National Economic Impact of Manufactured Housing?

Blog Posting # 595 @ 24 July 2020; Copyright 2020. Educatemhc.com

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: Welcome to the world of Economic Impact Analysis, a.k.a. EIA, relative to manufactured housing and land lease communities. Plan now to read more about this timely project, for our industry and asset class, when featured in the August or September issue of The Allen Confidential! business newsletter. Also know, that issue will contain an updated edition of ‘EVERGREEN (‘always relevant’) Issues Pertaining to Manufactured Housing & Land Lease Communities – as EducateMHC’s Resource Document.

I.

National Economic Impact of Manufactured Housing?

No one really knows! Oh, we talk and write about the matter from time to time, sometimes making half-hearted attempts to pull salient numbers together. Bottom line?

First, there’s the 23 year old, comprehensive state-level study of economic impact, relative to RV & MH manufacturing, employment, related industry and tax revenues in the state of Indiana, debuted during 1997. Then, ‘silence’, until 2013, when the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) hired Dr. Stephen C. Cooke to peg the ‘production value’ (only) of a new HUD-Code home coming off the assembly line. And today, beyond the annual ALLEN REPORT, there’s even less published $ data, relative to 50,000+/- land lease communities nationwide, e.g. total rent $ collected and related benchmark statistics. Even Foremost Insurance no longer publishes its’ popular description of manufactured housing homeowner demographics. That’s the whole sorry picture!

To this day, that’s all we have to work with, when lobbying state and federal legislators in behalf of the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry and land lease community real estate asset class! In my opinion: ‘No wonder, as an industry and income-producing property type, we’re so generally ineffective in Washington, DC.!’

So, what’s the answer to this manufactured housing Economic Impact desert? One or another of our industry/asset class three ‘national advocates’ should buy into the timely and strategic need to research and publish $ data supporting the manufacturing and marketing of HUD-Code manufactured homes; and yes, recreational vehicles (since so many HUD-Code housing manufacturers now produce RVs and ADUs…or accessory dwelling units, these days) as well. There are already published studies afoot, featuring RVs, that MH would do well to emulate. And the ALLEN REPORT gives us a well-grounded head start where land lease communities are concerned.

So, where to begin? Two places, for sure:

• A template. An $8 Billion Building Block for Indiana’s Economic Success, ‘A Study of Economic Impact’. This slick 8 ½ X 11 print report was commissioned by the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association/Recreational Vehicle Indiana Association (‘IMHA/RVIC’) in 1997, and continues to influence, in political and trade association circles, more than two decades later. A copy of said report is scheduled to be part of the August or September issue of The Allen Confidential! business newsletter – as a prod to MH national advocates, to consider commissioning a standalone, or joint economic impact study, during year 2021.

• Refreshment. This industry observer has been told, on more than one occasion, MHI plans to renew Dr. Stephen Cooke’s economic impact research beyond just the production value of new HUD-Code manufactured homes. And the enlarged project might possibly include independent (street) MHRetailers & ‘company stores’ sales and service; as well – maybe – as new and resale home sales within land lease communities; plus, the value of rental homesite fees collection over time. So much fertile ground to till.

Know what? This proposed research and reference track reminds one of the ‘gift horse’ metaphor – where ‘equine substance’ and ‘teeth inspection’ are concerned. Huh? First the horse. Today’s circumstances are similar to what I encountered during late 1980s, when challenged by peers to identify and describe ‘consolidators’ (i.e. property portfolio firms specializing in – then, manufactured home communities) in what became known as the ALLEN REPORT. Today, 31 years later, it’s not only the oldest statistical compendium, in MH & LLCommunity matters, but is highly respected and frequently referenced within and outside the industry/asset class. The ‘teeth inspection’ allusion? In this instance, I learned early to ignore what had been said and published before 1989, as no one had good or accurate data to contribute.

Point? It’d be GREAT if MHI, MHARR, and or NAMHCO would take this project on, as a valuable service to the industry and realty asset class! However. If they don’t, then no one should be surprised if EducateMHC, or one or another freelance MH consultancy, picks up the baton and runs with it. Sure, the ‘first time out’ is always difficult – if done right and comprehensively. But once the reliable template is in place and known, then one’s present ‘professional cred’ and future industry reputation are all but assured! Someone out there seriously listening? If so, and you ‘can’t’ wait’ to get started, and would like a copy of aforementioned Economic Impact template document, let me know via gfa7156@aol.com and I’ll mail it to you.

And know this. Anyone who picks up this EIA challenge, and produces a credible working document, will find a national publishing platform at EducateMHC. Simply let us know of your intent, time frame, and scope of work, so we can reserve some ‘white space’ for you.

GFA

II.

EVERGREEN (‘always relevant’) Issues for Manufactured Housing & Land Lease Communities

Well, here it comes, the annually-updated Resource Document that identifies and prioritizes more than a dozen EVERGREEN Issues we deal with, day in – day out, as manufactured housing professionals and land lease community owners/operators. A good reason to keep this list handy for reference throughout the year ahead! Where to find it?

Watch for it as the Resource Document attached to the August issue of The Allen Confidential! business newsletter – PRIME edition. To subscribe, visit www.educatemhc.com

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George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC

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