Beware Site Rent Regulatory Reform! (&) Rule of Thumb Bastardization

August 9th, 2019

2019; Copyright 2019;

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

This blog is sole online national advocate, official ombudsman, asset class historian, research reporter, PM education resource & communication media for all land lease communities!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email: & visit

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. source of affordable obtainable housing! Next MHM class @ 9/11/19

INTRODUCTION: We’re revisiting, from two perspectives, private equity firms acquisition of land lease communities nationwide, and proposed private equity reform legislation. And what the realty asset class can do to influence both matters. Response & participation requested.

And then there’s the perennial issue of how manufactured housing and land lease communities might be better represented (i.e. lobbied in behalf of), in legislative and regulatory matters, in our nation’s capitol.



Yes, that’s the title of Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s – & 13 other Democratic members of Congress – private equity reform legislation. It’s far-reaching, and if land lease community portfolio owners/operators don’t ameliorate rental homesite rate increases going forward, they run the very real risk of being swept up in this turmoil.

If what you read in the previous paragraph is ‘new to you’, scroll back to blog posting # 544/5 for background information, in Part II, titled:’ Legalized Looting: Mobile Home Rent Increases Require Wall Street Reforms’.

Now, here’s what Washington advocacy group, Americans for Financial Reform (‘AFR’), has to say about Warren’s proposed legislation: “It is not anti-private equity, but more about making sure private equity managers have skin in the game”. Contrast that statement with this from private equity advocacy group, American Investment Council (‘AIC’), also in Washington, claims this legislation is simply ‘about politics going into the 2020 election season’, i.e. “When there is no crisis, you have to invent it.”*1

The AIC spokesperson goes on to describe how “…public pension funds are private equity’s biggest investors, where over the last 10 years, it has outperformed other asset classes, returning a 10 year median annualized return of 10.2% in 2018.” *2

Do you see irony (i.e. ‘frustration of hopes’) playing out here; where and how pension funds, private equity firms, and homeowners/site lessees living in land lease communities, are intertwined? Result is a classic ‘rob Peter to pay Paul’ scenario! Specifically, pension funds provide investment capital to private equity firms who oft acquire land lease communities frequently populated by retirees. Who are, in turn, dependent on pension funds for income from which they pay site rent. And within this cycle, private equity firm managers increase rental homesite rates to ensure annualized returns of at least 10 percent per annum.*3 And the beat goes on….

So, where do we, as manufactured housing aficionados and land lease community owners/operators go from here? To date, no national advocacy group affiliated with our industry or realty asset class has stepped forward to address these matters: profuse rental homesite rate increases, and now, private equity reform legislation. As I suggested in the previously referenced blog posting, private equity firms owning land lease communities, and portfolios thereof, should attend one or more of three following events, encouraging discussion of this timely and potentially business – restricting private equity reform legislation:

• 28th Networking Roundtable, 8-10 September, Indianapolis, IN. Register via & I will set aside time to meet privately & productively.

• MHI’s annual meeting in Savannah, GA, 22-24 September. Phone (703) 558-0400

• SECO Conference in Atlanta, 8-10 October. Spencer Roane, via (678) 478-0212

Frankly, if this national ‘rent increase’ imbroglio continues, even worsens, and there are no informal meetings, on this subject, at any of the three venues, a National State of the Asset Class (‘NSAC’) caucus will be scheduled, in November or December, likely (again) at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN.*4 Will you be part of the solution or continuing problem?

Your thoughts on this serious matter? So far, every email and telephone message, received here, has been positive and encouraging. Email: or phone using the Official MHIndustry hotline: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. At that time, let me know if you’re a private equity fund-owned land lease community portfolio owner/operator and plan to attend the Networking Roundtable. Several firms have already registered for this event.

End Notes:

1. Pensions & Investments, ‘the International Newspaper of Money Management’, 5 August 2019, pp. 1 & 25.

2. Ibid.

3. Traditional market(s) for land lease communities = ‘newlyweds & nearly dead’

4. This is the first time in a decade we face business model challenges serious enough to warrant national attention and action. Veterans of the realty asset class will recall previous NSAC caucuses: On 2/28/2008 in Tampa, where we agreed on Five Action Areas to preserve our business model going forward; and, 2/28/2009 when 100 HUD-Code manufacturers and community owners met and agreed on a new housing design suitable for in-community placement. This was the birth of the Community Series Home. And with it, the realty asset class became HUD manufacturers’ new ‘big’ customer, increasing the percentage of new HUD-Code homes going onto rental homesites in communities, from only 25% in 2009, to more than 40% by year end 2015! Now we need answer(s) to this regulator reform challenge.


Rule of Thumb
‘Is a time-proven site rent guideline morphing into a measure that will sink us all?’

To begin with, a Rule of Thumb is an informal means of estimation that’s made according to a ‘rough & ready’ practical rule, not anchored in science or some exact measurement. With that said…

The Rule of Thumb referenced here, has been commonly referred to in manufactured housing circles, since the early 1970s, as the 3:1 Rule. Simply put, conventional apartment rent, for a 3BR2B unit, in a given local housing market, is generally three times larger than the amount of site rent charged in a land lease community located in the same local housing market. For example: apartment rent @ $900/month; suggests site rent to be near $300/month.

Since 1994, when the REIT (real estate investment trust) wavelet, comprised of four privately-owned portfolio firms, consolidated 88,450 rental homesites in (then) manufactured home communities, the unique income-producing property type has seen rental homesite rents increase moderately at first, then profusely, as Wall Street analysts pressed for ‘ever increasing’ financial gains. This rental increase trend continued, some say worsened, as we entered the new millennium, and private equity firms joined in the consolidation of privately-owned properties and portfolios thereof, into new and larger collections of land lease communities.*1

Results? By year end, 2018, the three remaining public REITs (ELS, Inc., SUN Communities, Inc., and UMH Properties) owned/operated 300,566 rental homesites throughout the U.S. and Canada. And overall, there are 500+/- known land lease community portfolio owners/operators in North America, with an average of 43 properties per portfolio and average size community with 211 rental homesites – based on data provided by 100 respondents to the ALLEN REPORT questionnaire circulated during Fall 2018.*2

Another, more difficult to ascertain result, has been the morphing – among larger communities – of the 3:1 Rule into a 2:1 Rule. Meaning, if apartment unit (3BR2B) rent in a given local housing market is $900/year; expect rental homesite rent for larger properties to be close to $450/month. Consequences? Homeowners/site lessees, coming into the land lease community, spend $450/month in site rent, and have $150/month less to invest in the new or resale home they’re buying there.

A sidebar issue is published market surveys purporting to show average adjusted site rent rates for metro areas throughout the U.S… Generally speaking, these surveys include only ‘institutional investment grade’ properties located in said SMSA. and not ‘all’ such properties, especially smaller ones. Result? A convenient ‘excuse’ for owners/operators of larger communities to justify site rent increases based on ‘studies’, rather than on operational needs of the property per se, and ability of homeowner/site lessees to pay.

Bottom line? As the subtitle of this part (I) of blog # 546 questions: ‘Is a time-proven site rent guideline morphing into a measure that will sink us all?’ If we’re not careful, that’s precisely what will happen!

End Notes:

1. 30th anniversary ALLEN REPORT, EducateMHC, IN., 2019
2. Ibid


Has Anyone Else Noticed?

On 6 August 2019, MHARR’s ‘Exclusive Report & Analysis’, featured the headline: MHCC Regulatory Enforcement Subcommittee Advances MHARR Regulatory Reform Proposals.
On 7 August 2019, MHI’s ‘News & Update’ Press Release featured this headline: MHI Proposals Serve as Guide for MHCC Regulatory Enforcement Subcommittee Actions.

Reading through both Press Releases, one wonders: These proposals are so similar, ‘Why does it take two national manufactured housing industry advocates to tell the same story?’ Answer? It doesn’t! That’s just how we’ve been relating to the HUD-Code, and other regulatory reform measures since 1985. And now, with the debut of the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners, during late 2018, we have a third hand in the mix. Don’t you think, after 35 long years, it’s time for a sweeping change in how the manufactured housing and land lease community realty asset class lobbies in Washington, DC? I certainly do!

At this point (and this is not the first time this issue has surfaced), the question that begs answering is always: ‘How to accomplish this needed and widely desired consolidation of political presence ‘inside the beltway’ at our nation’s capitol?’

Hint. In my opinion, and to begin with, it’s going to take a charismatic, capable, experienced, motivated ‘leader of men & women’ who has manufactured housing in his/her blood, and is capable of communicating well online, in print, and in person. Does such a person exist? Yes.

The 2X factors.

1) As you may or may not know, MHI will be changing top salaried leadership the first of year 2020. Some opine that’s a good time to effect this needed industry consolidation.
Will it happen? Only if you’re reading this and are an active, dues-paying member of one or more of the present national advocacy entities and make your views well known!

2) Narrow the focus of MHI’s activities, going forward, to lobbying and regulatory reform. This could mean, no more national social meeting venues and leadership forums; leaving those to rapidly growing regional (e.g. SECO Conference in Atlanta, Louisville MHShow, Tunica MHShow, and Western Summit), and the nearly three decades old educational, social event, like the annual Networking Roundtable.

Yes, this is a tall tall order for any industry entrenched in its’ ways for more than a half century. But if we’re going to continue recovering from our industry’s shipment nadir year 2009, of only 48,789 new HUD-Code homes shipped, to beyond where we are today (96,555 units in 2018), then we have to be prepared to do something different, something better than has been done to date. And this is certainly one of those possible, albeit difficult, alternatives leaning forward.

The purpose of this blog posting is to get you to thinking about the matter, and exerting influence where you may.

George Allen, CPM, MHM
(317) 346-7156

If not yet registered to attend the upcoming (8-10 September) 28th Networking Roundtable, visit today! And MHM professional property management training & certification class (one day, no tests) will als

MH Dejavu? Today’s Site Rent Levels Akin to Early 1970s, When MH Quality Facilitated Federal (HUD) Regulation? (&) More…

August 1st, 2019

2019; Copyright 2019;

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

This blog is sole online national advocate, official ombudsman, asset class historian, research reporter, PM education resource & communication media for all land lease communities!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email: & visit

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U! Goal: Promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. source of affordable obtainable housing! Next MHM class @ 9/11

INITRODUCTION: Two key and timely parts to this week’s blog posting. One describes a dozen opportunities for YOU to improve job skills, engage in interpersonal networking, and ensure your voice and opinions are made known to industry and realty asset class’ salaried and elected leaders of all three national advocacy entities! AND, don’t for a minute, think the ‘private equity consolidation/profiteering storm’ has passed. It hasn’t. In fact, where land lease communities are concerned, the whole sorry affair now runs the risk of becoming a national debate issue during the upcoming presidential campaign. Be sure to read Part II following – and take action!


A MHIndustry & LLCommunity Potpourri of Opportunities

No particularly hot issue(s) taking place this last week of July & first of August. So, how ‘bout a potpourri of matters and opportunities on immediate and interim horizons. No busy businessperson is going to be able to avail themselves of all that follows here, just be aware of events and circumstances potentially influencing one’s workaday world. Here goes:

• the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter distributed this week! Contains the sole published summary of ‘State of Nation’s Housing Report’ per JCHS at Harvard University; correspondence with Drs. Carson at HUD & Calabria at FHFA; and, update re New Type (HUD-Code) housing per MHI versus MHARR. To subscribe:

• RV/MH Hall of Fame on Monday, 5 August, in Elkhart, IN. During day, meet with Spencer Roane, MHM & me at the Hilton Garden Inn, or board room or library at the museum. Banquet that eve. Tickets: (574) 293-2344. Daytime meeting details: (317) 346-7156

• ‘Using AMI to quantify local housing market housing affordability; & AGI, with Housing Expense Factor (‘HEF’), to calculate ‘risky’ & ‘affordable housing’ price points’ at Wisconsin Housing Alliance on 14 August. To participate, phone (608) 255-3131

• As you know, MHI has begun its’ search for a new salaried executive director, as Richard Jennison retires at the end of this year. And HUD continues to limp along without a non-career leader for its’ manufactured housing program. I’ve taken myself out of consideration both places, but am collecting names to submit. You?

• New edition of MHInsider magazine to be distributed this week and next. You in line to receive a copy? If so, be sure to read the Allen Legacy column near the back of the publication. If not, reach out to Darren Krolewsky to subscribe:

• MHI’s National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division to hold its’ ‘first ever’ Western Summit in Phoenix, AZ., 14-16 August. For info, phone (703) 558-0400. And visit National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners: (480) 96-2446

• Almost finished a new (4th edition) of Chapbook of Business & Management Wisdom, ‘What I Know Now I Wish I’d Known 50 Years Ago!’ Want a copy? (317) 346-7156

• 28th Networking Roundtable, 8-10 September, at The Alexander Hotel in Indianapolis. Last week’s blog posting listed most of this year’s presenters. Why don’t other national venues do likewise? Anyway, still room for more registrants:

• And yet another one day Manufactured Housing Manager professional property management training/certification class! This one 11 September following the Networking Roundtable. Nearly 1,500 MHMs managing today!

• MHI’s annual meeting will occur 22-24 September in Savannah, GA. This is MHI’s most important meeting all year; and in my opinion, is often ‘management by committee’ at its’ worst, but at least there’re opportunities to air one’s news & views. (703) 558-0400

• SECO conference 2019 in Atlanta. Similar to Networking Roundtable, and unlike every other national MH venue! It’s is a large homegrown annual event facilitated ‘by & for’ land lease community owners/operators in the Southeast!

• Another Manufactured Housing Manager professional property management training/certification class! This one, 11 October following SECO Conference in GA. Text? Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry.

• Speaking of the Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry text, this 8th edition of Mobile Home Park Management (1988), is now 202 pages, and belongs in every land lease community in the U.S. and Canada!

• MHI’s NCC division’s Fall Leadership Forum, 13-15 November in downtown Chicago, IL. (703) 558-0400

• National Housing Conference in Washington, DC, 3 & 4 December. NHC expressing interest in ‘things manufactured housing’, including land lease communities. Core group of MHIndustry businessmen and women participate in NHC events. (202) 466-2121

• MHI’s Winter Meeting, 16-18 February 2020 in Nashville, TN. (703) 558-=0400

• Next book update by EducateMHC? J. Wiley & Sons’ How to Find, Buy, Manage & Sell a Manufactured Home Community. Published in 1996, the case bound ‘bible of LLCommunity investment’ is long out of print but still sought!


‘Legalized Looting: Mobile Home Rent Increases Require Wall Street Reforms’

So reads the headline from U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren’s guest opinion piece dated 26 July 2019. Here’s what she goes on to say…

“The greed of Wall Street and private equity firms…affects more than just mobile home residents….Thousands of workers have been laid off from jobs at retailers, after private equity firms took over, drained their assets, slashed their jobs, and left them bankrupt.”

“Let’s call their actions what they are: legalized looting to make a handful of Wall Street managers rich while costing thousands of people their homes and jobs, bankrupting viable businesses and damaging communities across the country.”

“That’s why I’ve announced a new plan to rein in Wall Street firms engaged in unproductive and predatory behavior. Under my plan, private equity firms…won’t be able to buy companies, goose short-term profits by jacking up prices, and then walk away rich even if the company goes bankrupt. Instead, these firms would be required to align their interests with the long-term sustainability of the companies they buy – and the people those companies affect.”

Senator Warren concludes: “We need bold action if we’re going to deal with the excesses of private equity firms and their attack on American families.”

OK, so what’s the manufactured housing industry and land lease community real estate asset class to do? Here’s one possible, sequential course of action:

• Identify predatory private equity firms of which Senator Warren speaks. (Actually, that’s been done. There’s more than a dozen acquiring land lease communities today).

• Invite these private equity firms to attend upcoming industry forums (e.g. MHI’s NCC Western Summit in mid-August in AZ; Networking Roundtable in early September in IN; MHI’s annual meeting in late September in GA; and, annual SECO Conference in mid-October, also in GA).

• During said meetings, set aside time for open discussion of this volatile matter. If we don’t do so, we’ll have no one to blame but ourselves if/when onerous business- restricting national regulation of land lease communities comes our way!

Lest you think I jest. Remember this: 50 years ago, federal legislators offered the mobile home industry an opportunity to police itself, where ensuring housing product quality was concerned. We did not do so! Result? 1974 passage of the infamous HUD-Code by which we live and work today. Yes, to some extent, the manufactured housing industry turned this ‘legislative lemon’ into ‘lemonade’, benefitting from federal preemption of our factory-built housing product relative to state and local building codes. But are we willing to risk the future of our unique, income-producing property type this time around? Methinks not – and I trust YOU feel the same way. SO, contact our three national MH advocacy entities and tell them YOU want them to be a key part of the Solution to this trending challenge, not part of the continuing problem!

Me? I’ve already invited these land lease community portfolio owners/operators to the upcoming 28th Networking Roundtable, 8-10 September, at The Alexander Hotel, in Indianapolis, IN. Will they come? Some have already registered. How ‘bout you? For information, go to

What might happen if above course of action does not materialize? Some reading these paragraphs will recall two National State of the Asset Class caucuses, 2/28/2008 in FL & 2/28/2009 in IN, when, in the first instance, and under the leadership of Randy Rowe, community owners agreed to Five Strategies & Action Areas ensuring continuing business viability. A year later, another hundred community owners and HUD-Code manufacturers convened to create the Community Series Home, stimulating new housing placement on rental homesites! Both venues = positive results! Point? Come November, and if no progress relative to this troubling matter, it’ll be time for a third National State of the Asset Class caucus. Have questions or comments to this end? Let me know via

George Allen, CPM, MHM

State of Nation’s Housing & Much Much More….

July 24th, 2019

2019; Copyright 2019;

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

This blog is sole online national advocate, official ombudsman, asset class historian, research reporter, PM education resource & communication media for all land lease communities!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email: & visit

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: Promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. source of affordable obtainable housing! Next MHM class @ 9/11

INTRODUCTION: This week’s blog posting ‘opens strong’ & ‘saves the best for last’, or so it seems. Everyone knows about the RV/MH Hall of Fame, but how many of you know what it takes to be considered for induction? Well, here’s how you do it!

Then here’re 20 good reasons (i.e. top notch speakers named) to attend the 28th Networking Roundtable scheduled for 8-10 September, in Indianapolis, IN. Hope you’ll be there with us!

One more pass, for now, at the idea or concept of ‘leveling the manufactured housing finance playing field’, when it comes to having similar loan terms for RE-secured & chattel capital loans.

Finally, and you might want to read Part IV first: The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University recently, in Atlanta, GA., briefed the nation as to what is really happening throughout the housing industry these days! This is a MUST READ for every ‘houser’ active in the HUD-Code manufactured housing business and land lease community real estate asset class. NO ONE ELSE is going to share these ‘stats’, trends, and issues with you! GFA


You Eligible for Induction into the RV/MH Hall of Fame? Probably….

If you’ve been “…an active participant in any segment of the recreation vehicle or manufactured housing industries for a minimum of 25 years…”, you are eligible for consideration when a RV/MH Hall of Fame nomination form has been properly completed, by you or someone who knows you well, and believes you deserve this singular honor!

Furthermore, the completed nomination form, when sent to the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN. (2156 Executive Blvd., 46514) “…must be accompanied by three supporting letters (no more, no less) that meet the Hall’s guidelines for these letters.” before 31 October of any year. “The nominee will (then) be in the pool of candidates considered for (induction) the following year and for five years beyond that.” Specific guidelines? Read next short paragraph.

For more information, and to download the nomination form (MS Word Format) and support letters form (PDF format), visit

In closing, here are a couple personal tips you may, or may not, want to factor into your plans to become eligible for nomination and induction into the prestigious RV/MH Hall of Fame.

• Familiarize yourself with protocols, pomp and circumstance, that make this honor event unique to both industries, by attending the annual RV/MH Hall of Fame induction banquet and ceremony (Monday, 5 August, 2019). Expect to rub shoulders with 500-700 Hall of Fame members, guests, families, friends, and business associates from throughout the U.S. and Canada. Phone (574) 293-2344 for tickets!

• While certainly not a requirement, add a measure of credibility and personal support, by asking a present RV/MH Hall of Fame member, who is a friend or colleague, to prepare one of the letters penned in your behalf.

To learn more about the RV/MH Hall of Fame, and read stories about a few inductees from the manufactured housing industry and land lease community real estate asset class, peruse the soon to be distributed (July-August-September) issue of MHInsider magazine, especially the Allen Legacy column at the very end of the publication. To ensure receiving a copy, email:

And finally, a dozen or more land lease community owners/operators often convene, during the daytime before the (5 August) evening (6-9:30PM) banquet and induction ceremony, to identify emerging industry/asset class trends (e.g. two decades long MH paradigm shift since year 2000), ‘evergreen MH issues’ of note (e.g. pro & con of GSE’s DTS programs in 2019), and Lessons Learned from our business models during the past year. This August, while there’s no formal agenda yet, Spencer Roane, MHM, will be on hand to describe and ‘splain’ the new E-HOP chattel capital program for financing new HUD-Code homes in land lease communities! And I’d like to hear your views on the concept of ‘leveling the manufactured housing finance ‘playing field’ (i.e. lessening % spread between RE-secured and personal property loan terms via property owner recourse). Read blog postings # 541 & 542. PLUS, I’ll be handing out FREE copies of the popular booklet: Who Will Preserve Your Legacy? Answer: You!

So, if the content of the previous paragraph truly interests you, let me know ASAP via or via (317) 346-7156, if you plan to participate! At that time, I’ll tell you when and where we’ll be convening. There’s no $ charge to participate, nor are you expected to attend the banquet! But know, this day and evening together, makes for the most energizing, memorable, ‘feel good’ RV/MH events to occur all year long! GFA


20 Good Reasons to Attend Networking Roundtable, 8-10 September, in Indianapolis

Keynote presenters, featured speakers, and businessmen and women of renown headline this year’s 28th annual Networking Roundtable. Run your eyes down this august list and be surprised how many of them you know, and how they’ll all be in Indianapolis with us on 8-10 September:

U.S. Senator TODD YOUNG, with 13 other senators, has sponsored an affordable housing bill

JEFF DAVIDSON, Meritus MHCommunities & MIKE CALLAGHAN, Four Leaf Properties sharing!

MIKE NIEBAUER of Rent Manager (firm debuted at 1989 Roundtable!) to explain automation

Both GSEs, & possibly FHFA, to be on hand to walk everyone thru Duty to Serve (DTS programs)

JULIO JARAMILLO of Evergreen Communities to share his secrets to property portfolio success!

DON WESTPHAL, who everyone knows & likes, will hold forth on LLCommunity rehabilitation

DARREN KROLEWSKY of DATACOMP will describe ‘better online digital footprints’ via MHVillage

NANCY CAROL from Universal Utilities will address the Roundtable family for the first time ever

SPENCERE ROANE to update us as to what’s happening with seller-finance in LLCommunities

TODD NEWBY’S firm introduced resident relations to LLCommunities in 1990s – an update!

PAUL BRADLEY of ROC USA will share winning videos from Noble Home Video Contest

DAVE REYNOLDS of IMPACTMHC will share videos taken on-site during fix ups at his properties

GEORGE ALLEN to ‘open’ & ‘close’ the 2 ½ days event, probing issues & trends in MH

And expect to enjoy two MH & LLCommunity ‘no holds barred’ financial panels Tuesday AM

Well, there’re 13 of the 20+ committed presenters for this year’s Roundtable event. Bet you’d like to hear each and every one of them! Do so, by visiting & register

In closing, allow me to point up something I think is telling. Can you think of any other national MH & LLCommunity meeting venue, other than this Roundtable event and the SECO Conference that informs you (all of us) ahead of time who the presenters are going to be?


Leveling the MH$ Playing Field Discussion Continues…

Not going to delve into this heady, timely, controversial topic in toto in this blog posting. Rather, just sharing a thought-provoking communique we received from one of the MH Industry’s most knowledgeable chattel capital originators/servers, who’s no longer active in the business:

‘Part of the problem with this (i.e. leveling the $ playing field) is a lack of understanding of the increased risks that come with chattel lending, and lack of understanding of how a lower amount to (be) financed does not change the costs of originating and servicing MH chattel loans. The interest rates need to be higher to cover those costs, (as well as) the incentive for greater profits motivating lenders to make these loans in the first place.” (lightly edited)

Points taken. However, securing the realty property owner’s guarantee (i.e. recourse agreement) is intended to mitigate the added risk associated with personal property loans not secured by underlying real estate. Now, costs to originate and service said loans are indeed an important matter, as is the motivation (greed?) factor.

Like with the past couple blog postings (i.e. #s 541 & 542), we’re desirous of your ‘take’ on this matter. So far it’s not gained traction among independent chattel capital lenders serving the manufactured housing industry. Is that because everyone hopes the concept (of leveling the playing field) will go away?

Respond, if you will, via or (317) 346-7156.


‘The State of the Nation’s Housing’

Spencer Roane, MHM, of Pentagon Properties in Atlanta, GA., recently represented the manufactured housing industry and land lease community real estate asset class at a program presented by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University (‘JCHS’), titled:
‘The State of the Nation’s Housing’. Spencer obtained an extra copy of the 42 page 2019 research document referred to by the presenters throughout their program. And upon reading, it provides very interesting information on this sweeping and timely subject. You ready?

“The shortfall in new homes is keeping pressure on house prices and rents, eroding affordability – particularly for modest-income households in high-cost markets.” P.1 Specifically, “…reaching bottom in 2011 at just 633,000 new units, additions to the housing stock have grown at an average annual rate of just 10 percent.” How ‘bout manufactured housing? ‘Reaching bottom in 2009 at just 48,789 new units, additions to manufactured housing stock have grown at an average rate of just 10.8 percent.’ Now you know.

“Sluggish construction recovery is in part a response to persistently weak household growth after the recession….”p.1, PLUS, “builders & lenders alike are wary of speculative development that would expand the housing supply too rapidly.”p.2, (&) “…rising costs of labor, land and materials…restricting the supply of land available for higher-density development”p.3, (&) “…ability to purchase a home depends largely on access to mortgage financing.”p.19, (&) “real home prices are approaching pre-crisis levels…eroding affordability for first-time homebuyers….”p.19, (&) “renter protection laws have gained some traction.”p.35 Now, ask yourself? How many of these reasons for this nation’s ‘sluggish construction recovery’ also apply to the manufactured housing production and land lease community infill scenarios as well? Just about every one of them!

Now, for factors favoring growth of manufactured housing, without saying so specifically:

• “…housing being built is intended primarily for the higher end of the market.” P.2

• Labor shortages. “…competition for workers has intensified, limiting the ability of the construction sector to ramp up quickly.” P.2

• Household growth has stabilized at early 2000s levels. P.14

• Number of young-adult households is increasing in line with population growth. P.14

• High rents delay ability of younger adults to form independent households. P.15

And, as if to underscore some points made in previous paragraphs, here are some particularly salient quotes:

• “…a rise in interest rates and home prices plus a tightening of credit, on top of the limited supply of entry-level housing, could put homeownership out of reach for many more households.” – unless manufactured housing industry ‘steps up to the plate’ too loudly and nationally advertise its’ brand of factory-built housing!

• “Housing markets lost steam at the end of 2018, as interest rates rose and new construction, home sales, and price appreciation all slowed. But even as rates came back down in early 2019, and helped stabilize markets, the national housing supply remained constrained by more than 10 years of historically low production levels. The tight supply of homes for sale is keeping the pressure on prices in much of the country, while high land prices, labor shortages, and restrictive land use policies limit development of moderate-cost housing.” P.7 – unless manufactured housing ‘steps up to the plate’ to loudly and nationally advertise its’ brand of factory-built housing!

• “…the next decade, the fastest-growing household types will be younger families and older empty-nesters – households with very different housing needs. The growing share of foreign-born households will also add to the increasing diversity of demand.” P.13 – markets semi-traditional for manufactured housing, just needing revisiting and massive advertising!

• “According to the 2017 American Community Survey, the typical household earning less than $15,000 per year, spent 17.5 percent of that income on energy costs, with shares slightly higher for homeowners (20.6 percent) than for renters (15.3 percent).” P.36 Keep this in mind as you manipulate the Housing Expense Factor (‘HEF’) of 30 percent, usually set aside for PITI (principal, interest, taxes, insurance) and rental homesite rent.

• Median sized house in 2018? 2,386 square feet. Median sale price of single-family homes in 2018? $326,400. P.38. HUD-Code manufactured housing is certainly ‘the right size’ and ‘right price’ to market to today’s prospective homebuyer/site lessee!

Lot of interesting and helpful information in this JCHS booklet, quoted in the previous paragraphs. Surprising and disappointing no one else in the manufactured housing industry and land lease community rental asset class attended this national briefing. So, pick and choose here, what helps you the most, as you fabricate, sell, and finance new HUD-Code manufactured homes, especially those installed on rental homesites within land lease communities, large and small, nationwide.


Have you purchased your copy of Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry? You really should. It’s that good! To do so, visit

George Allen, CPM, MHM; c/o Educate

Not Everyone Agrees…Level Playing Field for MH $!

July 17th, 2019

July 2019; Copyright 2019;

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

This blog posting is sole national advocate, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter, education resource & online communication media for North American land lease communities

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email: & visit

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: Promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. source of affordable obtainable housing! Note: MHM class on 7/26!

INTRODUCTION: OK, a relatively brief blog posting this week, but no less timely and important than last week or the week before. Yes, I’m well aware ‘leveling the $ playing field’ for all types of manufactured housing finance is heretical to some, logical and desirable to others. Your view on the matter?

AND, here’s your opportunity to throw ‘your hat into the ring’, or someone else’s, where two top manufactured housing industry executive positions are concerned….


Not Everyone Agrees There Could/Should be a Level Playing Field for All MH Loans!

Gist of the Proposition:

Chattel Capital Loans on New Manufactured Homes, Installed on Rental Homesites within Land Lease Communities, Could/Should Enjoy IDENTICAL LOAN TERMS, Especially Percentage Rates, When Owner of the Income-producing Property Arranges Seller-financing and Personally Guarantees the Homeowner/site lessee’s Personal Property Mortgage!


If the UNDERLYING IMPROVED REALTY, beneath a new HUD-Code home installed on a scattered building site conveyed fee simple, provides loan security lenders require of their real estate-based home loan, then the PERSONAL GUARANTEE of the sole proprietor owner of record, of the land lease community, where new manufactured homes are installed on rental homesites, could/should deserve and receive equal respect, utility, and loan terms! You agree or disagree?

A Contrary View

“Until and unless the owner of the rental homesite can give the lessee ALL the advantages they would have if the home was sited on their own parcel of real estate, there will NEVER be a perfectly level playing field relative to interest rates where personal property and real property loans are concerned. (‘In my former life, I was also a banker, and served on the loan board’…besides being a community owner and independent – street – MHRetailer.)” BB (lightly edited. GFA)

Furthermore, in the opinion of the respondent cited above, “A level playing field would require the land lease community to be owned by the tenants, who’d have ownership to whatever their percent ownership of the entire community amounts to. Similar to a condominium development….” GFA Note. This similar to the mini-trend conversions of for-profit communities into resident-owned communities (i.e. ‘ROCs’), via forming of cooperatives, then securing acquisition-financing via specialty multifamily lenders. GFA)


50 years ago, a city planner and professor at Missouri University in Columbia, MO., considered by some at the time, to be the ‘Patron Saint of Mobile Homes’, expressed this opinion in private conversation:

“Rental mobile home parks will eventually cease to exist.”

And know what? More and more it appears his prophesy might be fulfilled. How so? Seems more and more folk, within and outside the manufactured housing industry ‘want big pieces of the action’, to the detriment of the business model. Examples:

• Recent private equity consolidators of land lease communities have rewritten the traditional 3:1 Rule of Thumb for estimating rental homesite rates, trending towards a 2:1 Rule; e.g. Local housing market conventional apartment rent @ $1,000/month? Then, 3:1 Rule suggests $333/month rental homesite rate; whereas, 2:1 Rule suggests $500/month; meaning $167/month ‘less house’ homeowners/site lessees can ‘affordably’ purchase in that land lease community with higher site rents.

• Some HUD-Code housing manufacturers appear to be slowing the industry’s heretofore steady return to a 100,0000 units/year shipment volume, by increasing wholesale pricing of their product by 15+/-% every six months or so. Some opine this has to do with awareness of community owners selling new homes at minimal profit margins, to speed filling vacant rental homesites, preferring long range permanence of site rent as annuity income. Think about it.

• Independent third party chattel lenders continue to offer manufactured housing financing, of the conventional real estate type & personal property loans, to would be homebuyers, as well as homebuyer/site lessees. This is where the disparity between lending rates, oft a 3+/-% difference, comes into play. The disparity becomes especially clear when said lenders, besides insisting on higher interest rates for personal property loans, also require personal guarantees of these loans by land lease community owners. Kinda like ‘wanting one’s cake and eating it too’.

• The GSEs (i.e. Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac) continue to fashion their Duty to Serve (‘DTS’) programs to support the sale of, and lending on, manufactured homes going onto scattered sites conveyed fee simple, e.g. MH Advantage & Choice programs of late. In the meantime, little to no relief to date, for the chattel capital folk, where lending support is needed most, for new HUD-Code homes installed on rental homesites in land lease communities.

• Local housing market land planning and zoning penchant for regulatory barriers to all forms of affordable housing, stifle the development of new land lease communities, hence less inventor of truly affordable shelter for area workforce, low income, and very low income citizens. So NIMBY (‘Not in my back yard!’) continues to prevail despite recent nods of support to the fledgling YIMBY (‘Yes, in my back yard!’) movement.

And the list goes on, but surely you get the idea. It’s not at all like land lease communities are on their last legs. Rather, they continue to be grossly underutilized as a primary source of affordable, obtainable housing and lifestyle on one hand, while being sorely abused by others, at the same time.

Bottom line of sorts? As the aforementioned Missouri professor also allegedly proclaimed: “GREED killed more than the Golden Goose!”


Two Key Positions to Be Filled in 2020

• New salaried executive director of the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’)
• Non-career administrator of the manufactured housing program at HUD

I’ve been asked to recommend candidates for both positions. If you believe you are qualified, experienced and motivated to fill one or the other of these two key national roles, apply directly to MHI & or HUD; or let me know of your interest via

And or, if you know someone familiar with manufactured housing and land lease communities, who – in your opinion – is qualified, experienced and motivated to take on either of these heady job responsibilities, do likewise! But if you prefer, let me know of names and contact information via GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247.

Why was I asked? Probably because I had been encouraged, from several quarters, if I’d be available for one of the two positions. But I made it clear, relocation to Washington, DC. is not an option for Carolyn and me. However, I do plan to be ‘ready & willing’ to attend meetings and working sessions there, if invited, re manufactured housing & land lease communities, with HUD, FHFA, the GSEs, & DOE, as well as MHI, MHARR, NAMHCO, and other NGOs.

Manufactured housing, as an industry, is on the threshold of doing Great Things in 2020, where affordable obtainable housing is concerned. But it sorely needs capable, experienced, motivated new leaders at MHI and HUD, to ensure this occurs. And this is your opportunity to help make it happen! Have your recommendations to me by the end of July 2019. Thank You.

George Allen, CPM, MHM
(317) 346-7156


• 5 August at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN. During the day, meet with Spencer Roane, MHM, and me to discuss ‘evergreen (MH) issues’, the new E-HOP chattel capital program for MHs sited in land lease communities. Let me know of your interest: (317) 346-7156. For RV/MH Hall of Fame banquet tickets, phone (574) 293-2344

• 8-10 September in Indianapolis. 28th Networking Roundtable. For details and to sign up, visit

MHIndustry Economic Impact Study Needed! (&) Level the Chattel $ Playing Field to Same % as RE-secured Loans!

July 11th, 2019

11 July 2019; Copyright 2019;

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

This blog posting is sole national advocate, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter, education resource & online communication media for North American land lease communities

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, formerly COBA7, telephone Official MHIndustry hotline: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email:

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: Promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. source of affordable obtainable housing! Visit

INTRODUCTION: Lotta good stuff here this week.

1. It’s ‘high time’ for the manufactured housing industry to research, publish, & distribute a Manufactured Housing Industry Economic Impact Study to federal lawmakers and regulators – showing them how valuable WE are to the national economy!

2. Hope to see YOU at the 28th Networking Roundtable, 8-10 September in Indianapolis. No other national venue promises such diversity & intensity of topics and speakers!

3. Someone had to say it! Time has come to level the loan playing field for manufactured housing homebuyers/site lessees and homebuyers purchasing product for siting on improved realty conveyed fee simple! Read on!


Manufactured Housing Valuation

‘Comparing Apples & Oranges, Half a Loaf, or Simply Confusion?’

In 1977, according to MERCHANDISER magazine, 186,462 new manufactured homes shipped that year, by the ‘Top 25 Mobile Home Manufacturers’, were valued at $2,026,097,725 or roughly, $10,834 apiece, presumably ‘wholesale’ value out the factory door, as retail value reporting had not been perfected, and an empirical determination of ‘production’ value would not come until post 2003.*1

Two decades later, in 1997, ‘Indiana’s RV & MH Industries’ Economic Impact Study’ estimated 17,300 new manufactured homes shipped from its’ factories that year, were valued at $1,205,000 or roughly, $32,306 apiece; however, not labeled as to whether ‘wholesale’ or ‘retail’ value; and again, the calculation of ‘production’ value was still six years away.*2

The Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’), soon after the turn of the century, contracted with Dr. Stephen C. Cooke, to ascertain ‘production’ value of a new HUD-Code manufactured home. Dr. Cooke valued the 60,228 new homes shipped during year 2003 as being $2,600,000,000 or roughly $43,126 apiece in production value.*3 And this remains the state of this body of knowledge today. We still don’t know whether ‘production’ value is the same or ‘how different’ from a presumably marked-up ‘wholesale’ value, when a new manufactured home leaves the factory.

There are rumors afoot, that new and or updated empirical studies of manufactured housing value(s) are underway, but nothing substantive has been announced to date. If anyone ‘out there’ knows more about this timely and important subject, please let us know via Why? Because, knowing the full (not just ‘production’ value) national economic impact of the manufactured housing industry – eventually to include the land lease community real estate asset class – will surely improve our lobbying presence and effectiveness in our nation’s capitol.

Just how startling can this sort of industry knowledge be? Well, here’s an illustrative example from our sister industry, the recreational vehicle (‘RV’) business model.

The recreational vehicle industry runs sophisticated statistical circles around us, as it continues to grow and prosper; all the while ensuring federal and state legislators and regulators know how valuable that industry is to the national economy! And just how valuable is it these days? Well, according to latest (published 2019) data, the industry’s total $ economic impact nationally, is $113 billion in output (i.e. $113,713,039,000); $32 billion in wages (i.e. $32,154,790,200); and provides no fewer than 596,355 jobs! In terms of tax impact, $12 billion in total taxes (i.e. $12,212,324,800); $4 billion in state taxes (i.e. $4,715,737,100); and, $7 billion in federal taxes (i.e. $7,496,587,700)! Impressed yet? You should be! And we, as an industry, should be asking ourselves, ‘Why are we so very far behind the self-knowledge curve that, $ truth be known, we’d command far more respect and cooperation as this nation’s best source of quality, energy efficient, non-subsidized, affordable housing?!’*4

Is anyone out there listening? Sure hope so. Don’t know ‘bout you, but as a businessman, and trade journalist, I’m tired of waiting for salaried and elected industry leaders to research, publish and widely distribute an economic impact report about UD-Code manufactured housing and its’ land lease community component, as this nation’s historic and forward-looking one-two punch affordable housing provider & lifestyle!

End Notes.

1. Data source: SWAN SONG, EducateMHC, 2017, Table # 1
2. Source: Indiana’s Recreational Vehicle and Manufactured Housing Industries, ‘An $8 Billion Building Block for Indiana’s Economic Success’, IMHA/RVIC, Indiana, 1997
3. Manufactured Housing Institute
4. ‘RVs Move America – an American Industry & Economic Engine’, by John Dunham & Associates, in,


Major Great Reasons to Attend Networking Roundtable,
8-10 September, in Indianapolis, Indiana

‘Legislation to Create a Housing Affordability Task Force Introduced in the U.S. Senate’

“A bipartisan group of 13 senators, led by Todd Young (R-IN), reintroduced the ‘Task Force on the Impact of the Affordable Housing Crisis Act’, which aims to better understand and respond to America’s housing affordability shortage. The legislation seeks to bring together a group of experts to evaluate and quantify the effect a lack of affordable housing has on individuals and provide recommendations to Congress about increasing affordable housing options.” Quoted from recent MHI Press Release.

U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-IN) is the Monday morning, 9 September, keynote speaker at this year’s 28th annual Networking Roundtable, 8-10 September, in Indianapolis, IN. For more information, and to register, go to

What else to experience this year? Three of the most successful land lease community portfolio owners/operators in the U.S. will share their ‘trade secrets’ during two different sessions!

Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, maybe along with an FHFA rep, will, in panel discussion format, brief their DTS programs, then describe the new Choice & MH Advantage $ programs, & more.

E-HOP, as you know, is newest and most exciting chattel capital program for communities engaged in on-site home sales & seller-financing. Hear from the creator of the program!

Screening premier of videos filmed on-site in land lease communities around the U.S.!

Special nod to ‘resident relations’ by the very firm that introduced the concept in 1990s!

Special ‘how to’ session on automating your land lease community! Don’t want to miss this!

Register NOW (before 8/31) and benefit from lower Early Bird Rate:

Arrive early, mid-afternoon Sunday, and sit in on a Fireside Chat with me at The Alexander Hotel. This is always one of my favorite activities, talking one on one with other land lease community owners/operators from throughout the U.S. Have some special topics in mind.

And stay a day later, on the 11th, to participate in the day long Manufactured Housing Manager professional property management training & certification session. This will be the second class to use the new 8th edition Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry.


A Pipe Dream, or Is Reality But One Key Step Away?

“My conundrum; no ‘my problem’, with the lending segment of the manufactured housing industry? I am a great credit risk, yet when I use industry lenders, I end up paying 8% plus miscellaneous monthly fees for inventory financing. My homebuying customers are charged high rates no matter how good their credit. The best I can do for a retired person with a guaranteed income is 7.49% for a 20 year term loan.” Quoting a veteran land lease community owner selling and seller-financing new HUD-Code homes on-site.

So, conceptually and practically speaking,

‘Can the Interest Rate Spread, Between Home Mortgages Secured by Underlying Realty Conveyed Fee Simple, & Personal Property Loans (chattel capital) on Manufactured Housing Sited in Land Lease Communities, be Ameliorated to Create a Level Lending Environs?’

Perhaps!? Read what follows & tell us what you think; via

Do you know? The usual 600 – 800 basis point lower lending rate, typical of home mortgages secured by underlying realty conveyed fee simple, than higher rates charged for manufactured housing sited in land lease communities, easily account for a difference of $90,000 in the amount of new or resale home a prospective ‘land & home’ buyer, versus homebuyer/site lessee, can; afford to buy?

Specifically, in a local housing market where Area Median Income (‘AMI’), &/or prospective homebuyer’s (or household’s) Annual Gross Income (‘AGI’) is $36,000; and where realty-secured mortgages are available for 6.5 percent interest; but 9.5 percent for personal property loans – and land lease community monthly homesite rent is $333, respective home prices pencil out to be $158,0000 and $68,000 respectively.*1

Something to be careful about here. Whether annual household expenses (e.g. electric, gas, water – but not CATV & phone) are included in the monthly PITI or PITI/site rent payment – or are paid separately each month.*2 If ‘not included’’, as is the case in the previous paragraph – and apparently among independent third party manufactured housing chattel capital lenders, prospective homebuyers can buy ‘more house’, at increased risk (i.e. housing expense bills paid in addition to 30 percent allocated for PITI or PITI/site rent. However, if said household expenses are included in the PITI & PITI/site rent payments each month (this usually 25+/- percent of the 30 percent Housing Expense Factor or HEF, set aside to pay for one’s mortgage or rent, In this instance the prospective homebuyer affords ‘less house’, e.g. $119,000 instead of $158,000; and, $41,000 instead of $68,000, but is in a less risky, more affordable homebuyer, and homebuyer/site lessee state.

Now, ‘the question’. What would it take to lessen or eliminate altogether, the three to six percent average difference in interest rates between real estate-secured mortgages and personal property (i.e. chattel) loans; in other words, on manufactured homes sited on scattered building sites conveyed fee simple, and on rental homesites within land lease communities?

Assuming this difference in loan interest rates has mainly, if not wholly, to do with perceived security or risk, and lack thereof, of the loan commitment, where presence or not, of underlying improved realty is concerned, a relatively recent lending trend suggests this practical answer to the question:

In instances where personal property loans originate on new and resale manufactured homes installed, sold, and seller-financed by community owners, on rental homesites within their land lease communities; look to them as guarantors on said loans, to enhance security, and lessen risk, throughout the transaction term. After all, the mortgaged home is sited on the property owner’s realty, and goes nowhere without his/her tacit permission.

Frankly, there’s really nothing new about this suggestion. Land lease community owners/operators have subjected themselves to lender recourse for decades. Perhaps no one has pressed lenders to value said obligations in terms of interest rate reduction. After all, even in a worst case scenario, there will likely be enough value in the underlying real estate (i.e. entire land leases community) to more than cover any losses due to defaults on home loans.

Of course there’s more to this matter than meets the eye, or is described in the preceding paragraphs.*3 What do you see the roadblocks to be? Be sure to read End Note # 3 before replying. Then forward your thoughts on this matter to me as follows: GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247 or via

End Notes.

1. Using the ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet’ for estimating maximum recommended ‘affordable’ & ‘risky’ purchase prices for new & resale, privately-owned homes of any type, sited on realty owned fee simple with home, or on leased land, as in a land lease community. Worksheet available via Also know local housing market AMI’s are available, per postal zip codes, from

2. PITI = loan principal, interest, taxes, insurance

3. Further Considerations: 1) careful screening of homebuying prospects & counseling thereof, 2) just as careful screening of land lease community owners willing to guarantee homebuyer/site lessee loans, 3) careful management of upfront and back end Debt to Income ratios (‘DTI’), e.g. former @ 30% (with & without household utility expenses included?), and 40% when other outside debts are added to the front end PITI debt payment, & 5) whether this whole issue revolves around independent third party chattel lenders simply preserving a lucrative business model to the detriment of providing truly affordable housing when most needed in the U.S. What do you think?

George Allen, CPM, MHM

EARLY BLOG: 4th of July Story; Here’s E-HOP! (&) ‘New Ty’e

July 1st, 2019

July 2019; Copyright;
Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting is sole national advocate, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter, education resource & online communication media for North American land lease communities

To input this blog &/r affiliate with EducateMHC, formerly COBA7, telephone Official MHIndustry hotline; (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email:

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: Promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as US source for affordable obtainable housing! Visit

INITRODUCTION: Hang on for a reading ride! A longer a blog than intended, but all four parts are should be important to you, for significantly different reasons.

• How will you celebrate the 4th of July this week? Well, here’s how I did in 1968.
• E-HOP. You’re the first to hear about this exciting new chattel $ program for MHs.
• 5 August & 9 September. Two important days this Summer & Fall. Be there with us!
• ‘New type’ HUD-Code homes: Savior or Nemesis of manufactured housing industry?


Star Spangled Fourths of July, 50 & 200 Years Ago

On the fourth of July, 1969, my combat engineer platoon worked and lived at landing zone Stud, later renamed Vandegrift forward combat base. Stud was located a few miles east of the infamous, only recently vacated Khe Sanh combat base of Vietnam lore.

The day was like any other, for a combat engineer platoon. During daylight hours we cleared roads of landmines, built command bunkers, strengthened the perimeter defense, and helped wherever needed. All hot, dirty work, but what we were there to do.

That night also began like any other. At first, all was quiet and dark, no moon. Above ground light, even candlelight, was prohibited, lest it draw sniper fire from enemy troops in the hills surrounding our position. But around 2200 hours (10PM), someone popped a bright white star cluster pyrotechnic high into the black sky.

Usually, star cluster pyros are launched from hand held devices – hollow aluminum tubes 2” diameter X 12” long, to show helicopter pilots where one’s position is in darkness, identify medical evacuation pickup points, or where to drop needed supplies.

Well, that first star cluster burst was immediately followed by a whole bunch more – of varied colors, accompanied by a host of M16 assault rifles fired on full automatic – adding combat sound effects to the cacophony, along with the distinct odor of burning cordite. Also launched skyward, a couple illumination flares, dangling from mini-parachutes, drifted high above the base, and out over suspected enemy positions. This continued for a few minutes, then stopped as abruptly as it had begun.

In military parlance, tis chain of events is known as a ‘mad moment’, usually occurring in training scenarios to familiarize Marines with the sights, sounds, and smells of combat. And ‘mad moments’ do occasionally occur in combat environs like this, to celebrate a holiday.

Yes, one might view ‘mad moments’ as a waste of ammunition and signaling resources, also compromising one’s position, but know what?

During that ‘mad moment’, on the fourth of July 1968, at LXZ Stud, I envisioned standing next to Francis Scott Key, in 1818, watching the bombardment of Ft. McHenry, and him penning the poem which would later become our nation’s hallowed anthem, ‘The Star Spangled Banner’.

And today, 200 years later, 50+ for me since 1968, nary a 4th of July holiday occurs, without fondly, sometimes tearfully – but always gratefully, recalling being right there during a very special ‘mad moment’ in my life and that of our nation. God Bless America!

George Allen, lieutenant colonel retired, USMC


E-HOP = Today’s Top Story of MH Finance!

Earnings-based Home Ownership Program (‘E-HOP’) announces recent ‘closing’ of its’ first chattel loan on a new HUD-Code manufactured home sited in a land lease community!.

E-HOP is a new chattel loan program developed, during the last two years, by lenders working closely with a small, select group of land lease community owners (a.k.a. manufactured home communities) desiring to fill vacant rental homesites, to improve occupancy and upgrade their properties. E-HOP loans are guaranteed by land lease community owners and feature some important incentives.

Specifically, Park Lane Finance Solutions, LLC, of Staunton, VA., and Mountain View Estates of Rossville, GA., ‘closed’ the first E-HOP loan on a new multisection Clayton home. Community owners, David and Judy Roden, were excited to have the new homeowners/site lessees (i.e. residents) move into Mountain View Estates, based on their excellent rental history and long employment record.

Everyone benefits from the E-HOP program! It finances manufactured homes in stable, well-managed communities, and directly addresses the growing demand for affordable housing in the U.S. today. Lenders are protected by careful screening of prospective homebuyers, substantial down payments, satisfactory debt-to-income (‘DTI’) ratios, loan guarantees by participating community owners, and substantial reserve accounts designed to cover default-related costs. Home buyers benefit from terms they likely would not be able to obtain elsewhere. For additional information about this exciting, precedent-setting E-HOP program, contact Spencer Roane, MHM, Atlanta, GA: (678) 428-0212 or via


Why 5 August & 9 September Rock!

In less than a month, on Monday, 5 August 2019, the crème-de-la-crème of manufactured housing, land lease communities and recreational vehicle pioneers and leaders will journey to the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN., for the annual Induction Banquet. There they’ll witness 10 RV & MH businessmen and women achieve Free Enterprise immortality, among their peers in these two industries and realty asset class, as members of the prestigious RV/MH Hall of Fame!

Earlier, that day, Spencer Roane, MHM, and I will be on hand, at the nearby Hilton Garden Inn, or in the boardroom or library of the RV/MH Hall of Fame, prepared to meet semi-privately with MH and LLCommunity entrepreneurs desirous to talk about ongoing and emerging trends (e.g. ongoing MHIndustry paradigm shift since year 2000, emerging H-HOP loan program), as well as any other topic(s) of interest, e.g. preserving one’s personal &/or corporate legacy via memoirs. To participate, let me know of your interest during the next week or two, via Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 or via I’ll likely have copies of Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry (8th edition) available for purchase. First published, as Mobile Home Park Management, in 1988, this new, updated and enlarged 22o+/- page text is a major achievement of my 40 year career serving this industry and asset class. Also available for purchase via

And then, in just another month, on 9 September, the first day of the 28th Networking Roundtable, in Indianapolis, IN., major addresses will be delivered by U.S. Senator Todd Young (Who’s sponsoring new affordable housing legislation in the Senate, along with a dozen other senators), The GSEs (Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac) bringing everyone up to date relative to DTS programs (e.g. the former’s Choice Home program & latter’s MH Advantage program). Also major and very successful property portfolio owners/operators will be sharing their trade secrets as to success keeping rental homesite full and profitable. How can you afford not to be present at this seminal venue. For info and to register, visit


‘New Type’, Next-Generation MHs;
Savior or Nemesis for MHIndustry?

Housing Wire, ‘The Source for Mortgage & Housing Industry News’ tells us, “Median priced homes are too expensive for 74 percent of U.S. market”.

That being the case; on one hand, traditional and upscale HUD-Code manufactured homes are sorely needed in most U.S. local housing markets! But, on the other hand, do not forget the hard and sorry lessons we learned from mistakes in mid to late 1990s, when independent (street) MHRetailers, selling ‘land & home packages’ into traditional site-built housing markets, often erred effecting HUD-Code housing installations, and contracting post-installation services and structures appurtenant. We do not want to ‘go there’ again!

So, what is it we’re now offering the home buying public? First off, believe it or not, ‘it’ does not have an official, or even quasi-official name or moniker – yet. When the concept was ‘birthed’ at a MHI manufacturers’ division meeting in Orlando, FL., during Fall 2017, ‘it’ was simply referred to as a ‘new type’ manufactured housing designed to appeal to underserved markets, like millennials. Since then name suggestions have been made (e.g. millennial housing), but none have been selected or stuck.

Now along comes Freddie Mac, with its’ Choice program, for what they refer to as Next-Generation housing. And Fannie Mae, dealing with 99 percent the same ‘new type’ manufactured housing design, has their MH Advantage program. Both programs feature new HUD-Code multisection homes headed for permanent installation on realty conveyed fee simple, but NOT for new homes going into land lease communities! Confused yet? Again, one ‘new type’ HUD-Code housing design, alternately referred to as Next-Generation housing by one GSE, millennial housing by another, and ‘Who knows what?’ by someone else.

But that’s not really ‘the rub’. Yes ‘mobile homes’ cum ‘manufactured housing’ has made its’ mark on the U.S. housing scene for 75+/- years, primarily as an inexpensive, efficient, transportable housing alternative. And now along comes a significantly more sophisticated and expensive alternative, design packages typified by:

Freddie Mac’s Choice Program
• Higher-pitched (e.g. 5/12) roof line
• Garage or carport
• Permanent foundation to include masonry (non-load bearing perimeter wall)
• Drywall throughout, including closets Energy-efficient features
• Wood cabinetry
Fannie Mae’s MH Advantage Program
• 4/12 or greater roof pitch
• Attached garage/carport, or dormer(s) & covered porch/carport, or covered porch
• Permanent foundation must include masonry (non-lad bearing perimeter wall
• Drywall (tape & texture) throughout the home, including closets; kitchen &U bath cabinets with fronts of solid or veneered wood; and, Fiberglass, solid surface, acrylic, composite, porcelain/enamel-coated steel, or tile for all showers and or tubs.
• One of three energy standards.
• Low-profile finished floor set
• Exterior siding comprised of one or more of fiber cement board, hardwood siding, engineered wood siding, masonry, stone, stucco, or vinyl siding-backed with oriented strand board.
• Eaves six inches or greater
• Paved driveway & sidewalk leading to the home

So far so good. But who is going to prepare the foundations and install these much larger,
heavier, complicated structures? The same (but far fewer) folk who’ve been selling and siting far fewer new HUD-Code homes these past 20 years? What measures are being taken now and in the near future, to ensure we don’t err, once again, and marginalize this ‘new type’ high quality home we’re foisting on the buying public? To date, I’ve heard and read nothing about training, licensing, and certification on a broad and detailed scale to this end.

That brings us back to the title of this part of this blog posting. Will indeed, this ‘new type’ manufactured housing be our long sought market SAVIOR, or will we find it to be another market NEMESIS – compromising the progress we’ve slowly made since recovering from nadir shipment year 2009, when only 49,789 new HUD-Code homes were shipped nationwide? While I sincerely hope it’s the former; unless we take steps now to be far better quality control-minded independent contractors, as well as (street) MHRetailers, we risk seeing the history of two decades ago repeat itself.

And don’t forget, these two much ballyhooed GSE programs (i.e. Choice & MH Advantage) do not apply at all to the 40 percent of manufactured housing shipments presently going directly into land lease communities nationwide. Like DTS programs for personal property (i.e. chattel capital) loans on new HUD-Code homes is what we need NOW, knot another decade down the road! Is anyone at FHFA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac listening? Hope so!

George Allen, CPM, MHM
Educate MHC
Box # 47024 Indianapolis, IN. 46247 (317) 346-7156

Affordable & Obtainable – the new MH couplet!

June 19th, 2019

2019; Copyright 2019;

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

This blog posting is sole national advocate, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter, education resource & online communication media for North American land lease communities

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, formerly COBA7, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: Promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as US source for affordable obtainable housing! Visit

INTRODUCTION: HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities provide affordable obtainable housing & lifestyle! MHI, MHARR & NAMHCO owe it to us to work together in Washington, DC. to advance the cause of manufactured housing & land lease communities! And, for the first time ever, Fannie Mae’s 23 DUS (Delegated Underwriting & Servicing) lenders unanimously favor originating real estate-secured mortgages for land lease communities!



In the header above, hopefully you noticed the significant Goal adjustment at EducateMHC and this weekly blog posting. Specifically,


Obtainable housing? What’s this and how did it materialize? Attending MHI’s Visits on the Hill briefings, prior to walking the Innovative Housing Showcase on the national mall, a couple weeks ago, I was inspired by chairman Joe Stegmayer and MHI executive Dick Jennison pairing ‘affordable obtainable’ housing when describing our unique type factory-built housing.

Affordable housing? “Occurs when an individual or household’s Annual Gross Income (‘AGI’), or local housing market’s Area Median Income (‘AMI’) – identified by postal zip code @, can lease a conventional apartment or buy a home in the local housing market, using no more than 30 percent Housing Expense Factor, of said AGI, or AMI, for shelter and related household (utility) expenses.”*1 For example: $50,000 AGI or AMI X .3 HEF = $15,000/year; or $1,250/month for rent or mortgage PITI (principal, interest, taxes, insurance) and household expenses.

Obtainable housing? While I hoped MHI would hold forth on defining the concept, they haven’t – that I’ve seen or read, so here’s how this veteran industry observer views the concept: Given housing that’s affordable (by definition), in any given local housing market, HUD-Code manufactured housing, by dint of the industry’s ‘more than 100 factories nationwide’, makes it possible for prospective homebuyers/site lessees, to purchase said new housing virtually anywhere in the U.S. Hence, HUD-Code manufactured housing is affordable & obtainable!

Then the thought occurred to me: ‘Why not pair and promote ‘affordable & obtainable’?’ Everyone knows low income housing aficionados have long hijacked ‘affordable housing’ to serve their narrow purposes. Why not position HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities, going forward, as this nation’s homegrown source for ‘affordable & obtainable’ housing?! I’m ready to do so. How ‘bout you?

Let’s see if anyone else picks up on this bandwagon opportunity to differentiate and highlight manufactured housing and land lease communities, from just affordable housing, to the general American home buying public! Here’s who I’m going to watch, for leadership and publicity to this end: MHI, MHARR, NAMHCO, MHInsider magazine, Manufactured Housing Review online, the Allen Letter, and the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletters. Also our state manufactured housing associations nationwide. This should be interesting to observe, track, and report back on in a month or so…For that matter, let me know what you think of this ‘obtainable’ concept being paired with ‘affordable’ housing.

Bottom line? E very one of us should commit NOW, to Promote HUD-Code Manufactured Housing & Land Lease Communities as U.S. Source for Affordable Obtainable Housing!

End Note.

1. Official definition of affordable housing quoted from SWAN SONG text (First history of land lease communities, & Official Record of HUD-Code housing shipments 1955 to present day), available for purchase via


MHARR & MHI to Work Together or Merge?

Remember this? On 13 June, MHI published a HOUSING ALERT with the stirring headline: ‘MHI Protects Industry & Manufactured Housing Land Lease Communities From Attack’. While one online commentator decried the gist of said Press Release, claiming alleged anti-industry language was not as characterized, general sentiment appreciated having a spokesperson in Washington, DC., ‘tending the store’, so to speak.

So, in a private email message to dozens of manufactured housing executives and land lease community owners/operators, I made this bold – but needing to be said again and again, statement:

“It’s high time all three national entities (i.e. MHI, MHARR & NAMHCO) figure out how to work well and effectively together ALL the Time! We now have federal legislators and regulators who respect HUD-Code manufactured housing AND the land lease community lifestyle – so let’s speak with a much more unified voice than has been the case in the past, and in this example!”

And as is often the case, a blog flogger (reader) replied thusly:

“I couldn’t agree more George; the (manufactured housing) industry needs to speak with one voice. Unfortunately, I’m not very optimistic this will happen. Their styles of working with (regulators & legislators) government are completely different from one another, and only one has a PAC fund that can help get legislative support. Sending threatening letters to Federal agencies (e.g. Fannie, Freddie, FHFA, HUD) and legislative offices, telling them how terrible they are, is not a strategy that works well or often.”

This encouragement to unite and speak with one voice in Washington, DC. is neither new or novel. Many before me have expressed identical sentiments; but to date, to little or no avail – for various reasons. However, since so many of us recognize, as the cartoon character Pogo has been wont to say, in paraphrased fashion, “We continue to shoot ourselves in the foot with regularity!” – perhaps the time has come to make unity happen.

What say YOU? Let me know via or via the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.


Did You Know?

“Fannie Mae’s Delegated Underwriting and Servicing (‘DUS’®) lenders are authorized by Fannie Mae to underwrite, close and deliver loans without Fannie Mae’s pre-review, which reduces the length of time required to close a multifamily loan.”

With that said, 21 of 23 DUS lenders recently identified in Heartland Real Estate Business magazine list land lease communities (i.e. They say, ‘manufactured housing communities’) as being approved for real estate mortgage origination! So, what’s the ‘big deal’? This is the first time in decades our unique income-producing property type has received this very public mark of approval! We’re making progress!


George Allen, CPM, MHM
Box # 47024
Indianapolis, IN. 46247(317) 346-7156

Have you registered to attend the 28th Networking Roundtable, 8-10 September, at The Alexander Hotel in Indianapolis, IN., yet? To d

Suggestions to HUD & NAHB for 2020 for Innovative Housing Showcase

June 13th, 2019

June 2019; Copyright 2019;

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

This blog posting is sole national advocate, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter, education resource & online communication media for North American land lease communities

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, formerly COBA7, telephone Official MHindustry Hotline: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Online media goal? Inform, opine, transform & improve manufactured housing shipment & land lease community lifestyle! Visit

INTRODUCTION: Two straightforward matters this week: A successful Innovative Housing Showcase in Washington, DC, that deserves a repeat performance in 2020 – with improvements! And will we, or will we not, eclipse doubling the 2009 HUD-Code housing shipment volume by year end 2019, i.e. go from 48,789 to (Gasp!) at least 97,578 new homes shipped; better yet, 100,000+!?


Suggestions to HUD & NAHB for 2020 Innovative Housing Showcase

2019, A Worthwhile Debut Event In Need of Refinement

Hope you do this again in 2020! Next time however, include the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’), as a planner and host, along with HUD & the National Association of Homebuilders (‘NAHB’). MHI’s three HUD-Code manufactured homes, especially their New Type home, stole the attention of showcase attendees! Also, this fresh event deserves much better advance, widespread publicity, to attract out-of-towners like me, to the venue. And please, next time around, establish affordability standards for innovative housing to be exhibited. $100,000+ steel container shelters simply don’t meet that goal. For that matter, during presentations and panel discussions, early on, offer a working Definition of Affordable Housing, providing an agreed upon context for what occurs during the event. But most important of all, decide now – if it hasn’t been decided already, to have an Innovative Housing Showcase during year 2020!

Now a word or two to the planner hosts. First, the NAHB. ‘Your New Home & How to Take Care of It’ booklet is a gem of a guide for first time homebuyers! The 60 page booklet should be emulated by the MHI and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulator Reform (‘MHARR’), for distribution to homebuyer/site lessees buying their obtainable housing product, especially when sited in land lease communities. Is anyone at MHI & MHARR listening? How ‘bout the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners? Maybe an apropos ‘first time project’ for this new lobbyist in behalf of land lease communities nationwide?

And for affordable housing aficionados. Get hold of a copy of ‘The NMHC Housing Affordability Toolkit’, a guide to diverse housing affordability solutions. To do so, visit and download it, courtesy of the National Multifamily Housing Council. You’ll be glad you did!

Finally, HUD. At first I was excited to pick up FREE copies of three professional looking publications distributed at the Innovative Housing Showcase by the federal agency. Not now! Why? Because all three are 15-17 years out of date; hence, with little applicability to today’s manufactured housing and land lease community business environs. Specifically:

• Technology Roadmapping for Manufactured Housing, circa March 2003. Covers home, factory, site, market & consumer. The work was penned during the industry’s downturn, as shipments plummeted from 372,943+/- in 1998 to only 48,789+/- in 2009 – with 130,940+/- during 2003*1, so content is jaundiced accordingly. Should not have been distributed at the Innovative Housing Showcase. However, NOW would be the right time to research and prepare a 2020 update!

• Is Manufactured Housing a Good Alternative for Low – Income Families?, circa 2004. Penned by two academics for HUD. It’s this industry observer’s opinion they didn’t dig deep enough into the subject material. They did, however, determine manufactured housing is 1) a ‘good value’ for low income-families, is 2) structurally comparable to site-built housing, but 3) while demonstrating permanence (of residency), “MH, without land ownership does not appear to be a particularly good investment.” P.2. Considering the 15 year hiatus, this study too is in need of update and expansion. Anyone at HUD listening?

• Guide to Foundation & Support Systems for Manufactured Homes, circa 2002, by the Manufactured Housing Research Alliance (‘MHRA’) for HUD. Everything in this guide precedes the Frost Free Foundation epiphany realized and articulated by manufactured housing consultant George Porter. Much interesting and helpful information, complete with graphics – but of limited applicability until HUD makes up its’ mind (in 2019 & beyond) ‘what is acceptable’ in land lease community application. Once again HUD; is anyone listening?

Most important message of this blog posting? That the folk at HUD & NAHB decide to invite MHI to participate in the planning and hosting of a 2020 Innovative Housing Showcase. If they do so, you’ll be sure to read about the upcoming event here, for sure. And I look forward to seeing you there!

End Note. *1 The +/- notation on annual MH shipment totals (1974-2012) calls attention to the embarrassing situation, before year 2013, when two different annual shipment totals were published by two national manufactured housing advocacy entities. Today, there’s one official, verified annual total published by HUD, MHARR, NAMHCO, & EducateMHC, using unadulterated monthly totals supplied by the Institute for Building Technology & Safety (‘IBTS’) For a complete historic (1955-2018) list of manufactured housing shipment volumes, read SWAN SONG, available via


HUD-Code Housing Shipment Goal for 2019!

Do you realize how close we are to doubling the new HUD-Code housing nadir shipment volume of year 2009? That year the manufactured housing industry shipped only 48,789+/- new HUD-Code homes nationwide. To double that shipment total by 2019 year end (i.e. 10 years after that nadir year for the industry), we’d need to ship 97,578 new HUD-Code homes. That’s only 1,023 homes fewer than year end 2018! The ‘bad news’, however, is the manufactured housing industry has fallen off the ‘break 100,000 unit shipment pace’ since last Fall, and year to date (April 2019) we’re 3,040 homes behind the 2018 pace.

Not much any one of us can do about this ‘sorry sad state of affairs’ but to sell more HUD-Code homes within and outside land lease communities! Are you doing your part?

I only point this out, as it’d be ‘so encouraging’ to all of us, if we could end year 2019 saying: ‘We’re back! We’ve doubled shipment volume since 2009, and are on track to ‘’maybe’ eclipse 200,000 new HUD-Code homes shipped, by year 2030 or sooner – given reasonable access to chattel capital for in-community home loans.

What say you? We always like to hear from ‘blog floggers’ (readers) with opinions, pro and con, what we publish for you here, in the Allen Letter and the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! Business newsletters. To subscribe, visit Doing so, keeps this weekly blog posting a-coming.

George Allen, CPM,MHM EducateMHC Box # 4

Trump & Media akin to MHI & Naysayers, + Private Equity Firms Identified

June 8th, 2019

2019; Copyright 2019;

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

This blog posting is sole national advocate, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter, education resource & online communication media for North American land lease communities

To input this blot, &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, formerly COBA7, telephone Official MHIndustry hotline: (877) MFE-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email:

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Online media goal? Inform, opine, transform & improve manufactured housing shipment & land lease community lifestyle! Visit

INTRODUCTION: Manufactured housing action on at least two fronts this week. First, at the INNOVATIVE HOUSING SHOWCASE on the U.S. capitol mall in Washington, DC. If you missed that opportunity to shine as a MH professional – too bad. And, the increasingly public $ saga of private equity investors in land lease communities continues – too bad. In different ways, two contretemps (‘embarrassing situations) in one week!


President Trump & Media Critics akin to MHI & Naysayers

As I walked the HUD & NAHB-hosted INNOVATIVE HOUSING SHOWCASE, on the U.S, capitol mall, earlier this week, the thought occurred to me:

What President Trump endures, from the liberal-leaning secular press, by way of vitriol (‘criticism’) and misreporting (i.e. Think ‘collusion delusion’ of the past two years), is remarkably similar – in my mind anyway – to the vitriol and lack of support (the) Manufactured Housing Institute receives from any other national manufactured housing advocate domiciled in Washington, DC. Period.

How so? At every turn, these past two plus years, President Trump has been attacked by “…those entrusted with news reporting in the modern media…destroying freedom of the press from within; not government oppression or suppression, not President Trump’s finger-pointing, but present-day newsrooms and journalists.” This quoted from page 1 of Mark R. Levins’ new book, Unfreedom of the Press. Trump’s sole relief and encouragement is an electoral base that only grows as his political opponents ‘investigate’ rather than ‘legislate’!

Similarly true was the absence of participation, by any manufactured housing advocacy entity other than MHI and its’ members, in the aforementioned INNOVATIVE HOUSING SHOWCASE.*1 Of the dozen or so examples of innovative housing (Think Tiny Houses & steel container shelters) exhibited on the capitol mall, three were HUD-Code homes: Two from Skyline-Champion, including a New Type manufactured home, and an attractive home from Cavco Industries. Also worthy of note; UMH Properties, a REIT, was the sole land lease community portfolio owner/operator to participate in the INNOVATIVE HOUSING SHOWCASE as a sponsor/exhibitor.

Still, this question begs answering: Where were sister national manufactured housing entities and favored press representative?

Point? To the best of anyone’s recollection, this was the first time in 70+ years of manufactured housing history, our type factory-built housing was on display, for thousands to see and visit! Yes, MHI had to scramble to get these homes in place, but they did – and the manufactured housing industry will benefit from their largesse. Anecdotally, even NAHB members wandered over to walk through the three HUD-Code homes, thinking they were site-built. And an unintended (positive) consequence of being displayed near expensive prototypes of innovative housing, was how, by comparison, manufactured homes are much more attractive, spacious, and affordable!

So, just as many American citizens would like to see the secular press/media ‘back off’ its’ ongoing criticism of President Trump – and start ballyhooing his successes, the naysayers targeting the New Type manufactured housing would also do well to back off their persistent criticism, and commit now to participate in next year’s INNOVATIVE HOUSING SHOWCASE, all the while, encouraging positive trade press coverage of manufactured housing.

End Note.
1. “The purpose of the Innovative Housing Showcase is (to) display new building technologies that can make housing more affordable and resilient.” Quoted from HUD.GOV FAQS handout.


Private Equity Firms & Another Point of View

Part III of last week’s blog posting # 535 carried this subject line: ‘Wealth Redistribution in Year 2020 & Beyond?’ In it I described how “…the top 0.1% of (U.S.) taxpayers – about 170,000 families, in a country of 330 million people – control 20% of American wealth, the highest share since 1929.” Then described how U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, with Iowa representative Dave Loebsack, recently wrote to private equity firm Havenpark Capital, of Utah, about that firm’s 58% ‘rent increase’ at Golfview MH Court, i.e. springing rental homesite rates from $315 to $490/month.

Well, since then, Senator Warren has sent additional ‘demand for information’ letters to other private equity firms, all relatively new to investing in the land lease communities; including, but now wholly listed:

• Stockbridge (CA): YES! Communities
• Federal Capital Partners (MD): Horizon Land
• Brookfield Asset Management (NY): RHP Properties
• Blackstone (NY): Treehouse Communities
• TPG Capital (NY): RV Horizons, now in part, ImpactMHC
• The Carlyle Group (NY)
• Apollo Global Management Group (NY): Inspire Communities
• Centerbridge Capital: Carefree Communities

In the meantime, one veteran manufactured housing executive responded, to blog posting # 535, with this, Another Point of View:

“Combined, these companies have stepped forward to invest millions (probably billions) of dollars to preserve and improve affordable manufacture home communities in America. At the same time, the federal government has imposed costly mandates that pushed Mom & Pop operators to sell or close their communities. As you know, manufactured housing is a federally-regulated production product. A more fruitful inquiry might be why the federal government has abandoned these homeowners by making it nearly impossible to go to a federally-regulated bank for an affordable home mortgage.”

Well, how would you respond to this Another Point of View? Me? I’m uncertain these private equity firms have indeed ‘preserved and improved affordable land lease communities’. In some cases, sure; but otherwise, no. That jury is still out deliberating. And, I’m unsure what ‘costly mandates’ are being referred to here? Since rent control is usually a local or state statute, maybe we’re talking about tightened financial regs per CFPB; also stricter reporting regs relative to wastewater treatment effluent and potable water supply. But the writer has a point where lack of even reasonable access to chattel capital for new manufactured housing loans continues to be a major challenge for the industry and realty asset class.

George Allen, CPM, MHM
Box # 47024, Indpls, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

A Clayton Homes Reveal, FOCUS Groups Return, & Wealth Redistribution

May 30th, 2019

; Copyright 2019;

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

This blog posting is sole national advocate, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter, education resource & online communication media for North American land lease communities

To input this blog, &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, formerly COBA7, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Online media goal? Inform, opine, transform & improve manufactured housing shipment & land lease community lifestyle! Visit

INTRODUCTION: Almost everything you’ve wanted to know about Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, and Berkshire-Hathaway, but didn’t know who to ask. It’s coming your way soon!
And FOCUS Groups – a popular land lease community owner education resource of the past being resurrected this Summer? Also, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren throws her political influence into aggressive rent increase fray in Iowa. All three excitingeveents in this week’s blog


An Insider Look at the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! Newsletter

‘Dark colored sports jackets, open-neck blue sports shirts & blue jeans’…the corporate uniform at Clayton Homes, when Kevin & his three top execs gather for a two page photo spread in the May 2019 issue of Builder magazine.’ That’s how the one of ten strategic news stories, in the June issue of TAC! begins.

Then follows five news bytes every one of you reading this should want to know: ‘Mr. Buffett’s dream scenario for a family….’, specific counts relative to Clayton’s corporate infrastructure, the firm’s five essential checkpoints for potential acquisition targets, Clayton’s nexus to success, and ‘new class’ of homes.

But don’t fret. While the June TAC! will be distributed next week, the same story will likely be featured in the July issue of the Allen Letter. So, three ways for you to learn things about Clayton Homes you never knew before: TAC!, Allen Letter, and your own copy of Builder magazine.


‘Land Lease Community Lifestyle Done Well’ REVISITED!

In last week’s blog posting (#534) we revisited the once very popular FOCUS Group concept, long in play among (then) manufactured home community owners/operators several years ago. While I certainly hoped for response to the idea, I was SURPRISED at the number – and nature of, positive responses, from contemporary land lease community owners/operators interested in getting together, once again, in these small group 1 ½ day sessions!

By way of review; what we’re talking about here, is where/when community owners, including small to mid-sized portfolio ‘players’, recommend topics of active interest, to the FOCUS Group meeting organizer. Who, in turn, arranges for a come together of a dozen owners/operators, preferably on-site in an easily accessed land lease community with a suitable clubhouse (O perhaps, in this case, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN., on 5 August 2019). The organizer narrows the topic list down to four, maybe five – doable in a day’s time; then informs interested parties as to the date and location of a host hotel and specific meeting location.

The usual sequence. Networking dinner together the first night. Meet on-site the next morning. Work thru the agreed upon agenda, starting no later than 9AM. Work thru lunch, ending with a new topic in the early afternoon. Conclude by 2PM or thereabouts, for those needing to head home. Others oft stay for more conversation, tour of the property, etc… Meeting costs? Shared pro rata by attendees; usually honorarium for meeting organizer and facility rental. Also food and beverage unless meeting location host sponsors same. When topics are announced, ahead of time, participants are expected to come prepared to discuss, even have handout material to share with peers.

So, if seriously interested in participating in a FOCUS Group meeting on 5 August 2019 either at a local hotel or the RV/MH Hall of Fame, in Elkhart, IN. (Same day as this year’s annual RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet…call 574/293-2344 for tickets), let me know ASAP via email: or Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877)MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Willing to plan this FOCUS Group meeting if a minimum of ten individuals commit to attend.

FOCUS Groups have been and continue to be an excellent way for owners/operators to ensure Land Lease Community(ies) Lifestyle is Done Well Going Forward! So consider this opportunity!


Wealth Redistribution in Year 2020 & Beyond?

Expect to hear more about this contentious topic as socialist-leaning politicians strive to gain electoral traction with the American citizenry. A recent article in Bloomburg Businessweek was titled, The Wealth Detective’, with the subtitle: ‘The rich know how to keep their money secret. Economist Gabriel Zucman knows how to find it.’ Here are a couple gems contained therein:

• “Minimum amount Zucman calculated wealthy stash in offshore accounts = $7.6 trillion” – “accounting for 8% of global household financial wealth; 80% of those assets were hidden from governments, resulting in about @200 billion in lost tax revenue per year.”

• “Zucman & Saez’s latest estimates show the top 0.1% of taxpayers – about 170,000 families in a country of 330 million people – control 20% of American wealth, the highest share since 1929. The top 1% control 39% of U.S. wealth, and the bottom 90% have only 26%. The bottom half of Americans combined, have a negative net worth.”

Let’s bring this high-flying projection of unbalanced financial gain home to roost. Recall how we’ve been talking, of late in this blog, about the private equity wave of land lease community consolidation? And how aggressive rental homesite rate increases appear to be the common characteristic of the movement? Well, ‘proof of this’ is playing out in the state of Iowa. There, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and Iowa representative Dave Loebsack recently wrote directly to private equity firm Havenspark Capital, of Utah, about the firm’s 58 percent ‘rent increase’ at Golfview MH Court, where site rent jumped from $315 to $490 when the firm acquired the land lease community.

While this incident can be viewed as a ‘shot across the bow’ of predatory landlording, it does have serious implication for any land lease community owner/operator, not just the private equity wave folk, who’re tempted to raise rental homesite rates beyond the traditional 3:1 ratio (i.e. 3BR2B apartments at $900/month? Then LLCommunity site rent maybe at $300/month+/-).

Besides, if HUD-Code manufactured housing AND land lease communities really want to continue being considered a key part of the solution to this nation’s ongoing affordable housing crisis; well, they need to keep housing prices AND rental homesite rates ‘together’ within the 30 percent Housing Expense Factor (‘HEF’), i.e. Area Median Income (‘AMI’) = $36,000, then 30% HEF suggests $10,800/year, or $900/month is available for PITI (principal, interest, taxes, insurance) AND site rent together! The wildcard factor here, though, is whether annual household utility expenses are paid as part of the 30% HEF – leaving less $ available for house & rent; or, paid ‘in addition to’ the 30% HEF, making the transaction ‘risky’ as the homeowner/site lessee now pays a Household Expense Factor (‘HEF’) greater than the affordable 30 percent. Think about it. How are your in-community deals structured? To put your customers ‘at risk’ or keep them in ‘affordable housing’? How the utility bill question is answered does make a difference;!


George Allen, CPM, MHM
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156