Who Speaks for YOU on National MH Matters?

Blog # 377 Copyright 2015 COBA7® @ 15 December 2015; communit-investor.com

Perspective. ‘Land-lease-lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities and ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting is the national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media for all LLLCommunities in North America!

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.

MHIndustry Spokesperson Revisited

More than a few of you agree with last week’s blog posture: the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry does NOT have a national, credible spokesperson to

Plead manufactured housing’s case as being this nation’s most affordable housing type!

Present consistent & united policies & presence to our industry’s regulators at all levels!

Be its’ manufactured housing brand marketing face before the home buying public!

And, here’s how one blog flogger (reader) responded to last week’s blog message:

“Hey George, Thanks for the blog! Parts I & II were ‘right on’. And Part III poses a great question (‘Who’s the MHIndustry Spokesperson?’) and is perfectly pertinent to the time.”

“We cannot expect to affect HUD, or state regulators, without a (national, credible) speaking entity. While state associations struggle to survive, sometimes combining resources to be regional presences, they too are not strong enough to ‘speak to our cause’. Our cause? The production, delivery and sale of low cost housing for the general public! Proof? Ask the following two questions of almost any group of citizens anywhere, and see which conversation lasts longer: ‘Who here knows about manufactured housing?’ & ‘Who here knows about recreational vehicles?’ Yep; the ‘proof’ of our lack of a (national, credible) spokesperson is that clear and convicting!”

And yet another flogger suggests the nonexistent national, credible spokesperson be prepared, once identified, to ask difficult questions in the halls of national power:

• “Who’s preventing HUD from promoting the manufactured housing product it presently regulates? Why doesn’t HUD follow USDA/DOE lead in energy efficiency? Why isn’t manufactured housing even on HUD’s affordable housing radar?”

• “What’s the feasibility of HUD becoming involved with guaranteeing chattel capital used to finance only new HUD-Code manufactured homes? And work with the GSEs (Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac) to coordinate a secondary market via Wall Street?”

• “Why isn’t HUD offering incentives, to local land planning boards and developers, to build more new LLLCommunities in areas (cities) where affordable housing is scarce?”

• ”Same said about land-and-home HUD-Code homes. Why no assistance from HUD?”

Sure, some – maybe all, of the above questions are impractical. Do you know if they are?

I sure don’t. But they’re being asked by businessmen and women active in this industry. That’s something there’s too little of these days, as we continue to struggle at shipping 70,000+/- new HUD-Code homes per year, down from 372,843 as recently as 1998! Not enough hard questions being ‘asked & answered’ via a national, credible manufactured housing industry spokesperson we know and respect!

So, back to the original question: ‘Who’s the MHIndustry Spokesperson?’

II

Official MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Timeline

As one of the earliest financial supporters of the RV/MH Heritage Foundation (i.e. 1970s), I long ago realized, that while we proudly have a Hall of Fame, museum, & library in Elkhart, IN., we did NOT have a manufactured housing historian, archivist, or curator on staff there – still don’t. So, during the past three and a half decades, I’ve voluntarily shouldered that responsibility part-time, from our offices in Indianapolis, IN.

One of the tangible results of this ‘labor of love’, in behalf of manufactured housing and the land-lease-lifestyle community asset class, has been the maintenance of an historic timeline, stretching from 1970 to present day. So, at the end of every year, for at least the
past two and a half decades, we’ve added annual summary paragraphs to said timeline. What follows here is the manufactured housing & land-lease-lifestyle community retrospective to be added to the ‘Official MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Timeline’ later this month, December 2015:

(the) 15 year duration, still evolving paradigm shift affecting manufactured housing, has been & continues to be, characterized by significant enduring changes to all its’ traditional business models; to the extent now, many refer to this period of time as being a NEW ERA for manufactured housing & land-lease-lifestyle communities, e.g.

• New HUD Code housing production & distribution (i.e. Community Series Homes encroach on Developer Series Homes, a.k.a. ‘Big Box = Big Bucks!’)
• Increasing percentage of new HUD-Code homes shipped into LLLCommunities – up from 25% in 2009 to estimated 40% this year
• Within many land-lease-lifestyle communities, new home sales & seller financing, supplanted the 10,000 independent (street) MHRetailers who went out of business when easy access to chattel capital disappeared a decade-plus ago.
• Debut of ‘Decade of Affordable Factory-built Housing & Lifestyle Communities’
• 26th annual ALLEN REPORT imitated by a ‘Top 50 Largest Community Owners & Operators’ list omitting inclusion of RV rental sites among property portfolios.
• Continuing disunity between two national advocacy bodies, highlighted by their differing reporting of monthly ‘new HUD-Code home shipments totals’ per IBTS
• Disbanding of ULI’s Manufactured Housing Communities Council (‘MHCC’)
• GSEs Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, for second year, express renewed interest in and support of LLLCommunities and manufactured housing.

While year 2015 may not have been a stellar year, in terms of increased new home shipment volume, it certainly demonstrated the maturity of forced and voluntary changes among several segments of the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry and the LLLCommunity real estate asset class.

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