‘Three Strikes & You’re Out! & COBA7 rules!

COBA7® @ community-investor.com Blog # 321 Copyright @ 2 November 2014

Perspective. ‘Land-lease-lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities and ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting ‘is a national advocacy voice, ombudsman press*, statistical research reporter, & online communications resource for all LLLCommunities in North America!’

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance(R(, a.k.a. COBA7®, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

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

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

I.

‘Three strikes’ is the bad news count for batters in baseball; repeat offenders in crime; and now maybe, HUD-Code manufactured homes in the U.S. housing industry! Why?

II.

Now that COBA7® is a ‘bona fide player’ in the manufactured housing industry and land-lease-lifestyle community asset class, would-be leaders clamor to get involved!

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I.

‘Three Strikes’ & Manufactured Housing is Likely Outa the Affordable Housing Game!

Yes, you read that right. It’s the sole conclusion one reasonably reaches upon reading MHARR’s (*) 10/27/2014 Press Release. Peruse this redacted, but still lengthy sentence, and decide for yourself:

“ ‘Working Group’ (@) U.S. Department of Energy (re) manufactured housing energy conservation standards…has recommended…costly new standards (to) increase consumer purchase price of a single-section manufactured home by an average of (‘Gasp!’) $2,170.00.”

This heady dollar amount would be in addition to the 165 percent increase in HUD label fees effected recently; and ‘passed onto unsuspecting prospective homebuyers’!

Apparently, their new home purchase price increase could be even higher, according to MHARR, who further writes in the same Press Release:

“…based on relevant costs for smaller (home) manufacturers, indicate the retail price increases would actually range from $4,745.00 for a single-section home, to $6,234.00 for a double-section (sic) home in large (unspecified) areas of the country.”

Now, let’s return to the worrisome prognostication that, “‘Three Strikes’ and manufactured housing will likely out of the affordable housing game” once and for all! How so? Well, recall these historic strikes against the manufactured housing industry:

STRIKE # 1. Circa 1998 – 2002. Flagrant abuses of chattel capital to fund new home purchases within (then) manufactured home communities resulted in, according to the CFPBs (*) 9/28/14 White Paper, at least $1.3 billion dollars in MH repossessions! And more than a decade later, easily accessible chattel capital has not returned to manufactured housing one whit.

STRIKE # 2. Can you say, ‘Safe And Fair Enforcement, of mortgage licensure laws, or S.A.F.E. Act; Dodd-Frank federal legislation; &, Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’ – all in one breath? Neither can I. Likewise, neither can the manufactured housing industry long endure unnecessary, restrictive financial regulation and survive, let alone prosper!

And STRIKE # 3? You just might be reading about it, for the first time, right here! In summary and conclusion: 1) Easy access to chattel capital goes away nary to return; 2) We’re overregulated to the point where homebuyers, who need our brand of affordable housing (*), can no longer qualify for it; and now, 3) Would be do-gooder outsiders, under PC (*) auspices of ‘energy conservation standards’, appear to favor jacking the purchase price of manufactured homes out of the reach of individuals and families needing, but who’re least capable of buying, new homes!

So, if one truly cares about the present and future of HUD-Code manufactured housing, what is one to do? Simple! For starters, reach out to your respective national advocacy body – there’re two of them in and around Washington, DC – and ask specifically whether MHARR ‘has it right or wrong’! If wrong, request a detailed explanation why the numbers are incorrect. And, whether ‘the numbers’ are right or wrong, pass a copy of that information onto me. Why?

What is needed now, is honest-to-goodness ‘cost benefit analysis’ of said ‘energy conservation standards’ increasing prices for new HUD-Code homes. Better this done in the light of day, than behind the scenes, as with other recent regulatory cost shenanigans.

II.

COBA7® What a Difference a Year Makes!

There’s renewed interest, on the part of LLLCommunity owners, as to who will succeed me as national asset class researcher, resource source, print & online communicator, networking & deal-making event planner, historian, professional property management trainer, and official ombudsman (press).

Me? No real change here. Carolyn and I are onboard for the long haul – till health fails, she says ‘retire!’, or a new leadership team is in place and well handling all seven functions of the exciting, growing Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®.

Are new leadership team prospects in view? Yes! And not just one possibility, but five! Three are in the Midwest, one on the East coast, one on the West coast. In one instance, a state MHAssociation, with excess office space and able staff is toying with the idea. In another, a well known product/service supplier is considering adding COBA7®, in part, as a market ‘draw’; and three – that I know of – LLLCommunity portfolio owners/operators believe the momentum and work of the alliance of ‘MHInsiders’ must continue! And no, nary a word of interest from either national advocacy body. No surprise there.

So, if you’re reading this, and haven’t yet affiliated with COBA7®, to become a bona fide ‘MHInsider’, do so soon, and join the more than 200 businesses who’re already affiliates! Simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. All segments of the MHIndustry are welcome! And know there’re more LLLCommunity owners/operators affiliated with COBA7® today, than the total number of realty asset class members among all other national trade advocacy bodies combined!

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End Notes.

(*) MHARR = Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform

(*) Consumer Finance Protection Bureau

(*) affordable housing = “Housing is affordable when individuals or households ‘…earning less than half the Area Median Income or AMI’, can afford to rent a conventional apartment and or buy a home in their local housing market.”. Quoted from Bruce Savage’s book, The First 20 Years!, PMN Publishing, Indpls, IN., 2013, pp.105 & 106

(8) PC = politically correct

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