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

March 24, 2022


Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 11:51 am

Blog Posting # 682. Copyright @ 25 March 2022. 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, realty asset class historian, trend spotter, education resource & textbook supplier for land lease communities throughout North America!

To input this blog and or connect with EducateMHC, telephone (317) 881-3815, email and or visit Previous phone #s no longer connected.

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! Be MHM certified!

INTRODUCTION: A lot of territory to cover this time around. Part I describes what appears to be a transition from freelance consulting, where land lease community development planning is concerned, to a specific Canadian firm. Part II. Just who is our industry’s worst enemy? Part III. Four deficiencies afflicting manufactured housing. & Part IV. Do you know a Vietnam veteran?



Yes this is a time of transition throughout the manufactured housing industry, especially among land lease community owners/operators nationwide. George Porter of MH installation renown, Cary Monroe & John Jacobs, loan originators, Win Moses & Sharon Niccum, community owners are a few of those retiring during 2021 and 2022. One of the most well-known present day retirees, however, is Don Westphal, veteran landscape architect and development planner in Michigan. His firm has merged with the Nadigroup headquartered in Canada.

The Nadigroup recently published a Project Case Study titled Stony Mountain Secondary Plan – a plan for development of a dynamic community subdivision on 67 acres in the Township of Stony Mountain. It presents a good example of the work quality available from this new firm to manufactured housing. The gist of the plan explored 12 guiding principles; the first six of which are unique grid and aesthetics, places for people, sense of place, safe and fun environment, intergenerational design, aging-in-place. To request an electronic file copy of this plan, contact

What I and others await, however, is the publishing of a land lease community design and development plan featuring use of HUD-Code manufactured homes. Why is this important? With the retirement of Don Westphal, our industry and realty asset class risk the emergence of ‘information shortfall’ we don’t need during these changing and challenging times!. For additional discussion on this timely and critical topic read Part III here following.


An east coast land lease community portfolio owner/operator bought a new HUD-Code manufactured home for $49,000 in year 2020. And now, in 2022, finds the same floor plan from the same manufacturer priced at $68,000. That’s more than a 38 percent price increase in two years! And this is not an isolated phenomenon these days. It seems HUD-Code housing manufacturers are raising wholesale prices faster today than ever before – citing all sorts of reasons (or excuses), from building supply issues to Covid-related labor issues. True or false?

Another example. From CPR News: “Colorado lawmakers have introduced a sweeping bill meant to protect residents of mobile home parks from excessive price hikes and other disruptions.” If passed, this would be Colorado’s first statewide regulation of rent prices. Rent increase rate limit? The rate of inflation or three percent per year – whichever is higher. Other provisions of this legislation require property owners to pay rental homesite lessees who are displaced by development (i.e. change in land use), and make it easier for homeowners/site lessees to buy mobile home parks for themselves (i.e. as resident-owned communities). This is just a taste of what is occurring in other states around the U.S., where land lease communities have been acquired by self-serving corporate investors paying whatever it takes to ‘make the deal’, then enacting measures to ensure payment of high debt service and operating expenses.

How long will our industry and realty asset class continue to ‘shoot itself in the foot’ with outrageous prices and escalating rental homesite rates? As the cartoon character Pogo has been known to say, “We have met the enemy and he is us!”



I was recently asked to identify Evergreen-like Issues negatively affecting HUD-Code manufactured housing and its’ land lease community sector. Of the dozen Evergreen Issues I routinely track, here the four I suggested this time around:

INFORMATION SHORTFALL. There are no longer any annual ALLEN REPORTS; or State of the Industry articles and addresses inclusive of land lease communities; a national registry of (25) lenders actively originating mortgages for communities; an annual directory of freelance consultants (like Don Westphal & now the Nadigroup) serving the industry and property type; a compendium of MH & LLCommunity print and online media; as well as a comprehesnive directory of state and province trade associations; an annually updated lexicon or glossary of MH trade terminology; a useful directory of GSE and NGO organizations interacting with MH and communities; an official definition of ‘affordable housing’, and how it’s faring nationwide; and finally, an annual directory of all HUD-Code manufactured housing firms. See what I mean?

LACK OF PROFESSIONAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT EDUCATION & CERTIFICATION. Back in the early 1980s, I was one of the first Certified Property Manager (‘CPM’) members of the Institute of Real Estate Management (‘IREM’) to express an affinity for (then) ‘mobile home parks’. And via my first book, ‘Mobile Home Park Management’, reintroduced the realty asset class to ‘professional property management’ training and certification – in cooperation with MHI and its’ newly minted Accredited Community Manager (‘ACM’) program. After a decade there were only 100+/- fully accredited ACMs, so we debuted the Manufactured Housing Manager program and today there’re nearly 1,000 MHMs owning/operating communities in the U.S. & Canada. And here arises this problem: Except for a very few in person classes, the only way to become an ACM today is via an online education. And the MHM program is pretty much dormant, until someone steps forward to teach it via the textbook ‘Community Operations in the Manufactured Housing Industry’ (This is the 8th edition of the aforementioned MHPark text). So professional property management has regressed once again! MHI, MHEI & NCC listening?

LOPSIDED ADVOCACY. No easy way to address this shortfall. But MHI, in my opinion, continues to be a ‘big boys club’, dominated by the Big 3-C HUD-Code housing manufacturers, with smaller regional firms represented by MHARR. Similar situation relative to land lease communities. While the NCC division of MHI started off with enthusiasm and widespread support in early 1996, all that’s fallen by the wayside. Not even an NCC division meeting, I’m told, during MHI’s recent annual meeting. So, there’s a sorry and continuing need for balanced representation (i.e. advocacy) of all segments of the manufactured housing industry. Will this ever change? Probably not in my lifetime, as it will take a very charismatic leader(s) to shake MHI out of its’ complacency and decry the sorry attitude of ‘Here’s how we do things’.

LACK OF PUBLIC SUPPORT FROM HUD. Has long amazed and disappointed me. The very federal agency tasked with regulatory oversight of our industry does ‘next to nothing’ to promote what it readily agrees is the most affordable type housing in the U.S. today. How to change this?


Occurs 29 March 2022. This is a day to thank and honor RVN veterans nationwide. Nine million served from 11/55 through 5/85, six million are still alive. Reach out and remember a Vietnam vet!

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