there’s also the disturbing development whereby one or another home manufacturer appears to use marginal quality new homes as ‘loss leaders’, to get their in-house chattel capital finance programs into LLCommunities for the long haul. Potentially Prosperous, in that superfluous investment dollars, wielded by LLCommunity portfolio-builders and naive outsiders, have driven ‘cap rates’ *1 down, down, down, in many parts of the U.S., coincidentally, growing the number of portfolio firms, via consolidation, from 25 in 1988 to more than 500, by year end 2016.
2.

For manufacturers of HUD-Code manufactured homes, mega-prosperous times – measured by ‘hundreds of thousands of new homes shipped’ (372,843 during 1998), not the ‘tens of thousands’ suffered today (81,136 during 2016), continue to be out of reach. Why? Easy access to chattel capital continues to elude the industry, and new home distribution is still adjusting to the loss of more than 10,000 independent (street) MHRetailers since the turn of the Century. Fortunately, for manufacturers, LLCommunity owners/operators have picked up some of the slack, since 2009 when 24 percent of new homes went into this property type, to nearly 50 percent by year end 2016. And while some manufacturers now design, build, and ship Community Series Homes (i.e. singlesection & modest-sized multisection homes with durability-enhancing features & more), in my opinion, many resist this emerging trend, by not providing the level of service characteristic of the heretofore MHRetailers. Nor have home manufacturers figured out how to identify and sell new homes to sole proprietors of an estimated 40,000+/- individual LLCommunities nationwide – of the 55,000 total properties.

3.

Is national advocacy and representation, in behalf of manufactured housing, ‘by members’ within a specific national trade entity, or ‘to the business benefit of a few’ at the top of the housing production and chattel finance market shares pyramid? That is the question on more and more minds these days! For example; according to recent communiqués, is it better to expend political capital, on the national scale, ameliorating specific legislation and regs affecting ‘the few’, or realizing securitization of seasoned chattel loans, to free up capital to effect more on-site transactions ‘by the members’ of the national trade entity? At present, in my opinion, it appears these decisions are made at the pinnacle of the national advocacy influence presence, not by dues-paying members – who should be the one’s being served! While industry unity has long been a problem for the manufactured housing industry; the idea is being floated, to soon launch a new national advocacy entity, comprised of post-production segments of the industry, not numbered among the elite presently making decisions for everyone else. It’s also been proposed, floor fees (dues) be redirected to the national entity best representing its’ members across the board.

4.

Then there’s this question. Whether the federal regulator of manufactured housing, the Department of Housing & Urban Development, should/will actively promote the industry’s housing product, as the practical, non-subsidized answer to the U.S’. critical need for affordable housing; OR, after 40 years, sunset the federally preemptive performance building code – given the high quality of today’s manufactured housing – removing this expenditure from the federal budget, as well as freeing up one more area of unnecessary regulatory oversight. In my opinion, the only unanswered question that remains is: Manufactured housing industry ready to enter the national housing market without regulatory protection from competition, on terms akin to site-built housing? A longer treatment of this Difficult Choice is being prepared for HUD’s manufactured housing newsletter. (More of this later in this blog posting!)

So, what say you?

Agree; disagree; angered; pleased to read about what’s really happening, or what? Share your views on these timely matters via gfa7156@aol.com, or phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

A DRAFT copy of this op/ed piece was circulated to a dozen Serious Thinkers & Contemporary Influencers active in the manufactured housing industry and land lease community realty asset class. Here’s one typical response:

As a LLCommunity owner, my primary interest is in filling vacant rental homesites, to increase cash flow, the value of our properties, and upgrade curb appeal and living environments, with new homes and better clientele. Make our business model better by 1) removing S.A.F.E. Act & Dodd-Frank legislative restrictions on seller-financing new homes in communities; 2) removing the interest rate restrictions on chattel financing so conventional lenders can/will finance homes in our properties; & 3) Accommodate ‘hybrid’ financing whereby conventional lenders and communities, together, mitigate the risks associated with chattel financing (e.g. property owner assists with collections, and guarantees part of the loan, assist with rehab and resale in event of default.

So again; what do you think of these four Difficult Choices? How do they affect you?
End Note.

1. ‘cap rate’ = Income capitalization rate; Rate = NOI divided by Value; e.g. $100,000 NOI, divided by $833,333 asking or selling Price = 12 percent ‘cap rate’ or income capitalization rate.

II.

PROGRESS REPORT: Verifying Accuracy of Annual Manufactured Housing Shipment Totals, Using IBTS Data

Annual new manufactured housing shipment totals for years 2013, 2014, 2015, & 2016 have been verified as accurate, using data supplied by the Institute for Building Technology & Safety, the research body contracted by HUD to collect and distribute this benchmark information.

Specifically, the year and related new MH shipment totals are as follow:
2013 = 60,228
2014 = 64,331
2015 = 70,544
2016 = 81,136
Don’t let anyone tell you differently. For each of these years, IBTS provided the 12 monthly new MH shipment totals appearing in their records.

What about the years before 2013? Well, that information, for some reason, is not easily available for proofing purposes. But that’s OK. We’ve got four years ‘on the books’ now, and given the statistical turmoil of the past – which some seem to want to continue, COBA7 will continue to ‘crunch the (shipment) numbers’ each month, and provide what’s already widely recognized as being the most accurate ‘#s & $s’ report available anywhere from anyone! And as a reminder, HUD and MHARR respective new MH shipment totals are the same as those calculated by COBA7. The only difference lies in estimating the $ value of any given month’s shipment total.

III.

HUD: It’s Time to Go for the Big One, or Cut Bait!

Executive Summary. After 40 years of manufactured housing oversight, but with little to no overt product support, HUD should enthusiastically climb aboard the industry’s affordable housing promotional bandwagon; OR, let the federally preemptive, performance-based, national building code sunset, freeing-up dollars and other resources, to concentrate on subsidized housing, low income housing tax credits (’LIHTC’), and other social secular housing programs.

So reads the title and executive summary of an article being prepared for HUD’s Manufactured Housing Newsletter, The FACTs. When will it appear? Depends on several factors really: how quickly it can be finished and submitted; the new HUD Secretary’s (Dr. Ben Carson) penchant (or not) for big change in the manufactured housing program at HUD; and, how much of a fuss HUD-Code housing manufacturers make over a four decades change to ‘making lemonade (’protected status’) out of a lemon’ (the HUD Code proper).

If you have views on this controversial topic, and would like to make them known, send same to gfa7156@aol.com or via GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indpls, IN. 46247. Or phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

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