MH’s TWIN CRISES
Blog Posting # 668 @ 10 December 2021: EducateMHC
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: According to MHARR the manufactured housing industry is faced, today, with twin crises. And some might add ‘a third’ in light of the fact our industry appears to be incapable of reporting a consistent number of new HUD-Code homes shipped monthly.
MH’s TWIN CRISES
As observed and described by the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform in its’ November 2021 communique; actually a Q&A discussion between president & CEO Mark Weiss and an online trade publication.
Did you even know manufactured housing is faced with twin crises? Well here they are:
CRISIS # 1. The energy matter. Department of Energy (‘DOE’) proposed rule for manufactured housing was once blocked, but then revived in 2014, only to be withdrawn near the end of the Obama administration. Since then there’s been back-and-forth legal maneuverings, culminating in a requirement to publish a proposed standard in 2021, to be adopted as a final standard in 2022. Other related factors? ‘Climate change’ interest on the part of the current administration; failure of the two GSEs to implement their ‘Duty to Serve’ (‘DTS’) plans relative to chattel loans; and, GNMA’s ’10-10’ rule that’s collapsed FHA Title I lending. Result? “…a devastating impact on mainstream manufactured housing….” MW
CRISIS # 2. No post-production trade advocate. “…the industry does not have an independent national post-production representative organization to fight for, advance, and implement full and equal inclusion of manufactured homes in federal government housing largess.” (lightly edited) About which MHAARR continues: “MHARR is not – and will not become – a post-production association.” Understood. But it does bring to mind proverbial truism: ‘If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem!’ And I do understand MHARR’s frustration about this matter, but from a different perspective. On 26 October 1993, during a meeting in Dallas, TX. land lease community portfolio owners/operators drafted a Mission Statement and Strategic Objectives for what they hoped would be a ‘post-production association’. Well, long story short, these 19 executives and the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) launched the National Communities Council (‘NCC”) on 1 January 1996. While it got off to an enthusiastic start, under the leadership of Jim Ayotte, CAE, it didn’t take long for cronyism and political upmanship to prevail. And while the NCC is a division within MHI today, it has not – in my opinion – come anywhere near being the post-production association envisioned and needed today.*1
So, where to go from here? That depends on how serious you feel these twin crises are for the manufactured housing industry and land lease communities nationwide. In the first instance, do as I did in years past, make it a point to attend and participate in DOE public hearings on the proposed rules. Second; well, that depends on how content you are with attending one well-attended Leadership Forum, sponsored by the NCC each year, or whether you too believe there should be a salaried MHI executive actively leading the division in advocating for professional property management, fair treatment of homeowners/site lessees, and more.
1. For more information on this subject, read The First 20 Years, penned by the late Bruce Savage, former communications executive of MHI. Available via www.educatemhc.com
9,254 VERSUS 9,247
Well, I guess this leopard will not, or cannot, change its’ spots – as the bromide goes. The first of the two numbers shown above, ‘9,254’ is how many new HUD-Code homes the Institute for Business Technology & Safety (‘IBTS’) says were shipped during the month of October 2021. IBTS is HUD’s official contractor for ‘keeping score’ of new HUD-Code homes shipped monthly. The second number, ‘9,247’ is a different number of new HUD-Code homes shipped, as reported by the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’).
What’s significant about this difference in ‘the number of new HUD-Code homes shipped’ is that during the previous two months, August & September, ALL reporting entities: IBTS, HUD, MHARR, MHI, & EducateMHC announced the very same shipment totals! But now MHI has reverted back to adjusting the industry’s official total by the number of Destination Pending units recorded by IBTS. Go figure.
George Allen, CPM, MHM