Archive for June 3rd, 2017

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!
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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