Receive your Allen Letter? MH ‘#s & $s’ report shows slide; &, what’s a ZNE home anyway?

Blog # 517; Copyright @ 13 January 2019; www.EducateMHC
Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting is sole national advocate, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter, education resource, & online communication media for North American land lese communities!

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

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ And, goal for online media? To inform, opine, and help transform and improve manufactured housing and land lease community performance!

INTRODUCTION: While we, as an industry, finally have reliable reporting of production, in terms of new HUD-Code home shipments, we continue to confuse ourselves and those watching, with purposely differing, and at times inaccurate, based line statistics. This is easy to correct if the commitment is there to do so. You ready for ZNE design and fabricated new homes? That’s Zero Net Energy usage; an increasingly common phenomena in California, and eventually spreading East. And where will you be on Tuesday, 29 January, in Louisville, KY? If a land lease community owner/operator, then at the one day MHM class. OR, in the afternoon, participating in the latest MHAlive! ‘think tank’; four 50 minute sessions from 1 – 5PM.

But First, a Very Special Announcement!

Some reading this blog are subscribed to receive the Allen Letter, the Allen CONFIDENTIAL!, & or 30th anniversary ALLEN REPORT – all of which arrived at your offices digitally, for the first time, earlier this month (January).If you are a paid subscriber and have not seen this email come through, please contact Erin Smith via – to send you another link, ensuring access to this important and timely industry information! And if you are interested in subscribing to any or all these publications, do so at


Educate MHC’s MHShipment ‘#s & $s’ Report for November 2018

The question no one is asking, so no one is answering: ‘Why is manufactured housing industry off pace to ship 100,000 new HUD-Code homes by year end 2018?’ (It’s now mid-January 2019)

Institute for Building Technology & Safety (‘IBTS’) reports 7,760 new HUD-Code homes shipped in November 2018; down from 8,602 homes @ November 2017, & 8,588 homes, October 2018. HUD, MHARR, COBA7, & NAMHCO report unadulterated MH shipment #s as tallied by IBTS!

Makes one wonder, doesn’t it: ‘What’s going on’; OR, ‘not going on’, that’s slowing recovery of HUD-Code manufactured housing from its’ nadir year (2009) of 49,789+/- new homes shipped? One would think the two national advocacy entities dominated by manufacturing members would have, or offer, an answer to this present day mystery. But we continue to await it….

Another mystery. Go to MHI’s website ( and learn “90,000 new homes shipped per year = $2.6 billion contribution to the U.S. national economy.” Really? Using MHI consultant Dr. Stephen C. Cooke’s ‘production value’ of $43,126 per new HUD-Code home shipped (Based on 2013 base year of 60,288 new homes shipped, valued at $2,600,000,000), the above statement, in my opinion, would be more accurately rendered as ’90,000 new homes shipped per year = $3.9 billion ‘production value’ contribution to the U.S. national economy!’ Three points here:

• ‘Production value’ is one part of the manufactured housing industry’s contribution to U.S. national economy. Value of homes installed on-site, as well as ancillary services?

• Since ‘production value’ is only part of the contribution to U.S. national economy ‘pie’, so to speak; important to ‘get the numbers right’, i.e. $3.9 billion vs. $2.6 billion.

• Probably time to update the base year statistics, from year 2013 to at least year 2017

If you’ve not yet seen or read EducateMHC (formerly COBA7) MHShipment ‘#s & $s’ Report (for November 2018), obtain a copy of January issues of either the Allen Letter or the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! via www.educatemhc And while at it, if still needing your copy of the 30th anniversary ALLEN REPORT, order it as well. It’s the ‘biggest & best’ edition ever, at 16 pages in length, a 25 percent increase over previous editions! Chock full of interesting & helpful info!


Zero Net Energy Case Study Homes, Vol I.

Get ready to learn and use new trade lingo when it comes to talking about highly energy efficient site-built and factory-built single family and multifamily residential housing. I introduced the manufactured housing industry, and land lease community realty asset class, to this emerging reality trend in past issues of the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! and the Allen Letter. Furthermore, we’ve had one of Steve Lefler’s Zero Net Energy (‘ZNE’) homes on display at an International Networking Roundtable in San Diego, a few years ago.

Well, there’s a new ‘almost cocktail table quality’ tome just out, authored by Edward Dean of Bernheim + Dean, Inc., titled, Zero Net Energy Case Study Homes, Volume I., covering no fewer than five ZNE applications or case studies. Early on, the author tells us there’re more than 15,000 ZNE-ish homes in the U.S. and Canada today; and that adoption of ZNE by ‘production home-building industry’ (That’s us!) is an emerging trend in its’ own right. By the way, the book is available for purchase via

For an example of ZNE home design and fabrication, hailing from factory-built housing ranks, the author profiles an Oak Haven Modular House in detail. And the price of this book is well worth the technical data one obtains from this specific case study! However, This chapter however, gave me a bit of reviewer heartburn, as the author opted to use archaic terms like ‘trailer park’ (page # 46), to describe where to find an Oak Haven Modular Home. And the author, in my opinion, clearly does not understand the clear differences among the four types of factory-built housing, i.e. 1) production site builders (a.k.a. stick-builders) using pre-hung window & door components, wall panels & roof trusses), 2) panelizers, 3) HUD-Code manufactured housing (Never once mentioned, per se, ‘in the book’) aficionados, and 4) modular housing fans like Steve Lefler of Modular Lifestyles.

More information about this new release (book) will be forthcoming in a future issue of the Allen Letter.


MHM Class & MHAlive! ‘think tank’ on 1/29

This will be my 41st Louisville MHShow! How many folk staying at the Crown Plaza host hotel remember when there was an equally huge hotel directly across the I-65 exit lanes outside the main entrance, and that there were no other hotels along Phillips Lane – where today there are at least eight? Who remembers dodging five lanes of auto traffic on those exit lanes, at night, to get from one hotel to the other and back again – to attend one or more manufacturer-sponsored dinners and exhibitor cocktail receptions? Yes, this manufactured housing show has a history.

And then there’s what oft happens ‘the day before the Louisville MHShow begins’. While exhibitors set up their booths, and manufacturers make last minute adjustments to their new home displays, off-agenda meetings take place at several nearby hotels. Some firms use this time for training sessions for their employees; land lease community owners caucus to discuss industry issues (e.g. representation) and plan for the year ahead; and frankly, many more than one job interview has been conducted somewhere in the host hotel.

This year? Well, at the Hilton Garden Inn – down the street and then some, from the Crown Plaza, two events are scheduled:

• One day Manufactured Housing Manager class, from 9AM to 4:30PM. 20 MHM candidates will spend the day learning and discussing every aspect of land lease community professional property management. No tests, just a lot of knowledge sharing, operational tips, and interpersonal networking. Everyone receives a copy of Landlease Community Management, a monograph of MH ‘readings, MHM certificate, and MHM lapel pin. Still room for more: (317) 346-7156 or inquire via Cost? Only $295.00 per MHM candidate. To date, nearly 1,500 MHMs in North America!

• Afternoon, from 1 – 5PM there’ll be an informal MHAlive! ‘think tank’ session. These events are held several times each year around the U.S. They’re decidedly informal, low cost ($20.00 at the door, to defray meeting-related expenses), and frankly as enjoyable as they are productive. From a list of seven recommended topics, four appear to be garnering the most attention: ID & parse MHIndustry ‘evergreen issues’ (i.e. ‘always timely’); Making sense of MH national advocacy ‘alphabet soup’ (e.g. MHARR, MHI, NCC, NAMHCO, COBA7 & EducateMHC); the Affordable Housing Crisis & You (i.e. What it is & what you can do about it!); and, the 30th ALLEN REPORT (e.g. new data, emerging trends & more…). If you plan to participate, in part or in full, talk to me ahead of time relative to preparation, etc… (317) 346-7156 or via

So, there you have it, the perfect mix of MHM training/certification OR participation in a MHAlive! ‘think tank’, where your views could very well affect the future of the manufactured housing industry and land lease community real estate asset class! Then, the next day, attend the Louisville MHShow, inspecting dozens of new homes and visiting dozens of exhibitors!

George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC & COBA7
Box # 47024
Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

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