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

February 7, 2024


Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 11:24 am

Blog Posting # 779, Copyright 9 February 2024. EducateMHC

Parallel Perspectives. HUD-Code manufactured housing (‘MH’) is federally-regulated performance-based, affordable, attainable factory-built housing! And land lease communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities & ‘mobile home parks’) comprise the commercial real estate (‘CRE’) component of MH! Educate MHC is the online advocate, historian, trend tracker, and text resource for these two business models. Access EducateMHC via (317) 881-3815; email:, or visit, to order Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry. This is the sole MH-focused professional property management text in print today! SWAN SONG is a history of land lease communities & official record of annual MH production totals since 1955; and my autobiography, From SmittyAlpha6 to MHMaven – describes personal combat adventures in Vietnam as a USMC lieutenant, a 45 year entrepreneur business career in MH & community ownership/management, and as an author & freelance consultant.

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master, is the only emeritus member of the Manufactured Housing Institute (’MHI’), a founding board member of MHI’s National Communities Council (‘NCC”) division, an RV/MH Hall of Fame enshrinee, MHInsider editor &INFLUENCER, Vietnam combat veteran & retired lieutenant colonel of U.S. Marines, as well as author/editor of 20 books & chapbooks re MH, communities, business management & prayer.


The results are in. Year 2023 was NOT a good year for HUD-Code manufactured housing production! We knew we were sliding, but how badly? Well, during the past few months, Institute for Building Technology & Safety (‘IBTS’) reports showed we were 20+ percent off our year 2022 stride when we produced 112,886 new HUD-Code homes.*1

Final MH production figure for year 2023? Only 89,169 units; that’s 23,717 fewer new HUD-Code homes than produced during year 2022; and, 861 fewer new homes than EducateMHC predicted a month ago. Estimated total production VALUE of 89,169 new HUD-Code home produced during year 2023? $3.86 billion dollars! How many in government realize that?

By the way, how do these 89,169 new HUD-Code manufactured homes produced, compare with the total number of new recreational vehicles (‘RVs’) produced during the same period of time (2023)? Well, 313,000 new RVs produced during 2023 represents a 36.5 percent DROP in production compared to year 2022! Guess you could say, ‘MH misery loves company!’

Reasons for this lackluster MH production performance? Rather than regurgitate those reasons here, suggest you scroll back to blog posting # 774 and re-read the expose’ titled: ‘MH Headed to the Bottom Production-wise? Ah, But to the Top, Price-wise!’ That’ll tell you just about everything you need to know about the inner workings of the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry. IMHO, I don’t think our manufacturers want to produce more new MHs!*2

End Note.

  1. Institute for Building Technology & Safety (‘IBTS’) is HUD’s official scorekeeper where the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry is concerned. IBTS data is routinely quoted by HUD, MHARR, MHI, & EducateMHC.
  • IMHO = ‘In my humble opinion’

‘When It Rains, It Sometimes Pours!’

I believe that idiom, but how ‘bout now, when maybe it should be raining, even pouring, but is not?*1 As an industry, we might soon be faced with the reality of that idiom; but first, another salient observation, from radio talk show host Chris Plante (105.9 in Washington, DC): “The mainstream media’s greatest power is the power to ignore.”*2 So true, especially in today’s world. But what do those two truisms have to do with manufactured housing and land lease communities? Right now, only a little; but in the near future? Here goes….

Major law firms have filed antitrust class lawsuit(s) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinoi, “…on behalf of mobile home owners impacted nationwide, against nine manufactured home community management companies and one manufactured home market data provider” alleging “they suffered substantial financial losses due to their landlords’ conspiracy to fix, raise, and systematically inflate manufactured home lot rental prices at more than 150 locations across the United States.” We all knew this was going to happen someday.

However, to date there’s been little to no mention of this in mainstream media and trade press.

And it’s alleged, one or more national advocacy and or legacy bodies, related to manufactured housing and land lease communities, recognizes – in a positive and awarding fashion, firms who’ve maybe have had bad ratings with Better Business Bureaus (‘BBBs’) in local housing markets where they do business. Isn’t this counterproductive to our image-improving efforts?

Here too, little to no mention of this peccadillo (?) in the mainstream media or trade press.*3

Given the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry’s perennial poor reputation and public image of the past, we hardly need additional fuel thrown one either of those two smoldering fires.

So, for now, and in general terms, negative media publicity is not raining down, let alone pouring down on us; however, if we, as an industry and realty asset class, continue to press our luck, so to speak, in either or both nefarious matters just described, we can expect not only rain pouring down on us, but more mainstream media attention than we need or want.

Anyone listening out there? Your reactions and suggestions welcome via

End Notes.

  1. ‘When it rains, it pours’ is an idiom that ‘captures the experience when events, usually unfortunate, occur simultaneously or in rapid succession.’ An online definition. 
  • It’s why today conservative print and broadcast media (e.g. New York Post & The Epoch Times & Fox News), in my opinion,outperform news reporting at the New York Times, Washington Post & MSNBC & CNN).
  • Pecadillo. ‘a trifling offence’ – or worse?

NAHB, Freddie Mac, & NAR at Odds!

These three well known housing-related NGOs & a GSE are seriously at odds with one another when it comes to estimating the size of the nationwide housing shortfall these days!*1 Here are their respective estimates:

NAHB, in year 2021, publicized an estimated housing shortfall of 1.5 million housing units

Freddie Mac, in 2020, publicized an estimated housing shortfall of 3.8 million housing units

NAR, in 2021, publicized an estimated housing shortfall of 5.5 million units

Why the 4,000,000 difference in estimates between lowest and highest of these three estimates? In a word, ‘methodologies’. Here quoting from a Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies press release, on this subject, dated 29 January 2024:

NAR “calculates the difference between the current number of vacant units for-rent or sale, and the total that would exist under ‘normal’ vacancy rates for each metro in the country, defined as the long-term average rates. The NAHB estimate is a sum of all U.S. metropolitan areas….” (Does not include non-metro areas, hence possibly why the lower estimate)

Freddie Mac’s estimate “…is also based on how much lower the current vacancy rate is than ‘normal’. However, there are notable differences in the two calculations. Freddie Mac’s estimate covers the entire US, not just metro areas. Second…Freddie Mac’s estimate includes an additional 0.4 million units for ‘missing’ households that did not form because of the shortage of housing units.”

NAR “…estimate does not compare vacancy rates. Instead, NAR based the estimate on the impact of the net slowdown in the rate of housing construction since 2000. Specifically, NAR compared the number of new homes added in 2001-2020 (being 1.225 million/year) to the number of homes that would have been produced if the previous historical annual average construction rate for 1968-2000 (i.e. 1.5 million/year) had held.”

There is an additional data point to consider. The National Low Income Housing Coalition (‘NLIHC’) estimate holds “…there is a shortage of 7.3 million units of housing affordable to the nation’s 11 million renters with extremely low incomes, defined as those who earn up to 30 percent of the median income for their area….” Wow! A 5.8 million difference between NAHB & NLIHC. No wonder folk are confused when they read reports from these four entities.

BOTTOM LINE to all this? “…affordability challenges faced by millions will require a concerted effort to not just add more units, but also more units affordable to the most economically vulnerable households.” And here, once again, HUD-Code manufactured housing and land lease communities nationwide hold the ‘affordability’ answer to this challenge! But will HUD finally get behind a major effort to not only identify, but promote, our brand of factory-built housing and lifestyle to the American home-buying public? Again, IMHO, ‘No’! Why? Political football!

So, what are we to do as an industry? Well, I’ve been saying and penning this for years, but here goes once again: Schedule national and regional strategic planning meetings to be attended by businessmen and women ‘with skin in the game’ (i.e. owning factories and communities) willing to invest a day or two of their time to address this national challenge! It’s been done before, in the land lease community segment of MH. In 1993-96 leading to the birth of MHI’s NCC division; in 2010 at meetings held in Tampa, FL., & Elkhart, IN., to move our industry off its’ nadir (lowest production point in history), using Community Series Homes (‘CSH’); and finally, in 2016, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame when community owners/operators were taught how to spec and buy new HUD-Code homes from factories, to market and sell on-site at their properties. We can do this again! We just need national leaders with vision, purpose and chutzpa (‘effrontery & gall’) to get it done! Are you one of those leaders?!

Again; your thoughts on these timely and critical matters? GFA

End Note.

  1. NGO = non-government organization, e.g. NAHB & NAR. GSE = Freddie Mac. Specifically, National Association of Home Builders & National Association of Realtors.

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