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

February 10, 2023

Attention Navy & Marine Corps Veterans

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 9:51 am

Blog Posting # 727, Copyright 10 February 2023. EducateMHC

Parallel Perspectives. HUD-Code manufactured housing is federally-regulated, performance-based, factory-built affordable housing! And land lease communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities & ‘mobile home parks’) comprise the investment real estate component of manufactured housing! EducateMHC alone is the online advocate, historian, trend tracker, and text resource for these two business models! To input this blog or connect with EducateMHC, telephone (317) 881-3815, email:, or visit, to order Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry (Only MH property management text available today); SWAN SONG, a history of land lease communities, & official record of annual MH production totals since 1955; and my autobiography, from SmittyAlpha6 to MHMaven – my adventures in Vietnam & business career in MH & communities ownership.

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master, Emeritus member of MHI, & RV/MH Hall of Fame

Attention Navy & Marine Corps Veterans

‘Homecoming 250’ will be a national celebration of the founding of the U.S. Navy & the U.S. Marine Corps, in their birthplace, the city of Philadelphia, PA., during October of year 2025.

‘The Navy and Marine Corps were created by the Continental Congress in Independence Hall, organized at Tun Tavern, & launched their first ship & amphibious mission on the Delaware River.’ To this end, ‘Homecoming 250’ Navy Marine Corps will assemble ships representing every American conflict from the Revolutionary War to the present. The unique historical sites (including a restored Tun Tavern) and ships will provide an unmatched visual backdrop for Americans across the country to see the history of our naval forces.

Yes, this stellar event is 34 months away. But now is the time, especially if you or someone you know is a Navy or Marine Corps veteran, to mark it on your calendar and plan now to attend. I’ll see you there!

On a very personal note, I was sworn into the U.S. Marine Corps in 1964 at the U.S. Naval Base in Philadelphia. My engineer platoon constructed a 30’ tall naval gunfire spotting tower on the south edge of the DMZ in South Vietnam, facilitating ship-to-shore bombardment of the enemy by the famous battleship, the U.S.S. New Jersey – now birthed along the Delaware River in Philadelphia, PA. And like every Marine, I want to ‘hoist a brew’ at historic Tun Tavern (birthplace of the USMC) before I die! GFA

Challenge & Suggestion Conversation Continues
The Challenge? How to effectively address the “…problem of sharply escalating rental homesite rates in land lease communities!” throughout the U.S.?

The Suggestion! “Encourage National Communities Council division (i.e. MHI’s NCC), and realty asset class at large, to ascribe to the decades old (i.e. ‘time-proven) 3:1 Formula for balancing conventional apartment unit rent, and land lease community homesite rent, in (every) local housing market!” For details, reread last week’s blog posting # 726.

Following are direct quotes from the many responses we’ve received to the ‘A Challenge to & Suggestion for, the MHIndustry’ blog post of one and two weeks ago.

“…as much as the industry needs incentive for change, so dies MHI. They are so busy looking out for manufacturer interests; they either do not have the bandwidth, or feel any reason to mess with site rents or reigning-in of investors.” If you disagree with this, let me know!

Furthermore, “Most investors look for a minimum of 20% or greater ‘return’ on their investment, which is achieved via a combination of increasing rents and or reducing operating expenses. Part of those expenses are property and income taxes. Income taxes alone are 20%; so governments could say: ‘If you agree to certain rent controls, we’ll cap your income tax at 5% and you still get full depreciation.’ The same consideration needs to be made for reserves and capital expense improvements for properties with extensive deferred maintenance. And there could be property tax incentives to investors for bringing in both a huge tax base and inexpensive labor to serve tight labor markets due to lack of housing. Right now, the only thing government knows is capping rents without consideration of negative consequences and that is what needs to be communicated and corrected!” (Lightly edited. GFA)

And this mixed message from the Manufactured Housing Institute. On one hand MHI reports “…the White House announced new actions to protect renters and promote rental affordability, including a new ‘Blueprint for a Renters Bill of Rights’. On the other hand, MHI goes on to report, “…manufactured housing is not specifically referenced in the Blueprint.” But this isn’t the whole story. MHI and its housing coalition partners have “…stated that housing providers and renters are (already) governed by layers of statutes, case law, regulations, and private contractual agreements – all providing for specific protections and responsibilities.” Bottom line? “MHI and its coalition partners argue that layering additional federal regulation on an already overly regulated industry will only further exacerbate housing affordability challenges, making it increasingly difficult for renters to navigate. So, MHI is indeed working in our behalf on the federal regulatory level. But the question remains, when and how will MHI work with NCC members and non-member companies to address the ongoing problem of sharply escalating rental homesite rates in land lease communities throughout the U.S.? As I posed in the previous blog: ‘An interested business audience is watching to see what occurs during the months ahead!’ – at the winter NCC meeting, at the MHCongress in Las Vegas, and beyond.

This from another responder to this ‘challenge & solution’ blog topic: “I read recently about your 1-3 rule. I respectfully disagree. I think it should be a 1-2 rule. An apartment owner supplies two items to his customers, land and structure. I supply half that package, that is, the land. I submit it makes sense for me to charge half what an apartment owner charges in rent, rather than a third.” I suppose there’s some logic in this proposed rule, but for anyone who’s owned and operated a conventional apartment community, there’re more and greater operational and capital improvement expenditures involved relative to marketing (dealing with a 50+% annual turnover rate vs. 10% with land lease communities), make-ready of vacated units (i.e. carpet cleaning, appliance servicing & wall painting), real estate taxes (on buildings vs. just land), and more.

National Manufactured Housing Awareness

So, is the program ‘paneled’ on 19 January 2023, at the Louisville MHShow, ‘dead in the water’ OR is it quietly-but-effectively being planned as you read these lines? All I know is there are at least four opportunities on the MH horizon where this program can be further discussed even moved ahead: MHI’s winter meeting (already past when you read this), a Zoom call on 16 February 2023, maybe at the Biloxi MHShow, and certainly at the annual MHCongress in Las Vegas. When and where will YOU be involved in bringing this to fruition?

One thing ‘for sure’ is the need to bring heavy hitters, executives with ‘skin in the game’ into the planning and execution (i.e. ‘as in performance’) stage of National Manufactured Housing Awareness. And who might they be? At the very least, reps from Clayton, Cavco, and Skyline/Champion; also from the largest of the land lease community portfolio firms, independent (street) MHRetailers, and some or all the 18 chattel capital lenders who exhibited at the recent Louisville MHShow. Without that broad support, there’s not much point in even, once more, starting down this road – hopefully, to increased home sales and production!

Not everyone is enthused about what you’ve been reading here and before. Quoting from one of the most well-known and respected individuals in the manufactured housing industry: “George. Hate to be a naysayer, but we have been through this advertising program exercise before and to no avail. (Agreed. GFA). I get tired of hearing of the 300,000+ past (unit) production, etc… Plants are at peak production now and expanding. The problem is a regional one, and an advertising campaign can’t be a one size fits all, as the RV (marketing) program has been. Looking for something to do? Roll out the plan prepared at great expense by MHI and then shot down by the ‘Gorilla in the Room’ years ago.” (Lightly edited. GFA)

Now there’s something maybe worth looking into. I doubt many who read this weekly blog posting recall the past MHI proposed program and how it got shanghaied. Are we setting ourselves up for a similar contemporary disappointment today? I don’t know, but think it bears looking into by the present day planning committee. Who will brief current MHI leadership of the historic details?

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress