Suggestions to HUD & NAHB for 2020 for Innovative Housing Showcase

June 2019; Copyright 2019; www.educatemhc.com

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

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INTRODUCTION: 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+!?

I.

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 housingtoolkit.nmhc.org 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 www.educatemhc.com

II.

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 www.educatemhc.com Doing so, keeps this weekly blog posting a-coming.

George Allen, CPM,MHM EducateMHC Box # 4

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