Archive for March, 2017

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

Saturday, 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!

Thursday, 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

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: 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.

***

Here it is: The Grass Roots National MH Agenda!

Saturday, March 11th, 2017

Blog # 437 Copyright @ 12 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 633-47674

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: 1) OK, here’s the list of manufactured housing industry national issues YOU recommended. Read & respond – to the national advocate entity to which you belong. 2) And in answer to popular demand – from many of YOU, here’s a primary focus for the 26th annual Networking Roundtable: ‘How to Buy, Sell & Seller-finance New HUD-Code Homes On-site in Land Lease Communities!’ 3) And, sad to say, we must continue addressing one manufacturer’s ‘less than stellar performance where their new homes going into LLCommunities are concerned’!

I.

MHI & MHARR: Here’s What We Want Done!

Grassroots National Agenda Items Identified by Manufactured Housing Aficionados & Land Lease Community Owners/operators

Well, here it is; the heady list, compiled since the FHFA’s three Listening Sessions in January, and MHI’s Winter meeting during February, comprising the manufactured housing industry’s legislative and regulatory-related agenda during 2017!

In a moment, we’ll list the more than a half dozen agenda items for you. However; first know, COBA7 plans to revisit this list several times during the next ten months, to see just how much our national advocates accomplish in our behalf.*1 So, read this weekly blog at the community-investor.com website, the Allen Letter professional journal, maybe even the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter. The initial, online news media is FREE to you at this time; the two newsletters are for affiliates of the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, or COBA7.

Ready to dive into this list of agenda items and issues identified by manufactured housing aficionados and land lease community owners/operators, as being Key to Business success during Year 2017? Here goes….

1. Roll back S.A.F.E. Act and Dodd-Frank legislation! These $ regs continue to restrict HUD-Code manufactured housing shipments to a paltry 60,000+/- units/year, when we could be supplying the 120,000+ needed annually, to ameliorate the critical need for affordable housing throughout the U.S. today.

2. Ensure manufactured housing is accepted and respected, right alongside other types of housing, in all federal housing and finance programs! How to do this? After 17 years, realize full implementation of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, a.k.a. MHIA@2000! Everyone is tired of excuses and inaction!

3. And to that end, see that HUD’s (career) manufactured housing program administrator is replaced with an appropriately-qualified, (non-career) administrator; one who’ll fully implement aforementioned MHIA@2000, and regulatory policies and procedures favored by the Trump administration – ending the overreach we suffer today! *2

4. Press for issuance of a Request for Proposal (’RFP’), by HUD, for HUD’s program monitoring contract. This time around, ensure full and fair competition for said position; and in the process, eliminate ‘make work’ programs, etc., contained in the current contract.

5. Work closely with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (’FHFA’) and GSEs (Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac), to ensure seasoned chattel capital loan securitization, and other secondary market support, so otherwise qualified prospective homebuyer/site lessees will not be excluded from their local housing markets.

6. Insist on immediate withdrawal of U.S. Department of Energy (’DOE’) proposed manufactured housing energy rule from further consideration.

What’s next? That’s up to YOU! If you’re a direct, dues-paying member of either national advocate for manufactured housing, copy this list and send it to them, along with a request for information as to how they plan to address these important matters during 2017. If you don’t do this, YOU have only yourself to blame, if by year end 2017, there’s little to no progress in any or all these matters.

End Notes.

1. MHAlive! (’think tank’) session tentatively planned for morning of 7 August, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame facility in Elkhart, IN. To ensure a personal invitation to participate, once the agenda is set, let us know now of your interest, via gfa7156@aol.com

2. Need a far better communicator in that non-career position. Recent 11 page newsletter from the manufactured housing program is likely the longest prepared and distributed to date. Why now? ‘New boss in town’ to impress. And frankly, letters and questions from MH stakeholders, during the past several years, have gone unanswered by the current career administrator.

II

COMING SOON – on 7 September 2017!

‘How to Buy, Sell, & Seller-finance New HUD-Code Homes Within Land Lease Communities!’

Yes, this was the gist of the exciting Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars, held during May 2016, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN. This time around’ there’ll be no plant tours, simply the four part message teaching how to fill vacant rental homesites in land lease communities. Those four steps?

• GETTING (one’s property) READY! Curb appeal, signage, staffing, & more.

• BUYING HOMES! – from factories able to fulfill one’s housing needs

• SELLING HOMES & LIFESTYLE, via USP*1 & ‘Six Right Ps of Marketing’!*2

• FINANCING HOMES! Moving from ‘risky’ to ‘affordable’ transactions, via pre-qualification; then cash, lease-option, contract sales, private investments & more!

How is this going to play out at the 26th annual International Networking Roundtable?

Simple. Following a bevy of motivating keynote presenters and their equally stimulating topics, there’ll be parallel tracks of education. One four hour block, on 7 September, will include the four bullet point topics just described. Another four hour block, occurring simultaneously, but in a breakout area, will cover four completely different but equally engaging topics.

This year’s Networking Roundtable is in the planning stage. If you would like to be considered as a named presenter, and or have a topic or two you’d like to see covered – or cover yourself, we need to know ASAP, via (317) 346-7156.

End Notes.

1. UPS = Unique Selling Proposition! Those housing, property, and lifestyle specific qualities that separate one land lease community from another.

2. Right Product, Right Place, Right Price, Right Promotion, Right People, Right Process!

III.

And the ‘Beat Up’ On LLCommunity Customers, by one firm, Continues!

This industry observer is not a fan of HUD’s Dispute Resolution program. However, if the following abuses continue unabated, methinks DR is where one HUD-Code housing manufacturer’s product and post delivery service abuses will land them, us, the manufactured housing industry.

• Poor design & shoddy construction in singlesecton and multisection homes, e.g. walls & ceilings not lining up during installation, water leaks above windows and doors; inadequate space for air conditioning duct crossover; wall board atop light switches, and much more.

• Service management personnel do not return phone calls and reply to email messages; and when they do, give corporate staff half truths, delays, and excuses, about repairing home defects.

• Service personnel who arriving on-site to fix aforementioned problems with homes, do not come when promised, and oft don’t have the materials needed to make needed repairs.

• Senior plant management also engages in delay and stall tactics, demanding additional documentation, after preliminary paperwork has been supplied; then, stonewalling the paying of legitimate repair bills submitted by contractors.

For awhile, the manufactured housing industry, while bouncing along at it’s historic nadir (’low point’) of new home production and shipment, appeared to pay more attention to product design and quality, as well as post-installation customer service. And now that production and shipment are picking up (81,136 new homes shipped during 2016), and with an estimated 50% of new HUD-Code homes going into land lease communities – generally not set up with service personnel like the independent (street) MHRetailrs of yesteryear, this sort of performance shortfall becomes critical and timely for the entire industry, as well as its’ homeowner/site lessees! Will we resolve this challenge within, or rely on federal regulators to do our job for us?

***

First Time Offered! OPPORTUNITY TO INPUT mh AGENDA for 2017

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

Blog # 436 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!’
_____________________________________________________________________

I.

Your Opportunity to Influence Manufactured Housing’s Political & Regulatory Agendas in 2017!

When was the ‘last time anyone’ around Washington, DC., ‘asked for your input’, relative to legislation & regulations ‘to affect & or already affecting’ manufactured housing & land lease communities business models nationwide? Did I just hear you say, “Never!” ? Well, read on, to learn HERE, how to ensure your views & opinions will become known where they will count most!

Subsequent to FHFA’s*1 three recent Listening Sessions, and following MHI’s Winter meeting in San Antonio, TX., COBA7 began receiving letters and emails from businessmen and women from across the U.S., expressing a mix of optimism and frustration. Optimism, in anticipation of a new, presumably business-friendly Trump administration in Washington, DC., but frustration over being ‘taken for granted’ by national advocates for the industry and asset class, when it comes to issues of import, to HUD-Code home manufacturers, financiers, LLCommunity owners/operators, and other post-production segments of the MHIndustry.

So, we began collecting these ‘issues of note’, and will introduce them in next week’s blog posting (#437). That gives YOU just enough time to ponder, then articulate your thoughts on one or more such matters, and let us know, then we can either add them to ‘the list’, or merge your insights in with those already expressed.

Do so via gfa7156@aol.com or phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

And remember; I outline blog content on Wednesday, pen it Thursday, edit on Friday, and send to COBA7 affiliates Saturday morning; everyone else, Sunday morning.

FYI: To date, we’ve heard and listed six major issues on this list cum agenda.

What’s next? We have ‘quiet friends’ within MHI & MHARR who’ve requested YOUR INPUT about matters that should be/must be addressed during the weeks and months ahead. It may well be, this list you help formulate, is the first such grassroots effort to profoundly influence national advocates doing our bidding in and around the nation’s capitol.

What are they going to do? Ignore written input from members and constituents, at the risk of losing ground and influence as national advocates? I don’t think so. There’s precious little ‘trade press’ anymore, so everyone pays close attention to the quality journalism that remains, faithfully communicating what’s happening throughout manufactured housing!

Do you want to fumble this unique, ‘first time ever’ opportunity? Didn’t think so. Get busy now, articulating your thoughts. Get them off to us by Wednesday of this week, 6 March 2017.

End Note.

1. Federal Housing Finance Agency, oversight of GSEs Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac

II.

Caught ‘Between a Rock & a Hard Place!

An Idiom: ‘In difficulty, faced with a choice between two unsatisfactory options!

The Difficulty?

Industry Identities.

1) Torn between decades-long, direct, dues-paying membership and camaraderie in the Manufactured Housing Institute (’MHI’), BUT dismayed with mixed feelings as a non-manufacturer outsider, with no influence whatsoever in institute policies & proceedings.

And,

2) Since early 2014, leading the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing (Awaiting not-for-profit status). Happily; the research, resources, communication, networking, deal-making, & property management training/certification source for 55,000+/- land lease communities nationwide, BUT disturbed at the lack of tangible support, even affiliation, by ‘national advocates’, relative COBA7 and other segments of the post-production manufactured housing business community!

Choices Going Forward?

Between a Rock

Continue ’second class member’ status with MHI, to stay informed about industry matters. Frankly, other than the institute’s national lobbying, in behalf of manufactured housing; and to a lesser extent, land lease communities, there are no tangible products or services coming our corporate way with any regularity.

‘Second class member’? Sure; here’s one example: I’m a four decades land lease community owner/operator; the manufactured housing industry’s most prolific author (10 books); writer (two monthly newsletters & a weekly blog posting); an, member of the RV/MH Hall of Fame, BUT have yet to be invited to address MHI peers on any topic, other than an occasional MHCongress lecture. You can’t be more ’second class’ than that!

and a Hard Place

Deciding whether to follow, in trace of, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (’MHARR’); which, after separating from MHI in 1985, at the behest of regional HUD-Code home manufacturers, went its own way as national advocate and anti-regulatory measures lobbyist for manufactured housing. NOW (perhaps), is time for land lease community owners/operators, large & small, to become masters of their destinies as well – taking their floor dues $ with them, no longer subservient to an MHI division dominated by the largest of property portfolio ‘players’, who control meeting agendas and outlaw proxy voting during annual elections of officers.

Is There a Middle Ground Between ‘a rock & a hard place’?

I used to think so, as one of the founders of the National Communities Council (’NCC’) division, in 1993 & 1996.*1 But not anymore – unless something significant changes greatly and soon.*2

Maybe more, about being ‘caught between ‘a rock & hard place’, in next blog posting.

In the meantime. Your input on this subject? Send it quickly to gfa7156@aol.com, phone (317) 346-7156, or correspond via GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247.

End Notes.

1. Read Bruce Savage’s The First 20 Years!, PMN Publishing, Indianapolis, 2013.

2. For a list of specific grievances to this end, request same in writing, via GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247.

III.

All You’ve Wanted to Know, Good & Bad, About Today’s Secular Media, But Didn’t Know Who to Ask

“The news is a relentless 24/7 battle to grab eyeballs and achieve total domination.”

The above & following information is quoted from ‘The News in Crisis’, featured in March 2017 issue of WIRED magazine.

“The New York Times has the greatest combined print and web audience, with 5.4 million readers, followed by USA Today (3.8 billion) and The Washington Post (3.4 billion).”

It really does make for a fascinating ‘read’, if you’re any kind of news junkie. Some is old hat (”…the news media seems to have lost its power to shape public opinion.”), some is nouveaux a la mode since the presidential election (”Politicians no longer need to rely on journalists to reach their audiences but instead can speak to voters directly on Twitter”), and some, well, shocking-but-true (”…the ability to reach a national audience now belongs to everyone (&) the more partisan and enraged someone is, the more likely they are to share political news online.”). See what I mean?

Even teaches how to become an anonymous source, via the web & using a burner phone.

In the latter case, “Buy a burner – a cheap, prepaid Android phone – with cash from a nonchain store in an area you’ve never been to before. Don’t carry your regular phone and the burner at the same time, and never turn on the burner at home or work. Create a Gmail and Google Play account from the burner, then install the encrypted calling and texting app Signal. When you’re done, destroy the burner and ditch its’ copse far from home.” Now you know….

***