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

June 15, 2022


Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 9:19 am

Blog Posting # 694. Copyright @ 17 June 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: During my 40+ year career in manufactured housing, as land lease community owner/operator, author, and trade press journalist, I can pinpoint times when my efforts have affected our business practices and history. Examples: transition from ‘mobile home park’ to manufactured home community – and now land lease community. Then, with 19 other community owners, beginning the process of birthing MHI’s NCC division. Formulation of the Industry Standard Chart of Accounts with Operating Expense Ratios (‘OERs’). And bringing professional property management to our realty asset class via the Manufactured Housing Manager certification program (1500+/- MHMs today in U.S. & CN.). Finally, there’s the New Rule of 72 ‘valuation formula’, and widely used ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet for home pricing. Now, I pen all that to simply say:

What follows here in Part I should be ‘required reading’ by all! And the last paragraph in Part II describes my epiphany of ‘there’s a better way for MH & LLCommunities’! And then, in Part III, I lay it out for you in a succinct triparte fashion. Will this first time combination of ideas go anywhere? Only time – and you, will be able to tell and know. But I sure hope so! Read on….



Here’re portions of opening and final paragraphs of a four page expose’ that arrived on my desk this week. I sincerely believe it should be ‘required reading’ for every businessperson, regulator, and trade association executive active in the manufactured housing industry and ownership of land lease communities!

“The leaders of the ‘woke’ mob – inside government and out – will never admit they actually oppose affordable housing and homeownership for millions of lower and moderate-income Americans, including inherently affordable manufactured housing. But they do, with every means available to them. Naturally, they deny the truth of what they do to undermine affordable homeownership for lower-income Americans. In fact, they will tell you just the opposite – that they really care about lower-income people and that, through their various efforts, they simply want what supposedly) is best for them.” (Lightly edited. GFA)

How does this play out? “The first and most comprehensive tool the ‘woke’ elite deploy against affordable homeownership, and Americans who need and require affordable homeownership, is restrictive and exclusionary zoning.” & “…it should surprise no one that discriminatory zoning mandates are routinely deployed to exclude lower cost manufactured housing and the lower and moderate-income Americans who rely on manufactured homes as a source of affordable homeownership.”*1

A second leg opposing affordable housing? “…inflation has an indirect (and direct) negative impact(s) on access to homeownership.” Not much $ left for housing after paying inflated prices for goods and services!

And the third leg? “…excessive and discriminatory manufactured housing ‘energy’ regulation’.” How so? “…based on industry estimates…the cost impact of the looming DOE standards could be well over $10,000.00 per home – which would decimate the manufactured housing market and availability of inherently affordable homeownership for lower and moderate-income Americans.”

The final paragraph of this expose.*2 “So, ‘wokesters’ (sic), spare us the claptrap. The truth is your ‘equity’ is as phony as a three dollar bill. Far from helping the working poor and countless other lower and moderate-income Americans, you are their worst enemy, working to deprive them of life’s most essential elements, beginning with a safe, decent, and affordable home.”

Hopefully the previous six paragraphs have been a wake-up call for you – as they should be!
But what to do about this sad situation? What follows in Part II is an example of ‘what not to do’; and in Part III, a bold suggestion as to what might well be done! Read on…

End Note.

1. It’s worth noting that, as one reviewer of a DRAFT copy of this blog observed: Not only are ‘woke elites’ hippocrats relative to affordable housing policy, but so are ‘conservative elites’. NIMBY, LULU, & BANANA cut across all socio-economic lines. The abbreviations? ‘Not in my back yard!’, then ‘Locally unwanted land use!’, & ‘Build absolutely nothing anywhere near anyone!’ And there are more….

2. MHARR’s Issues & Perspectives by Mark Weiss. Titled: The Woke’ War on Affordable Housing, and dated June 2022. To reach Mark, phone (202) 783-4087



The actual title of the hour long webinar on 13 June, hosted by the Lincoln Institute of Land Planning, was INNOVATIONS INI MANUFACTURED HOMES (‘I’m HOME) NETWORK RELAUNCH. You may or may not know that the I’m HOME network, launched in 2005, by Prosperity Now (formerly Corporation for Enterprise Development), has found a new home at the Lincoln Institute.

This relaunch webinar attracted 200 listeners; was led by James Gray (former executive with the Federal Housing Finance Agency or FHFA); moderated by George (Mac) McCarthy, CEO of the Lincoln Institute; and featured a panel comprised of Paul Bradley, founder and head of ROC USA – a resident-owned community facilitator; Grant Beck, VP of Strategic Relationships for Next Step; and Dave Anderson, leader of the National Manufactured Home Owners Association or NMHOA – a homeowner/site lessee advocacy group.

The webinar began with Mac McCarthy making it clear that Innovations in Manufactured Homes Network’s goal was to ‘be a political force for manufactured housing’. This was followed by his update relative to the present state of manufactured housing in the U.S. today – citing how the price of a new manufactured home has jumped from $87,000 in 2020, to $123,200 in a nonspecific period of time (i.e. no specific year or time frame cited). He concluded with reference to the Lincoln Institute’s expertise in land planning, and working relationship with the two GSEs (Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac), and how researching/publishing ‘state level fact sheets relative to manufactured housing’ is a present day goal for the institute. Mac also made passing reference to the very large volume of single family houses being purchased by private equity firms today – then leased to lessees.

Then the panel presentations began.

It was interesting to learn ROC USA has assisted in the present day existence of 294 resident-owned land lease communities in 20 states. Paul did address the massive rent increases afflicting residents of some land lease communities today. His solution? Simultaneously, gets conventional real estate financing on-site, and have community owners commit to long term leases to protect interests of mortgagees.

Grant @ Next Step focused on the stigma of manufactured housing, and how his group’s answer to that barrier would be better zoning and more chattel capital available for home-only loans for said homes.

Dave @ NMHOA suggested ‘discrimination’ was more the issue, where manufactured housing was concerned, than just stigma. Most of his remarks had to do with what is being done on the state level around the U.S.

I couldn’t get past the fact this webinar was manned entirely by executives from not for profit entities. And while it’s certainly helpful to have them aboard in this ongoing search for affordable housing, I think it’d have been just balance to have representatives present from the for-profit sector of the industry, e.g. Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’), for starters. Maybe next time…

Major takeaway for me? Three ideas to explore, and in time, incorporate into manufactured housing – the product, and land lease communities – the real estate sector, to ensure more affordable manufactured housing in-community and on privately-owned scattered building sites. The subject of the third and final part of this week’s blog posting.



To the best of my recollection, no one to date has stepped forward with a bold plan for addressing key issues facing manufactured housing and land lease communities today. Specifically, 1) how to reign in excessive (predatory) site rent rate increases, 2) securing conventional real estate financing (i.e. mortgages) for on-site new home sales transactions in land lease communities; and, 3)building more new hybrid (‘mixture of two heterogeneous things’) communities siting manufactured and modular homes.

How does this pencil out?

First off; recognize that since the mid-1970s, it’s been commonly known, among land lease community owners/operators, to maintain balance within local multifamily housing rental markets, the monthly homesite rental rate in the former type community should be one third the monthly rent amount charged by conventional apartment communities! Two subjective adjustments to this rule of thumb are, the disparate rental units be of similar size (e.g. 3BR2B apartment and average size single section or modest multisection manufactured home); and, charges (e.g. water, sewer, electric) for utilities be handled similarly or accounted for.

The point? Perhaps the time has come for land lease community owners/operators to press for statewide application of this 1:3 rule of thumb to combat local rent control measures. What do you think?

Second. While not presently available today, perhaps the time has come to use conventional real estate mortgages for new home transactions effected on-site in land lease communities! There’d certainly have to be protections in place to safeguard the financial interests of lenders. A big step in that direction would be community owners’ willingness to offer leases with terms at least as long as that of the home mortgage, plus provisions relative to mortgage default and lease termination.

The point? It’s likely time to move away from chattel capital financing of new and resale manufactured homes (a.k.a. ‘home-only loans’) on-site in land lease communities, to the reality of affordable, energy efficient, quality manufactured homes financed conventionally on rental homesites. What do you think?

Third. Here we’re looking at a hybrid land lease community. One designed with 1) spacious rental homesites for installation of HUD-Code manufactured homes financed using conventional real estate mortgages, and 2) protection of homeowners/site lessees enjoying the security of long term leases.

The point? Introduce land planners and zoning boards to a hybrid type land lease community, where all homes and homeowners enjoy the benefits of conventional real estate financing – and likely assurance of value appreciation over time! What do you think?

OK, we’ve come a long way here, in nine paragraphs. To the best of my knowledge, this unique combination of a time-proven rent formula and debut of RE finance with long term leases on-site, has not been seen to date. If you know differently, let me know via



With this blog, I am beginning the transition from posting on a conventional blog site, to Linked In. Will keep you abreast of changes as they occur. I hope you stay with us!

George Allen, CPM, MHM

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