Shame On Us!

Blog # 479; Copyright @ 25 March 2018;

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, & ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

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INTRODUCTION. 50 land lease community owners/operators joined Spencer Roane, MHM, and George Allen, CPM, MHM, during the lunch hour on 3/20 at the MHShow in Tunica, Mississippi. If you were present, you know what you ‘did not miss’ – and excellent Power Point presentation titled, ‘Chattel Financing You Can Take to Your Bank!’ Since this is a ‘work in progress’, present intent is to present much of this same material as the feature article in the May issue of the Allen Letter professional journal – just in time to serve as a handout at the second Two Days of Home Sales Seminars & Plant Tours, at the RV/M H Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN., on 8 & 9 May 2018.

FYI: to receive the aforementioned newsletter use contact information contained in the heading of this blog posting. To learn more about, and register to attend, the Two Days program, phone (317) 246-6258 X 14 or visit

Now, the narrative following this INTRODUCTION, contains some ‘never before published statistics’ related to the shipment of new HUD-Code homes by the Big Three C manufacturing firms. Frankly, nothing I’ve penned during the past 35 years better describes how the manufactured housing industry provides the lions’ share of the most affordable housing available in the United States today – despite the negative connotation implied in the title. Read on…

Shame On Us!
A Sincere Plea to Manufactured Housing Aficionados

At the very time we should be rallying together to ‘ship more new HUD-Code homes’, elements within the manufactured housing industry, attempt to drive us apart! Read what follows here, then reach out to those distracting elements, encourage them to ‘get on board’, with everyone else, working together to effectively address, maybe even solve, the national ‘Lack of) affordable housing crisis so rampant in the U.S. today!

Yes, there is an affordable housing (supply) crisis; as many – if not most, homebuyers/owners and renters today, spend 40 to 50 percent (& higher) of their Annual Gross Income (‘AGI’) on PITI (principal, interest, taxes & insurance) mortgage payments or rent, oft exceeding the widely agreed upon 30 percent Housing Expense Factor (‘HEF’) guideline – one of six measures of affordable housing.*1

Know what? While manufactured housing claims to be the most affordable form of factory-built housing (i.e. This includes on-site production builders using factory-fabricated components; exterior & interior wall panelizers; manufacture housing; & modular housing) on a cost per square foot basis,.*2 we take this bold claim one major step further,

‘Most new HUD-Code housing shipped today is demonstrably affordable!’ How so? Specifically, the majority of new HUD-Code manufactured homes shipped during years 2017, and 2018 to date, were/are affordable, with an average of 60 percent of all shipped homes being valued at or below $50,000 (wholesale) apiece!*3&4

Now, compare this ‘theory cum truism’ with the critical flim flam (‘humbug’ or sham) bandied about concerning the near debut of a new type or class of upscale manufactured home.*5 As you just read, we’re already well-serving the affordable housing market with $50,000 new HUD-Code homes – even as the industry continues to be denied reasonable access to chattel capital for the on-site financing o f new homes within land lease communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities). So, why not design and fabricate HUD-Code manufactured homes appealing to underserved markets throughout the U.S.? Lest you think this is a novel phenomenon, recall the days of Developer Series Homes, a.k.a. MHSelect, during the late 1990s – and now, in the minds of GSEs (‘government-sponsored enterprises’ Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac) maybe MHAdvantage. Still others are saying Millennial Housing!

A few months ago, a mini-white paper was published, and widely distributed to ‘housers’ throughout the U.S. Titled, ‘Solving Our Nation’s (Lack of) Affordable Housing Crisis, with Factory-built Housing & Land Lease Communities’. Well this ‘Shame On Us’ op/ed piece is a follow-on to that first ‘affordable housing crisis solution’, an admonishment to peers in the manufactured housing industry to settle down and collectively focus on two important matters at hand: continue to build more affordable homes, and increase shipment volume! To this latter point, we’re on track, at 90,902 new HUD-Code homes shipped during year 2017, to eclipse the idyllic 200,000 mark by year 2022!*6 So, let’s not derail our progress to date – or again, ‘Shame On Us!’

End Notes.

1. Six commonly recognized measures of affordable housing include aforesaid Housing Expense Factor (‘HEF’); Housing Opportunity Index (‘HOI’); Housing Wage (‘HW’); Workforce Housing (‘WFH’); Income to Home Value Ration (‘IHVR’); & ‘One or anyone who believes they live in affordable housing.’ From Book of Formulae, Rules of Thumb & Helpful Measures, George Allen, PMN Publishing, 2012, p. 38

2. $57.21/square foot for manufactured homes; $108.10 for new site-built homes (not including underlying realty); & $87.76 for existing site-built homes, per US Census Bureau MH Survey & HUD’s Survey of Construction.

3. This compares favorably to the $43,126 per manufactured housing unit ‘production value’ estimated by Dr. Stephen C. Cooke, using 2013 year housing production (shipments) as a base year, while engaged in research in behalf of the Manufactured Housing Institute.

4. HUD-Code manufactured housing producers were polled during March 2018 YTD, as to the percentage of new homes shipped that were/are valued at $50,000 o r less, wholesale. Those HUD-Code home manufacturers collectively control an estimated 75-80 percent of national market share, of this type factory-built housing. Among these Big Three C manufacturers, they reported percentages of 60, 65, & 70 percent.

5. Multisection manufactured homes with 5/12 roof pitch & shingled; conventional house siding; energy efficiency enhanced; built-in porch, and possible presence of a garage.

6. Based on the lead story in the March 2018 issue of the Allen Letter professional journal.


Free copies of the mini-white paper ‘Solving Our Nation’s (Lack of) Affordable Housing Crisis, with Factory-built Housing & Land Lease Communities!’, as well as the March 2018 issue of the Allen Letter professional journal, are available ‘for the asking’, by phoning the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764, or via COBA&:


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