LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE!

Blog Posting # 659 @ 8 October 2021: EducateMHC

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

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INTRODUCTION: This week’s blog posting was exciting (Part I), disturbing (Part II), and nostalgic (Part III) to pen. You’ll see ‘why’ as you read on through. GFA

I.

LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE!

Institute for Building Safety & Technology (‘IBTS’), along with HUD, MHI, MHARR, and EducateMHC, all reported – as they had in July, the same HUD-Code new home shipment total for the month of August, when there were no ‘Destination Pending’ units to ‘muddy the statistical waters’, as has usually been the case for decades.

This is noteworthy, being a second lightning strike – so to speak, because the manufactured housing industry’s long standing penchant for reporting ‘two different new home shipment totals every month’ (due to presence of ‘Destination Pending’ units at reporting plants) has done nothing to improve its ‘cred’ (i.e. credibility) among Washington policy makers, business regulators, and other influential parties.

Bottom line? How nice it would be to continue, from this point on, to boldly publicize ‘one new MH shipment total’ every month of the year! Will this occur? Let’s wait and see. Sorry to say; but I, for one, am not holding my breath.

II.

DOE ENERGY REGS MUST BE DOA!

Did you know? Quoting here from MHI’s newsletter dated 1 October 2-021:

“The Department of Energy (‘DOE’) has published a proposed rulemaking on energy standards for manufactured housing which, if finalized, will eliminate manufactured housing as an affordable housing option for hundreds of thousands of potential homebuyers. The current DOE proposal is fundamentally flawed and must be completely rewritten to ensure manufactured homes remain an available option for American families.”

You read a similar, albeit much longer similar condemnation of proposed DOE energy regs, here last week, penned by Mark Weiss in behalf of the MHARR.

MHI has already launched a Call to Action about this important matter. Member or not, reach out to MHI, via their website, and offer to send a letter opposing the DOE rule. I’ve already done so! The DOE rule must be DOA (‘Dead on Arrival’) where manufactured housing is concerned.

And hey, there’s more to come. When given an opportunity to make further public comment, and or attend a hearing on this matter, in Washington, DC. do so. I did last time around, in 2014, and consider the experience a top personal learning experience during my career.

III.

‘CHANGING OF THE GUARD’

It happens slowly and quietly, as matters about personal and professional retirement usually do. As I look back, it kinda began – this time around, with the slow-paced retirement (i.e. extending over a year period of time) of Danny Ghorbani, 1985 founder and decades long leader of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’). Today, Mark Weiss fills the Washington Watchdog’s shoes.

Yes, there is an ongoing, perennial, ‘changing of the guard’, so to speak, taking place these days. And the names that follow just ‘scratch the surface’ of who should be listed.

Then came Gary McDaniel, intrepid leader of ROC Properties (No, not ‘resident owned communities’!), REIT – Chateau Communities, and finally, YES! Communities. (I may have got Properties & Communities labels reversed; could never keep them straight – and I believe there was a firm in there between Chateau & YES!). In any event, Gary’s pretty much disappeared from the MH scene, in much the same fashion as Barry McCabe, former Hometown America property management executive, a decade or so earlier.

While I just know I’m going to unintentionally miss a few – or many, recent retirees during this recitation; how can I be faulted when so many go so quietly. Examples. Greg Johnloz, CPM, out of AZ; Win Moses, community owner, Indiana state legislator, and mayor of Ft. Wayne, IN; William Carr, consultant and husband of the late Judy Carr in Iowa.

Then there’s a raft of men and women who tell you they’re retired, but continue to show up at MH industry events, etc. (Like me). Here thinking of Lou Vela, the $ guy; Joe Stegmayer of AZ and former chairman of MHI, the RV/MH Hall of Fame, and Cavco Industries. Betty Whittaker of KMHI was a surprise retiree – to me anyway, so now I follow her on Facebook. And early this year, we learned of Cary Monroe and John Jacobs, both community loan originators, taking down their shingles. And George Porter, recent RV/MH Hall of Fame inductee, will likely disagree with me listing him as a recent retiree. But as a veteran combat pilot from the Vietnam era, he outa be retired! Maybe someday, with his permission, I’ll share his exciting short story, ‘My Tet Offensive, January 1968’ here or in MHInsider magazine.

A couple local ‘friends in the business’, Sharon Niccum (multi-community owner and appraiser), and Ron Farren, both in Indiana, have reduced their business footprint of late – though Ron has acquired a community or two ‘for fun’ (My comment, not his). And now we learn of Joe Kelley, executive of the Iowa MH Association retiring during November 2021 – that’s next month! Spencer Roane, MHM, and I plan to attend his send-off, to ensure he receives the praise and accolades he deserves after all these years in the saddle. And I’m unsure what to pen about Adriane DeRose, MHM, also here in Indiana. She recently sold her family’s land lease community. If she retires, it will mark the end of an era started many decades ago by ‘mobile home’ manufacturer, the late Robert DeRose (He was inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame in 1988).

OK, I know, there are many more individuals out there who deserve their due in this week’s blog posting. And I’m sorry I overlooked you. Let me know via gfa7156@aol.com

I’ll close this out with some musings from Greg Johnloz, CPM, mentioned earlier. “Semi-retirement is fun, you get to pick and choose what you want to do with a minimum of actual responsibility. You will find you are just as busy as you ever were, but enjoying it more.”

And that’s pretty much how I’ve found retirement to be. Plus, in my case, I got to author my autobiography, ‘From SmittyAlpha6 to MHMaven’. Most of the first printing are in readers’ hands, but if you’d like a copy – and I’m told it is a Good Read, visit www.educatemhc

Uh Oh! I haven’t even posted this blog and already I’m thinking of friends not included. Like Ross Kinzler of WI, now AZ; former community owner Jim Reitzner, also of WI; and the most visionary guy I’ve known in MH and land lease communities, Chuck Fanaro of SaddleBrook Farms and HI-Tech Housing reknown. Now my subconscious will start kicking in….

George Allen, CPM, MHM EducateMHC

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