From a Letter to My Friends at Fannie Mae, & OUCH!
Blog # 469; Copyright, 29 October 2017; at community-investor.com
Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, & ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’
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What happened to Blog # 468? Well, it’s ‘Under Development’. Huh? That’s right;
‘Solving Our Nation’s (Lack of) Affordable Housing Crisis, with Factory-built Housing & Land Lease Communities!’
has become a larger, more complicated writing challenge than expected. In fact, right now, copies of the six page manuscript are in the hands of two manufactured housing professionals whose experience and abilities I respect and value. Once they’ve completed their ‘chop’ of the document, I’ll edit and fine tune what I/we hope to be the first definitive message to that end; again:
Solving Our Nation’s (Lack of) Affordable Housing Crisis, with Factory-built Housing & Land Lease Comnmunities!
Frankly, I don’t know of anyone else, at anytime, who’s addressed this serious contemporary matter in the fashion taking shape! This very point was driven home, just this past week, as 20 of us from the manufactured housing industry participated in Fannie Mae’s ‘The Future of Manufactured Housing’ forum, in Washington, DC
And, reading HUD’s half-baked feature focus, ‘Housing for Seniors’ in the Summer 2017 issue of their Evidence Matters 19 page slick magazine. Why wait until the end of October 2017 to distribute a communiqué intended for distribution almost six months ago?
OK, moving right along; first a quick view of a small part of what occurred at Fannie Mae headquarters in Part I; followed by a critical review of ‘Housing of Seniors’ in Evidence Matters, Part II.
From a Letter to My Friends at Fannie Mae
Manufactured housing demographic and industry-related statistics would be far more understandable and usable if defined and categorized beyond the simple ‘MH’ (manufactured housing) label used today. A four part suggestion:
• MHO (in community) = Homeowner occupied manufactured housing units on deeded realty (e.g. as in subdivisions, on scattered building sites, & homesites within condominium (‘condo’) communities.
• MHR (on deeded sites) = Renter occupied manufactured housing units on scattered deeded realty sites.
• MHO (on rental sites) = Homeowner occupied manufactured housing units on rental homesites within land lease communities &, resident-owned communities (‘ROCs’)
• MHR (in community) = Renter occupied manufactured housing units in land lease communities, ROCs, & condo communities.
MHHO (in community) & MHR (on deeded sites) comprise the estimated 60 percent of destination for new HUD-Code manufactured homes during 015 & 2016.
MHO (on rental sites) & MHR (in community) comprise the estimated 40 percent (& growing) destinations for new HUD-Code manufactured homes during 2015 & 2016.
That covers the spectrum of how today’s HUD-Code manufactured homes are sited and used in various configurations. To continue to lump all MHIndustry stats into one summary category (.e. ‘MH’) is inaccurate and a misleading practice.
On another subject, the time is well-past using the term ‘park’ during Fannie Mae events such as this forum. Frankly, when used, it suggests the speaker/writer is ‘new to the industry’, product naive, and or insensitive to the negative subliminal image the ‘park’ label conveys. Manufactured home community has been in place since 1994; and only recently, has begun to be replaced by land lease community – by dint of the fact that today, as many as six different types of shelter can be commonly found therein.
And don’t misunderstand, much much more was presented, discussed, and parsed during the Fannie Mae forum. Watch for details to follow here and elsewhere. It’d certainly be appropriate for Freddie Mac to follow suit and invite manufactured housing and land lease community folk to a like forum in the near future.
HUD Really Knows How to Hurt a Friend!
The INTRODUCTION to this blog posting suggested “HUD’s half-baked feature focus, ‘Housing for Seniors’ in the Summer 2017 issue (Delivered during late October 2017) of their Evidence Matters..” magazine, does little to ‘Solve Our Nation’s (Lack of ) Affordable Housing Crisis…’, where U.S. citizens are concerned!
Here’s the Bottom Line right up front and in your face! For the federal regulatory agency, with oversight responsibility, to administer the 1976 HUD-Code, where manufactured housing is concerned, to totally (That’s 100%!) ignore that industry in this issue’s ‘Housing for Seniors: Challenges & Solutions’, is UNFORGIVEABLE. Here’s how the story unfolds…
Know the subtitle of Evidence Matters is ‘Transforming Knowledge Into Housing & Community Policy’. With that in mind, the feature begins:
“The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies (‘JCHS’) projects the number of U.S. adults age 65 and older will grow from 48 to 79 million over the next two decades. By 2035, JCHS expects 50 million households – approximately one out of every three in the U.S. – will be headed by someone age 65 or older, and the number of people age 80 and older will double to 24 million.”
The writer goes on to pen…
“The nation’s existing housing stock – in terms of options, affordability, and accessibility – is ill-suited to meet the housing needs of an increasingly older population that overwhelmingly wishes to age in place.”
“…households 80 and older have a median income of $25.000 annually, and nearly one in four has an income of $15,000 or less.”
Pretty sobering stuff, I think you’d agree.
Now here’s ‘the rub’. Nowhere in this lengthy article does HUD make any mention whatsoever of manufactured housing and land lease communities being – and these are HUD’s words, not mine – “Safe, affordable comfortable, and aging-friendly housing for seniors”. Geesh! How could they miss US? After all, manufactured housing and land lease communities are the only type ‘shelter & lifestyle’ in the world, characterized as affordable, attractive housing for the ‘newly wed & nearly dead’! Not a genteel way of saying it, for sure, but as accurate as can be!
And, ‘adding insult to injury’, the article goes on to describe the need for universal design features for senior citizens. Once again, totally ignoring the fact that the manufactured housing industry already features, when ordered, “wide doorways, step-free entryways, and lever faucets.” Nor does it mention the wheel chair accessible vanities, grab bars, and emergency summons devices also available in manufactured housing.
Methinks HUD owes the manufactured housing industry and land lease community folk an apology. After all, they’ve been regulating the industry since 1976, i.e. more than 40 years and counting. You’d think, by now, they’d be the biggest supporter – even marketing proponent, of this type affordable, attractive, energy efficient, transportable housing for not only senior citizens, but everyone who needs new shelter priced at 50% of site-built housing (not including land cost). Will we see a turnabout on the part of HUD? Let’s hope so, watch future issues of Evidence Matters, and see. Rachelle, are you listening?
George Allen, CPM & MHM
Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, or COBA7, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publicizing
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247
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