Archive for June, 2017

The Federal Register & You; Maybe….!

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

I.

The Federal Register & You; Maybe…!

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

Docket No. FR-6023-N-01

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

II.

REMINDERS…

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

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

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

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

George Allen’s Swan Song

Saturday, June 17th, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

I.

Swan Song*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Mobile Home Park Management text & ALLEN REPORT Debut’

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

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

4. 2000-09 New Paradigm Begins!

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

5. 2010-19 Long Road Back to Prosperity!

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

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

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

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

End Note.

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

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

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

Friday, June 9th, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

I.

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

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

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

• Result in the elimination of jobs

• Inhibit job creation

• Are outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective

• Impose costs that exceed benefits

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

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

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

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

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

1. expanded in-plant regulation

2. on-site construction

3. Subpart I

4. federalization of installation

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

6. the formaldehyde health notice

7. appointed non-career administrator

8. new/competitive monitoring contract

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

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

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

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

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

II.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

III.

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

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

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

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

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

IV.

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

George Allen , CPM & MHM

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

Saturday, June 3rd, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

I.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

II.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

End Note.

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

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