George Allen / EducateMHC Blog Mobile Home & Land Lease Community Advocate & Expert

November 24, 2021


Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 7:22 am

Blog Posting # 666 @ 24 November 2021: EducateMHC

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

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, asset class historian, data researcher, education resource & communication media for all land lease communities throughout North America!

To input this blog and or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email: & visit

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U! Goal: to promote HUD-Code manufactured housing and land lease communities as U.S. # 1 source of affordable attainable housing! Attend MHM class!

INTRODUCTION: History, Conundrum, and Books are topics of Parts I, II & III in this weekly blog posting. Bet you didn’t know this about the early days of MHI (when it was MHMA). Or that HUD-Code housing manufacturers appear to be thriving during these difficult mid-pandemic times. And Part III can help you with your holiday gift giving during December.



During fall 1967, Danny was contacted by a ‘head hunter’ who wanted to talk to him about the possibility of a position with an organization representing the mobile home industry. His initial reaction? Danny “… didn’t know the Mobile Oil Company was involved with housing.” He was that naïve about the industry that came to appreciate him as their ‘Watchdog of manufactured housing’ in Washington, DC. And there’s more to that story.

In ‘The History of the (Iowa) Manufactured Housing Association 50th anniversary book’ of memories, Danny goes on to describe how the manufactured housing’ industry was booming at the time and attempting to shed its’ mobile home image. Specifically,

“Production had grown from more than 90,000 homes in 1961 to almost a quarter million homes in 1967. The industry’s only marketing firm (i.e. Elrick & Lavidge, Inc.) predicted the growth would continue at a rapid rate, reaching 600,000 homes per year by the early 70s. They were right on target. Growth reached 560,000 homes in 1973.” P.36 The actual total was 579,940 new ‘mobile homes’ shipped.

Danny, in the article titled ‘Industry Veteran Looks at the Early Years’, goes on to tell us:

“The industry’s unprecedented, if not almost unbelievable growth, was brought about, in large part, by a succession of industry giants such as F.L. Cappaert, James Redman, Edward Hussey, Sr., and Arthur J. Decio, (the latter) took the helm as chairman of MHMA (Mobile Homes Manufacturers Association).” P.36. FYI: Cappaert was inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame in 1975, James Redman in 1991, Ed Hussey, Sr. in 1995, and Art Decio in 1975.

Furthermore, and due to architectural and engineering firms having little interest in land development projects, which to them, represented an extension of ‘the trailer industry’,

“…the national association created its’ own in-house team of professional engineers and architects to prepare a turnkey operation which included, among other things, site planning, zoning, market and feasibility studies, design and engineering packets, and related cost-estimates which were provided to potential developers…at cost. With MHMA providing this service, all the developer had to do now, if he/she so chose, was to hire his or her own contractor to build the community and a local engineer to supervise the work.” P. 37

Danny Ghorbani was…”hired to serve as the assistant to Herbert Behrend, who headed this operation at MHMA. With an in-house staff of 12 people and on-call group of more than 20 professional consultants, our operation quickly was utilized by developers for more than 200,000 (rental home) sites in four years. The operation became so successful that regular architectural and engineering firms began getting heavily involved with mobile home community development, thus enabling the MHMA, after it achieved its’ goal, to dissolve the operation in 1971.” P.37. Interestingly, Danny was not inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame until 2004; and the late Herbert Behrend, his boss at MHMA, continues to await selection and induction – showing our industry’s system of honoring its’ pioneers is not yet perfect!

In my opinion, this early segment is an important part of manufactured housing and land lease community history. However, and for the most part, it’s already been lost to businessmen and women who’ve come aboard the industry and realty asset class since the turn of this century! So yes, there was a time in our history when housing manufacturers realized, to grow their businesses, they had to help ensure plenty of locations (i.e. communities) in which to install their product. Hence the heyday of (then) mobile home park development across the U.S.

And this ‘begs the question’; ‘Is there more that HUD-Code housing manufacturers should be, could be, doing today (like they did during the 1960s & 70s), to encourage raw land development into land lease communities containing rental homesites?



According to EducateMHC’s ‘MHShipment Volume for September & Stock Market Report for 3 November 2021’, the manufactured housing & land lease community Composite Stock Index or CSI, hit a new record high of $812.23; up from $762.97 the month before.

Recent communiques from one or another of the Big 3-C HUD-Code housing manufacturers informs customers (i.e. land lease communities, independent – street – MHRetailers, & possibly, ‘company stores’), how lumber, resin-based goods, steel and other metals, and imported products (delayed by supply chain issues enroute),lead to “base prices will be increasing in the December pricing period.”

The aforementioned CSI is comprised of the following corporate stock prices on 3 November, and other factors.

Skyline Champion @ $72.42
Cavco Industries @ $258.89
Legacy Housing Corporation @ $18.88
Nobility Homes @ $32.38
Berkshire Hathaway
Equity Lifestyle (REIT) @ $85.24
Sun Communities (REIT) @ $196.26
UMH Properties (REIT) @ $24.26
Flagship Communities @ $20.65
Manufactured Housing Properties @ $3.25

So post production sectors of the manufactured housing industry are stuck in the middle of a conundrum (i.e. ‘hard question’); that is, having to pay more for product (e.g. new HUD-Code homes), suffer long delivery waiting times, but not participate in increased profitability evidently enjoyed by housing manufacturers.


Looking for Christmas gifts for colleagues and or on-site property managers in land lease communities? Purchase and send them either SWAN SONG (‘History of LLCommunities & Official List of Annual Shipment Totals from 1955 to present day’) or my autobiography, ‘From SmittyAlpha6 to MHMaven’. Order via

George Allen, CPM™Emeritus, MHM™Master

November 18, 2021


Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 12:29 pm

Blog Posting # 665 @ 19 November 2021: EducateMHC

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

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, asset class historian, data researcher, education resource & communication media for all land lease communities throughout North America!

To input this blog and or affiliate with EduateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email: & visit

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U! Goal: to promote HUD-Code manufactured housing land lease communities as U.S. # 1 source of affordable attainable housing! Attend MHM class!

INTRODUCTION: Get Ready for a Grand Thanksgiving Holiday with Friends & Family. If you’re talkative people you might want to get the described eBook ASAP, to prepare for those conversations! And, ever look back to ‘predictions of the future’, prepared and shared by folk who should know? Well Part II of this blog posting does that big time. Enjoy!

Hey, guess who’s buying copies of my autobiography, ‘From SmittyAlpha6 to MHMaven’? Real estate brokers, for clients to whom they just brokered a land lease community. And, folk using the book as Christmas presents. Just saying…


Don’t let your Thanksgiving dinner table conversations be shattered by angry political conversations. The Leadership Institute provides political communications training for conservatives. And now there’s an eBook with practical instructions for everyone:

202111 Holiday eBook Landing Page (Treatment)

First section of the eBook discusses the foundational mindset necessary to have fruitful conversations.

Second section considers how to prepare for a political discussion with family members who disagree with you.

Third section deals with the practical elements of a good argument and discusses some relevant examples.

I’ve already read the nine pages eBook and wish I’d had it in my possession ‘years ago’.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Ever look back at a formal ‘prediction of the future’ to see how it materialized over decades?

Well, on 23 November 1997 – that’s nearly 25 years ago, Walter R. Young, Jr., President & CEO of (then) Champion Enterprises, as well as MHI, delivered a speech to members of the Iowa MH Association celebrating their 50th anniversary. The talk was titled:

‘The Future of the Manufactured Housing Industry’. This speech was recorded for prosperity within the pages of the association’s 50th anniversary historical record. What follows here are direct quotes from Walter Young, followed by editorial comments penned in accords with contemporary (Year 2021) perspective.

“…since 1990, our industry has grown to the tune of 93 percent! The site-built industry…has grown just 30 percent. Today, our homes constitute 32 percent of the single-family housing market. Just seven years ago we held only 26 percent of the market. We are now a $23 billion industry.” P.65

*Yes, in 1990 we shipped 188,172+/- new HUD-Code homes; in 1997 we shipped 353,377+/- homes. We were ‘on a roll, but it didn’t last long.*1

“When I walked into Champion in 1990, they were filling out their Chapter 11 paperwork. They had lost $30 million in five years. Suppliers wouldn’t ship to us; banks wouldn’t talk to us. Our stock was overpriced at 50 cents a share.” P.66

*On 3 November 2021, Skyline Champion Corporation (SKY) stock price was $72.42 per share!

“It took a while for our industry to recognize customers simply wanted homes that looked like homes – not homes that looked like trailers. Our customers wanted the same creature comforts and the same level of quality site-built homes had to offer.” P.66

*As it turned out, our industry designed and shipped many Developer Series homes (a.k.a. ‘big box = big bucks’) homes during 1997 & 98; until ‘easy access to chattel capital’ ended at the turn of the century. And it took until 2018 before the CrossMod design was ready for market.

“At Champion, our customers are not (sic) longer limited to the two extremes of either ‘Generation X’ or the ‘AARP set.” P.66 (Which is to say ‘newly wed & nearly dead’).

*Generation Y (‘Gen Y’) ‘millennials’ are our customers now, during 2021. They’ll soon be followed by Generation Z (‘GenZ’) ‘zoomers’ – the children of Generation X folk from way back in Walt Young’s day. Hmm. Ever wonder what comes after Gen X, Y, & Z?

“Manufacturers have also changed. Although the industry has doubled in size, the number of manufacturers has decreased. In fact, at the end of 1995, the top four manufacturers in our industry held 50 percent of the (national) market.” P.67

*Today’s manufactured housing industry is less than one third the size it was in 1997 (i.e. 1997 = 353,377+/- & 2020 = 94,390 new homes shipped), with the top three (or Big 3-C) HUD-Code housing manufacturers (i.e. Clayton, Cavco, Skyline/Champion) garnering a whopping 82+ percent of national market share – upon the acquisition of Commodore Homes by Cavco Industries during 2021. Pareto’s Law: 80% of production from 20% of the participants.

“We’ve seen Centex purchase Cavco. Pulte has been using manufactured housing in several of its developments, and just recently, opened a retail center. And, Zaring has begun retailing.” P.67

*Three of these four firms have passed from the HUD-Code housing scene….More to follow?

“We’ve seen community ownership change hands from ‘Mom & Pop’ parks to corporations and real estate investment trusts or REITs. Four REITs continue to grow in size through aggressive acquisition and consolidation. Chateau Communities, for example, now manages 43,000 spaces! All four REITs manage over 100,000 spaces.” P.67

*Nope. Chateau Communities is long gone, having sold out to Hometown America in 2003. And yes, the four REITs continue to grow in size, from the 88,450 rental homesites owned/operated in 1994, to 300,566 rental homesites today during year 2020. Unfortunately, no more ALLEN REPORTs ‘keeping score’ from year to year.

“Let’s do some crystal ball gazing….” P.67 Here’s what Walt predicted in 1997.

“In 10 years I see factory-built housing supplying 50 percent of our nation’s new housing. If we do our job, we can improve America’s home ownership from 65% to 70% in 10 years.” P.68

*Not without financing! Today we’re lucky if we’re supplying five percent of U.S.housing starts.

“Our homes will continue to evolve dramatically. Multi-sections may grow to over two-thirds of our mix.” P.68

*Nope! Constant vacillation balances between 45 & 55 %es; singlesection & multisection.

“The financing and zoning issues that plagued us in the past will become faint memories. Fannie Me and Freddie Mac will be common names in the industry.” P.68

*No & Yes! Financing and zoning issues continue to plague our industry. And yes, the two GSEs have become commonplace, of sorts, but have not delivered chattel $ via their Duty to Serve (‘DTS’) plans. But ‘affordability’ is rumored to be a much higher priority during year 2022.

“…consolidation may well change the face of the retail business as we know it today. There will be independents out there. But, we predict independents will make up a much smaller piece of the retail mix in even the next three years.” P.68

*Boy, Walt was right on this one! Shortly after the turn of the century, 10,000+/- independent (street) MHRetailers and company stores went out of business when the industry lost its’ easy access to chattel capital. However, that slack was subsequently taken up by the marketing and sale of Community Series Homes (‘CSH’) on-site in land lease communities, beginning in 2009.

“We at MHI are attacking this installation issue head on. With a small group representing all aspects of the industry, we are developing some creative approaches that will economically motivate all of us to solve this consumer issue. We must solve this issue ourselves, for no one else can.” P.69

*13 years after that line was penned and stated by Walt Young, the Frost Free Foundation (‘FFF’) system appeared (2010); a.k.a. ‘Alternative Shallow Frost Protected Foundation Design for Manufactured Homes’. This was a collaborative effort among George Porter, Hayman engineering, and the Systems Building Research Alliance (‘SBRA’). Initially approved by HUD, for use with manufactured homes in land lease communities, only rarely is it mentioned or used. So, in this industry observer’s opinion, the installation issue remains unsolved to this day!

“As we look to the 21st century, all of us need to work to further promote the image of our industry. Together, we need to educate consumers about the evolution of our homes, our quality standards, the many benefits of manufactured housing, and the financing options available.” P.69.

*Well, this is certainly one industry goal articulated, more than two decades ago, that remains valid (unfulfilled) to this day. There is no formal, funded, national image-improvement program in effect now, just as there wasn’t way back in 1997. .

“…we want to establish a secondary market with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for personal property manufactured home loans.” P.70

Yet another 24 – 25 year prediction still awaiting fulfillment!

End Notes.
1. Why the +/- notation after shipment totals? Acknowledgement of the differences in reporting this shipment data by the Institute of Building & Technology Safety (‘IBTS’), HUD, & MHAARR, versus MHI.

November 12, 2021


Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 7:54 am

Blog Posting # 664 @ 12 November 2021: EducateMHC

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

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, asset class historian, data researcher, education resource & communication media for all land lease communities throughout North America!

To input this blog and or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD0HSNG or 633-4764. Also email: & visit

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: to promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. # 1 source of affordable attainable housing! Attend MHM class!

INTRODUCTION: Difficult to believe this past week could be any more full of MH events than it was – but it was! Part I reviews the hectic schedule. Part II? We have the unique opportunity, right now, to correct a decades-long ‘wrong’, where the reporting of new HUD-Code housing shipments is concerned. We can only hope our salaried and elected national leaders pay attention NOW, and put us, once and for all, on a united path of performance reporting!
Part III. A decade or two ago we didn’t even know what computer ‘hacking’ was; now it’s a concern virtually every one of us has, at home on PCs & laptops, and at work.



Unintentional omission! Last week, in blog #663, I described this past week (8-15 November) as a BONUS WEEK. Why? Because MHI/NCC Leadership Forum would occur in downtown Chicago; the 246th birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps would be celebrated on 10 November; Veterans Day on the 11th; Iowa MHAssociation’s Joe Kelly’s retirement celebration on the 14th; and, the IMHA annual meeting in Cedar Rapids on the 15th. So, what did I miss?

Rent Manager’s annual conference for 600+/- of the firm’s clients, at the Cheyenne Mountain Hotel in Colorado Springs, CO. In my opinion, this singular event rivals every other national venue that occurs for the manufactured housing industry and land lease community owners/operators! I’m invited to be a presenter every couple years, and count it a privilege to address their august audience. The Rent Manager event occurs 9-11 November, so certainly fits well within the BONUS WEEK.

Another unintentional oversight had to do with the celebration of Veterans Day. To commemorate that holiday, the November issue of ‘The Allen Confidential’ newsletter featured a firsthand story penned by freelance installation consultant George Porter, describing his Tet experience in Vietnam during 1968. This is a never before published story deserving to be read by everyone in the manufactured housing industry. And you may recall, George was inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame this past August.



For the third month in a row, all major reporting agencies throughout the manufactured housing industry announced the same volume of new HUD-Code homes shipped – this time, during the month of September. The total number shipped? 9,025. So says the IBTS, HUD, MHI, MHARR, & EducateMHC!

Now that’s ‘saying something’, and is what should occur every month of the year without exception. ‘Why’ the same volume reported three months in a row? Because there were none, zero, Destination Pending units reported by HUD-Code factories. When I asked ‘why’, the opinion was that with production so far behind (i.e. six to 12 months out), due to covid and supply chain problems, every home was shipped to a specific destination!

Two parting thoughts:

First. Since we’ve now demonstrated to federal legislators and regulators our industry can indeed be consistent in how we count and report HUD-Code home shipments (i.e. ‘keeping score’), why not make it standard practice going forward? In a word, STOP adjusting the IBTS monthly total, by deducting number of Destination Pending units one month, only to add them back to the total next month. Right now is our unique and historic opportunity to do this right! Let’s not purposely besmirch our credibility going forward, by resuming the Destination Pending (-&+) numbers game!

And then there’s the quietly spoken, but increasing belief, among post production segments of the manufactured housing industry, that ‘record profits’ reported by HUD-Code housing manufacturers are being achieved ‘on the backs’ of wholesale purchasers of new homes, who’re enduring lengthy delivery times, as well as exorbitant, repetitious price increases. Or as one reader put it in a recent email message to me: ‘How many companies are using the supply chain excuse to gouge their customers?” If true, and I hope it isn’t, perhaps time is fast approaching for forensic accounting to ascertain what is really going on these days.



According to the International Data Group (‘ID’), there are at least 15 signs one has been hacked:

1. You get a ransomware message
2. You get a fake antivirus message
3. You have unwanted browser toolbars
4. Your internet searches are redirected
5. You see frequent, random popups
6. Your friends receive social media invitations from you that you didn’t send
7. Your online password isn’t working
8. You observe unexpected software installs
9. Your mouse moves between programs and makes selections
10. Antimalware, Task Manger or Registry Editor is disabled.
11. Your online account is missing money
12. You’ve been notified by someone you’ve been hacked
13. Confidential data has been leaked
14. Your credentials are in a password dump
15. You observe strange network traffic patterns.

As you read through this lengthy list of signs or hack tracks, it’s difficult to not be discouraged with the whole online communication and social experience. But ‘being forewarned is being forearmed’!

George Allen, CPM, MHM

November 5, 2021


Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 6:34 am

Blog Posting # 663 @ 5 November 2021: EducateMHC

Perspectivev.; Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing!’

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, asset class historian, data researcher, education resource & communication media for all land lease communities throughout North America!

To input this blog and or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email: & visit

Moto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: to promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. # 1 source of affordable attainable housing! Attend an MHM class!

INTRODUCTION: Another potpourri of manufactured housing and land lease community-related news, stories, and opportunities! Hopefully I’ll see you at one or another of the events occurring between 8 & 10 November. And I hope you’ll position yourself for an entertaining and interesting ‘read’ during the weeks and months ahead. GFA



Leadership Forum, 246th USMC Birthday, Veterans Day, & Joe Kelly’s Retirement

There’ll be a lot happening between 8 & 15 November! How much will you be involved?

8 – 10 November will see land lease community portfolio owners/operators convening for the National Communities Council division of MHI’s Leadership Forum in downtown Chicago. For more information re: schedule and to register, visit MHI’s website. Seminars and networking sessions are planned throughout the three day NCC program.

In my opinion, what should be covered will not likely even get ‘a mention’. Last week’s blog posting (#662) described the pressing, contemporary need for a ‘National Spokesperson for Land Lease Community Owners’! As you likely know, with my retirement (12 August 2021), there no longer is any individual researching (e.g. ALLEN REPORT, etc.) and publicly speaking out, in print (The Allen Confidential newsletter) and otherwise, in behalf of the real estate asset class – certainly no one with ‘skin in the game’ as a bona fide owner/operator of land lease communities!

If you’re reading this and planning to attend the MHI/NCC Leadership Forum, why not make it a point to ask what individual(s) are willing to take on the public face role as capable, experienced, and motivated Spokesperson? As I see it, there are but two opportunities for this to occur: MHI/NCC to formally designate such a national spokesperson; and/or the SECO planners to do so.

10 November marks the 246th birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps! Not of much consequence to non-Marines, but a near hallowed holiday for those who’ve served as U.S. Marines, in and out of combat, during past decades. I already plan to be in touch with Marines with whom I’ve served, between March 1964 when I enlisted, to 1969 in the Ashau Valley in the Republic of Vietnam, to 1991 when in Honduras during Operation Desert Storm. I’ll also be wishing my Marine grandson Travis a ‘Happy Birthday’! Do the same to any U.S. Marines you know!

11 November. Veterans Day, a.k.a. Armistice Day & Remembrance Day (in other countries) will be celebrated promptly at 11AM on 11 November, at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA. For anyone who’s not attended this somber ceremony, it is quite ‘moving’ for everyone present. My brother Mark and I’ve attended together, and talk about the experience to this day.

14 November. Retirement Celebration in honor of Joe Kelly, longtime executive director of the Iowa Manufactured Housing Association. Spencer Roane, MHM, and I plan to travel from Atlanta and Indianapolis to participate in that gala send-off. At the very least, mail Joe Kelly a Happy Retirement card. Send it to Andy Conlin c/o IMHA, 1400 Dean Ave., Des Moines, IA. 50316.

Speaking of retired state association execs. Did you hear? The New York Housing Association recently honored former executive, Nancy Geer, by naming their new office building in her honor! Like Ross (WI), Tim (MI), and Betty (KY), Nancy has officially retired. Miss them all!

15 November. Annual meeting of the Iowa Manufactured Housing Association, to be held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Interesting program planned. Visit the association’s website for more info. Hope to see you there.



You’ve probably already heard the surprising and sad news. But it makes sense. HUD-Code housing manufacturers are reluctant (i.e. ‘refusing’) to send their labor force to Louisville to be exposed to the coronavirus. And, why display new homes when one’s delivery times are already six to 12 months out, thanks to supply chain breakdown and other reasons. So, while there won’t be a manufactured housing show in KY during year 2022, know there are plans afoot to bring prospective Midwest homebuyers (i.e. independent ‘street’ MHRetailers and land lease community owners/operators) to northern Indiana for factory visits and maybe marketing/sales education at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN. As far as we know at present, the Biloxi MHShow is still on track for this spring.

Continue to read this weekly blog posting for further details.


Only a few copies of the autobiography, ‘From SmittyAlpha6 to MHMaven’ remain in inventory. Once these are sold and shipped, the five month long marketing window will close. There are no present plans for a subsequent printing. So, if desiring to buy a copy of my Adventures of a Lifetime, visit the website

Explanation of the title? ‘SmittyAlpha6’ was my radio call sign while a USMC company commander in Vietnam during 1968 & 69. ‘MHMaven’ is an Allenism (i.e. poetic license) for ‘manufactured housing maven’ (‘expert’). Book is chockfull of photographs and short stories, in addition to the biographical narrative, describing a formative childhood, 55+ year romance, war stories, and yes, key parts of a 40 year career in professional property management and land lease community ownership.

George Allen, CPM, MHM

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