MHIndustry ‘watchdog’ on a roll!

Blog Posting # 606 @ 2 Oct 2020; Copyright 2020:

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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MHIndustry ‘watchdog’ on a roll!

Last week (blog # 605), we encouraged you to contact the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’), to request a copy of their REPORT & ANALYSIS, (‘R&A’) distributed during early September. Did you?

Well, here’s a new REPORT & ANALYSIS, dated 21 September 2020, you should read and ponder. Titled similarly to aforementioned R&A, ‘MHARR Exposes Fannie and Freddie Deception of Regulators, Congress, and Trump Administration on DTS.” (Duty to Serve)

The lead paragraph is probably the most indicting one I’ve read, to date, relative to the two GSEs (government sponsored enterprises), its’ overseer the FHFA (Federal Housing Finance Agency), along with “one or two industry conglomerates”.

Then, on page # 2 (second paragraph), Mark Weiss ‘makes his case’ as to how lack of affordability relates to – what he, in my opinion, erroneously refers to, as ‘MH Advantage’ & ‘new class’ homes. The correct terminology is CrossMod™. Be that as it may, his bottom line conclusion, is that this new shelter alternative “…would cost more than double the amount (i.e. $121,000 – $137,000 compared to $54,000 – $64,000) for current manufactured housing consumers DTS was designed and mandated to serve….” Hard to argue with that.

I’d like to have read MHARR Mark’s opinion, not just about what he felt were the shortfalls, e.g. DTS and the GSEs, but WHY they continue to occur. My opinion on the matter? Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, along with their FHFA overseer, simply don’t want to RISK a repeat of what happened to them at the turn of the century, when they lost so much money and went into conservatorship – and remain there, though some say there’s a ‘light at the end of that tunnel’. Any commentary out there, about the efficacy or not, of that opinion?

Besides two post-production factors – “discriminatory consumer financing restrictions and discriminatory zoning and placement mandates” (Reads to me like pre-production factors, and classic ‘which came first’, the chicken or egg, conundrum?), MHARR blames much of this sorry state of affairs (i.e. recovering housing industry but declining shipment volume of HUD-Code homes) on “the absence of independent post-production sector (i.e. retailers, communities, finance companies, etc.) representation at the nation’s capital.” Once again, why doesn’t the writer of this opinion, share his reason(s) why this has not happened to date. WHY? I’ll offer one observation. As long as the largest national advocate for manufactured housing is funded and controlled by HUD-Code housing manufacturers, the three post-production sector business models will NEVER wield the type and degree of influence in our nation’s capital necessary to address issues, and regs, lamented early in the paragraph! And to date, no charismatic leader has stepped forth to lead ‘us’ out of captivity.

On one hand, I’ll give MHARR, a housing manufacturers’ trade association, a lot of credit for attempting to address macro issues germane to the land lease community realty asset class. However, doing so, from a less than fully-informed perspective, risks misunderstanding, even error. That happened on page # 5 of this P&A, when the writer pens: “the expansion of existing communities has largely been stymied; while existing communities are being sold and re-developed for other purposes at significant pace.” Not. According to annual ALLEN REPORTs, community expansions continue, and the hot trend of ‘park closures’, early this century, has cooled.

As I did last, week, encourage you to contact MHARR and ask them to email you a copy of this nine page REPORT AND ANALYSIS, dated 21 September 2020. You’ll be glad you did.


A potpourri of MHIndustry Information…

A Storm Cloud on the Horizon?! Affordable Housing Finance magazine, in its’ Sept/Oct 2020 issue opines, “An estimated 30 million to 40 million people could be at risk of eviction in the next several months, according to a team of prominent housing experts….” P.8 Why? “…millions of Americans remain out of work due to COVID-19 and federal, state, and local protections expire.”

“Freddie Mac (in its’ midyear multifamily outlook report) predicts U.S. multifamily loan originations will drop severely for all of 2020, due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the big blow the virus has dealt the U.S. economy.” Heartland Real Estate Business tabloid, p.18

A whisper of good news! “According to latest Federal Fair Housing Agency House Price Index (‘FHFA HPI’), house prices rose 6.5 percent from July 2019 to July 2020.” FHFA will release its’ next HPI report on 27 October 2020, with housing data through August 2020.

Did you do SECO last week? If you did, you were part of the first and largest national virtual gathering (i.e. 400+ registrants) of manufactured housing and land lease community (though ‘too many’ of the presenters kept referring to ‘mobile home parks’) to occur in the U.S. since the Louisville MHShow way back in January 2020. The SECO National Conference for Community Owners featured more than a dozen timely topics, covered by nearly three dozen speakers. I’ve requested input from the show’s organizers to use in next week’s blog posting, perhaps even a feature story in the November issue of The Allen Confidential! newsletter. The entire event was recorded, so visit SECO online to learn how to obtain a copy if so desired.

Are YOU signed-up to attend the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (‘FHFA’) Listening Session for Manufactured Housing on 16 October 2020? I am. It’s virtual and extends from 1-4PM that day. Visit the FHFA website for more information. There is no registration fee.

Last call! If you or your firm owns and or fee manages a portfolio of five or more land lease communities, or a minimum of 500 rental homesites (at one or more properties) you qualify to be listed in the 32nd annual ALLEN REPORT, scheduled for distribution as an addendum to The Allen Confidential! newsletter during January 2021. To obtain a questionnaire to complete, simply email me via or phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

Will I see you at the RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet in Elkhart, IN., on 3 December 2020? Sure hope so! To purchase banquet tickets, phone (574) 293-2344. This is an ‘in person’ event.

George Allen, CPM, MHM

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