“Everyone (in the know) is Watching! & Stockholm Syndrome/MH

COBA7® via community-investor.com Blog # 313 @ 7 September 2014 Copyright 2014

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 a national advocacy voice, ombudsman press*, statistical research reporter, & online communications resource 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

*ombudsman press. ‘Manufactured housing’s ronin, fielding inquiries, complaints, etc.’

Introduction to this week’s COBA7® blog posting at community-investor.com website:

I.

‘Everyone (in the know) is Watching’ for outcome of two National Public Forums the morning of 9/11. Will YOU be present? Have YOU read Official WHITE PAPER? Come to Peachtree City, GA., prepared to make MHIndustry & LLLCommunity history! YES!

II,

‘Everyone (in the know) is Watching’ to see if MHI’s four person executive officer slate will be elected in toto or in part. This election boils down to Super Big vs. Small; and, the role or not, of professional property management relative to industry reputation & image!

III

‘Stockholm Syndrome (again) Anyone?’ For three weeks running, responses to this weekly blog posting at community-investor.com had to do with the ‘Consequences, Good & Bad, of LLLCommunity Consolidation’. Now we appear to have a new very hot topic!

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I.

Everyone (in the know) is Watching…

To see the outcome of two National Public Forums prognosticating the Future of Manufactured Housing as ‘housing’ vs. ‘trailers’; &, the Future of LLLCommunities as ‘lifestyle’ & ‘investment’.’ But that’s only one part of what occurs in Peachtree City this week!

Why has this event grabbed the rapt attention of land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators coast to coast? Simple. It’s the only annual venue designed specifically for owners/operators, large AND small, of this unique, income-producing property type.

FLASH ANNOUNCEMENT. Friday morning, 9/12, following the always popular Lenders’ Panel, three executives from Freddie Mac and two from Fannie Mae will facilitate a panel discussion of the role GSE’s play in acquisition financing and refinancing of land-lease-lifestyle communities! This is another ‘first’ for the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry! Phone (317) 346-7156 on Monday only, to register!

During 2 ½ days, dozens of such properties will be ‘for sale’; there’ll be nearly two dozen educational seminars and panel discussions; eight social networking events; and an opportunity – this year – to help set the agenda, going forward, for the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class in year 2015! How so? With the proceedings of the two National Public Forums in hand, the industry’s two national advocacy bodies, in and around Washington, DC., will be challenged to jointly call for, plan, and host, with Networking Roundtable host, COBA7® a National Strategic Planning Meeting sometime this Winter!

Are you as excited about the prospects of ‘turning this industry & asset class around’ as we – who will be in Peachtree City, Ga., this week – are? Then make your enthusiasm known, and desire for our industry’s first National Strategic Planning Meeting – open to Everyone in the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class – known to our industry’s leaders and opinion shapers, listed here in alphabetical order:

• American Housing Advocates or AHA: Bruce Savage via (202) 664-4512

• Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance or COBA7®: George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master, via (317) 346-7156

• Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform or MHARR: Danny Ghorbani via ((202) 783-4087

• Manufactured Housing Institute or MHI Dick Jennison via (703) 558-0678

• MHI’s National Communities Council division or NCC: (incoming chairman) Steve Adler via (239) 790-0004

• ROC USA, LLC: Paul Bradley via (603) 856-0709

And know this. Insanity is oft defined as doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. Well, as housing manufacturers and a unique realty asset class, we must consider changing decades long cycles of 1) ‘Build, Ship – then Sell’; 2) ‘D&R (‘drop & run’) Deliveries’; and, 3) Propensity to ‘Sell Homebuyers More Home Than They Can Afford’. WE must identify new or modified Business Models that’ll move HUD-Code manufactured housing and land-lease-lifestyle communities back into more profitable and customer-friendly environs!

Some would say, ‘We’re already on our way!’, since many HUD-Code home manufacturers now routinely build and ship Community Series Homes, or CSH Models (featuring durability-enhancing features) to the ‘New Breed of MHRetailer & Lender’ = LLLCommunity owner/operators – but mostly of portfolio size. And the LLLCommunity of today, unlike yesteryear, sites as many as six different types of shelter on rental homesites, so is ‘plowing new ground’ too. But there’s much more to be done – and we need YOU on board to make it happen. SO, please make those phone calls of encouragement to individuals listed above!

And if you want to provide tangible support to said efforts, 1) ensure YOU are a
direct, dues-paying member of one or both of the manufactured housing advocacy bodies listed; 2) financially support the online advocacy efforts of AHA; and 3) affiliate with COBA7®, all the sooner the better! These are the key supports of the Three Legged Stool to MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class SUCCESS in 2015!

II.

Everyone (in the know) is Watching…

To see if MHI’s four person executive committee officer slate, recommended via email message to members in mid-August, will be elected, in toto or in part, at the institute’s annual business meeting and election in Phoenix, AZ, on or about 16 August 2014.

Why has this year’s election of officers become ‘the spectator sport of factory-built housing and professional property management’? Well, depending on one’s business perspective(s) as a MHI direct, dues – paying member:

• Is one affiliated with the housing manufacturing & distribution segment of the industry, OR the land-lease-lifestyle community (a.k.a. manufactured home community) realty asset class?
&
• Is one characterized as Big Business (i.e. Three Cs: Clayton, Champion & Cavco; & a couple LLLCommunity portfolio owner/operators), OR Small Business entrepreneur operating one or a couple businesses in one or two states?

With that said (penned), know there’s Widespread Concern that professional property management practices prevail in the first instance, ensuring the manufactured housing industry as a whole, enjoys as positive and wholesome Reputation and Image as possible under all circumstances. Do you agree? Then vote accordingly, if you’re at the meeting.

In the second instance, there’s widespread concern that MHI executive committee representation from just two mega firms, in three of four offices, could lead to oligarchy (i.e. ‘power in the hands of a few’). How do you see this matter? Then vote accordingly.

Yes, there’s much more to this story than is being told here. But that’s the way the matter must be, for the time being. At least until after the election…

III

Stockholm Syndrome (again) Anyone?

Hadn’t even turned off the PC, to head for church Sunday morning, before the first of several lengthy and pithy responses to ‘Manufactured Housing Industry Suffers From Stockholm Syndrome’ started arriving! So far…

“OMG, George Allen – the Stockholm Syndrome is so perfectly put sir! So true, and we continue to NOT see what it does to us and our customers in price, relative to cost. Wow George, great remark.

So, where do we go? We go MOD and NAHB? Maybe. But for sure, get out from under MHI, MHARR, and HUD – those tied to the WRONG way. When home value is tied to real estate, and comparable appraisal methodology is applied, we open up new opportunities for loans, resale values, long term financing, and all sorts of additional potential!” NB

OK, all that’s fine as far as it goes – in those opening statements. But what such freedom from HUD, et. al., does not address, is the continuing need for specialty financing (i.e. chattel capital, lease-option, etc.) for new and resale manufactured homes sited on rental homesites within land-lease-lifestyle communities (A.k.a. manufactured home communities). And this too, is where I ‘missed the mark’ in last week’s blog posting on this subject, when intermingling – without explanation, Wikipedia’s definition of Stockholm Syndrome with my (opinion). Remember? “…a psychological phenomenon in which hostages (manufactured housing) express empathy and sympathy, and have positive feeling toward their captor (regulator) to the point of defending and identifying with (or perpetuating) with them.”

While I wasn’t wrong about what I said, as it does appear the manufactured housing industry, without input I’m aware of, from the LLLCommunity side of the house (there’s that pun again), decided to make it financially attractive for HUD to continue regulating our industry, rather than risk them asking Congress to relieve them (HUD) of responsibility for administering said program. Hence the 165% increase in inspection fees! So, the bottom line, and in my opinion – unanswered question is, ‘Are we, as an industry and realty asset class, better off with or without HUD oversight today and in years to come?’ Anyone care to answer that question for all of us?

And that’s not the only response to the ‘Consolidation Consequences’, and Stockholm Syndrome topic. This from a California-based freelance LLLCommunity consultant.

“Your blog appears landscaped for folk who care, or live around Washington, DC, and understand the positions and inner workings of HUD, MHARR and MHI. Your typical LLLCommunity owner resides outside that city, and could care less about the politics of that agency and associations. What have any of them done for the LLLCommunity owners during the past ten years? In fact, I believe they (owners/operators, ed) do not want to participate much in regards to government agency proposals, because apathy and past actions never gave us much hope for change anyway. Today, we’re dealing with a lost ‘dealer network’ and HUD home builders who never come to talk to us about helping filling empty lots. And the predatory high cost chattel lenders, who are associated with HUD factories were never true business partners. Guilt by association is prevalent throughout this industry. The LLLCommunity owner/operator is an island with no association.” (Lightly edited) SL

And this next response got me to thinking about HUD-Code and LLLCommunity operations, today and into the future…

“Before the industry gets lathered up about dumping the HUD Code, we need to consider what code homes going into LLLCommunities would be built to? MODS? RVIA? Nope. Just used HUD-Code homes since that is what state law and zoning codes say. To switch codes would take years of law re-writes across the country. I frankly think our opponents would take the opportunity to put us out of business.” RK

What say YOU? As usual, inquiring minds would like to know. Reply via email, phone (317) 346-7156 or note to GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indpls, IN. 46247.

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