Post-Musings & State of MHIndustry Trade Press/Media
Blog # 502; Copyright @ 9 September 2018; 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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INTRODUCTION: Not needed this week. For some, this will be a casual ‘read’; for others, well, let’s just say, a convicting if not motivating one…
Moving from Musings (per blog # 501) to Doings!
MH evergreen issues. Matters, concerns perennially fresh, interesting, & challenging!
While outside the purview (‘scope’) of matters to be addressed at this weeks meeting of HUD’s Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (‘MHCC’), one wonders WHY the following evergreen issues, matters, & concerns aren’t part of this group’s foci.
Following triad has to do with HOW TO ‘Make Manufactured Housing Great Again!’
First priority is to lobby U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (‘HUD’), the federal regulator of manufactured housing, to not only identify our type factory-built housing as being eminently affordable, but forthwith (‘at once’) & henceforth (‘from this time forward’), aggressively PROMOTE it as a significant part of the practical answer to the ‘affordable housing’ crisis evident in the U.S. today!
Furthermore; lobby HUD to ameliorate (‘make more tolerable’) unnecessary and expensive regulations relative to retrofitting existing rental homesites prior to installation of new HUD-Code manufactured homes within said land lease communities. Present ‘state of indecision’ is effectively stifling new HUD-Code housing shipments in 2018!
Once and for all, stop setting our prospective homebuyer/site lessees up for failure! How so? Chattel capital lenders should begin including PITI (mortgage principal & interest, as well as taxes & insurance), AND household utility expenses (electric, gas, water, sewer), within the target 30 percent Household Expense Factor (i.e. One of six measures of affordable housing*1) touted by HUD, regulators, ‘housers’, and others.
A Word, or Two, About the Manufactured Housing Trade Press
The Very Good News is we’re no longer stranded in a desert wasteland of manufactured housing news and journalism! Since DATACOMP’s MHInsider magazine debuted a year or so ago, we’ve enjoyed professional coverage of manufactured housing matters, land lease community news, and the RV/MH Hall of Fame. Patrick Revere, editor, was at the 27th Networking Roundtable last week in Indianapolis, recruiting and teaching would be writers how to prepare manuscripts for publication. We haven’t seen that happen in quite some time!
More Good News is Kurt Kelley continues to publish the credible online ezine, Manufactured Housing Review. He’s developed a broad stable of contributors, and that’s also good. But in this observer’s opinion, should ‘mix it up a little’ and avoid showcasing the same writer or two, issue after issue. There’s plenty of MH news out there to be had, if one goes and looks for it.
The Allen Letter professional journal, a COBA7 affiliate-supported monthly newsletter for land lease community owners/operators, begins its’ 30th year of publication at the end of 2018. And the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! – that high-priced source of ‘confidential MH news before it occurs’, also a COBA7 offering, has been serving LLCommunity folk for more than a dozen years. Taken together, they cover the entire spectrum of news relative to 50,000+/- communities nationwide.
These three print, and one online trade publications, pretty much cover the manufactured housing trade media as it exists today. Sure, there’re online mimes afoot, but this quote from Jane Friedman’s The Business of Being a Writer, aptly describes how
“…there is little barrier to entry and low overhead cost. Anyone, anywhere, at any time, can launch an online publication that costs little aside from their time and energy, and can distribute it through the same channels used by established publications. This is at once a blessing and a curse. It allows publications to exist that would’ve never been possible before, and it allows for dramatic failure as people with little to no experience try to gain attention or revenue for their efforts.” p.64
Isn’t that the truth – as we’ve seen, read and suffered now, for more than a decade. How so? Friedman goes on to describe how…
“…it’s easy to end up in a race to the bottom, creating headlines that entice people to click on low-quality content (clickbait), producing stories or slideshows that require visitors to click multiple times, or aggregating content from other sources to increase the number of articles published – and thus traffic.” p.65
So, be vigilant, be selective about what and who you read in support of business decisions. Do you have confidence in the industry knowledge, journalistic talent, and employment history of the person or persons you trust for manufactured housing and land lease community information? If not; in my opinion, move on to someone else..
1. Six Measures of Affordable Housing & Housing Affordability featured in Book of Formulae, Rules of Thumb, & Helpful Measures, George Allen, PMN Publishing, IN., 2012, p. 38. Specifically: 30% Housing Expense Factor or HEF; Housing Opportunity Index or HOI; Housing Wage or HW; Workforce Housing or WFH; Income to Home Value Ratio or IHVR; and, the ‘One Who Believes….
George Allen, CPM, MHM
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247