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

May 19, 2022

‘LINE IN SAND’ IS ONLY THREE MONTHS AWAY!

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 7:35 am

Blog Posting # 690. Copyright @ 20 May 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 (3170 881-3815, email gfa7156@aol.com and or visit www.educaemhc.com 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: OK, time is passing by, and to date no one has stepped forward to organize and launch an independent third party entity to better represent and advocate for post-production sector firms of the manufactured housing industry. Part I is a summary of what’s been going on, and not going on, to date. Part II introduces blog floggers (readers) to a training resource designed and intended to improve sales and customer service in the private business sector.

I.

‘LINE IN SAND’ IS ONLY THREE MONTHS AWAY!

‘Put Up or Shut Up!’ entered our industry’s vernacular (‘language of a group’) a month ago; once and for all – or not, encouraging someone (e.g. as would be leader or existent organization) to step forward to lead a national movement to ensure better representation and advocacy for what is generally referred to as post-production sectors of the manufactured housing industry (i.e. land lease communities, realty and housing finance, and more). Well, there’s been quite a bit said and written about this matter prior to and during the past five weeks – but as yet, no plans announced or definitive action taken to this end! Hence the need for a deadline, a ‘line in the sand’, to organize and move forward, OR, stop complaining about the sorry matter altogether!

One proposed deadline is 16 August 2022, the day following the 15 August RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet in Elkhart, IN. Since 500+ pioneers and leading executives of the manufactured housing industry will attend this gala event, why not stay over the night and spend the 16th crossing that ‘line in the sand’ to better representation and advocacy of our industry and post-production segments thereof? To a critic who believes this discussion and organizing effort can be effected via Zoom or like calls, I disagree. For this effort to succeed, it must be face-to-face among participants with ‘skin in the game’ (i.e. travel-related expenses).

As a reminder, here’s what we know to date. This challenge is real! More than 50,000 land lease communities nationwide, including 500+/- portfolio owners/operators of the unique property type, and dozens of lenders (i.e. home-only and real estate mortgage originators), have little to no ‘say’ within the HUD-Code manufacturer-dominated national trade entity headquartered in Alexandria, VA. And yes, there’s a National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division component within said body, but few members show up for meetings where there is no proxy voting, where resort meeting locations give rise to affluence gerrymandering (i.e. only biggest firms can afford to send high-salaried executives), and sole proprietors are the exception rather than the rule.*1 And finance firms? They’re as rare as hens teeth.*2

So, what needs to be done? Well, there are two directions in which this matter can go:

A reprioritization of mission and tasks at the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’), including a total recommitment of the NCC to serve all sizes of land lease communities nationwide! This means the HUD-Code housing manufacturer division majority will likely have to cede power to post-production sectors of the industry. Will this happen? Watch to see if there’re public announcements to this effect, by MHI, between now and 16 August 2022. But don’t hold your breath while waiting. Reprioritization would change decades of precedence, and call for power-sharing at the highest level in our industry.

Five organizing alternatives. Could be more, but these are ones that come readily to mind:

• North American Manufactured Housing Community Owners (‘NAMHCO’) headquartered in Arizona. Sorry, but this is a non-starter, as it is presently an inactive organization.

• Southeast Community Owners (‘SECO’), headquartered in Atlanta, GA. Already the realty asset class’ best representative and advocate to date, by dint of 10 years of convenings of land lease community owners/operators, and other post-production sector businesses, for mostly educational purposes.

• An online trade newsletter purporting to represent the entire manufactured housing industry. When asked why I don’t identify this entity by name, the reason is simple: Almost every time I respond to its’ published material, I am belittled and disparaged. For me, life is too short to subject oneself to pompous and immature blather.*3

• Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’). Ever since the National Manufactured Housing Federation (‘NMHF’) was absorbed by MHI during the early 1990s, MHARR has advocated for the formation of an independent national post-production trade association. This posture was underscored upon passage of the Year 2000 MH Improvement Act, and again, upon passage of the Duty to Serve (‘DTS’) mandate. Why? Two perennial post-production challenges/opportunities: consumer financing issues and discriminatory/exclusionary zoning laws. But here’s ‘the rub’: MHARR is a ‘production’ association and does not receive, or desire, funding from postproduction companies and land lease communities – so is apparently uninterested in actively leading the launch of a post-production sectors organization. Again, let’s ‘wait & see’ what happens, relative to MHARR, between now and 16 August 2022.

• Unnamed, but like-minded individual(s) to step forward as organizers and leaders. Believe it or not, this is from where I think present or future leadership will come. Someone with passion for the industry, realty asset class, and finance; possessing personal or corporate resources to underwrite early efforts to organize and launch an entity; and, the chutzpa (‘effrontery’) to step out and lead – probably in the face of tacit opposition, long-entrenched status quo, and diversity among sectors.

So, where do we go from here? That wholly depends on how lively and pervasive an industry issue this is, for post-production sectors of the manufactured housing industry to enjoy, for the first time in our collective history, representation and advocacy at least equal to that of financially-controlling HUD-Code housing manufacturers in power today.

Bottom line! If this issue is indeed ‘to be addressed’, then someone step forward before 16 August 2022, and call for a national organizing effort (i.e. if MHI does not, beforehand, commit to reprioritization of their mission and tasks). Matters little to me – and others, whether said effort occurs at the RV/MH Hall of Fame, as that’s a suggestion of time and location convenience. However, if such an historic recoursing of our industry is to occur, it probably should be in-person yet this year.*4

Otherwise, if 16 August 2022 arrives, with no acclamation to this end, or a planning meeting in place (i.e. ‘Put up!’); let’s by all means, ‘Shut Up!’ once and for all about post-production sector’s need for representation and advocacy! Yes, it’s needed, but now may not be the right time. So, let’s see what happens between now and 16 August 2022.*5

End Notes.

1. To these three shortfalls add ‘lack of products and services’, e.g. no annual directory of 500+/- portfolio ‘players’ and their benchmark statistics (i.e. occupancy, OERs, etc.); official directory or lexicon of MH and LLCommunity trade terms; directories of product and service suppliers, including freelance consultants; and, directory of HUD-Code housing manufacturers nationwide.

2. To date, no successor to the 23rd annual National Registry of ALL Lenders, including real estate-secured mortgages, and originators of home-only loans.

3. Quoting from most recent email communique from said online newsletter publisher: “…our audience dwarfs yours and all others who publish trade news….” & “I think what you’ve written is hilarious.”

4. To contact the RV/MH Hall of Fame, phone (574) 293-2344

5. The question is sometimes asked, ‘Why don’t I, as I did on 31 August 1993, organize and host another national planning meeting?’ Well, back then there was no effective national interest in (then) manufactured home community advocacy, so the effort to launch – what eventually became the aforementioned NCC division, was wholly successful! However, due to shortcomings just cited, after the first couple years – in my opinion – the NCC never achieved the heady goals 19 community owners set for it nearly 30 years ago. For more on this subject, read the late Bruce Savage’s ‘The First 20 Years’, a book available via educatemhc.com In the meantime, now mostly retired, I no longer have the business resources (i.e. money) to finance such an effort; and frankly, after 40+ years in this business, it’s someone else’s turn to lead. GFA

II.

SIX CARDINAL RULES OF CUSTOMER (SALES) SERVICE

Everybody has a business management, or sales success formula – or formulae, they live and work by, from day to day. Some cite the Golden Rule (‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!’), others the Gold Rule (‘He who has the gold rules!’). Me? Many during my career, but recently, the Six Right Ps of Marketing: ‘Right Product, Place, Price, Promotion, People & Promotion!’*1

Well, a longtime business acquaintance (friend) of mine, Nancy Friedman, a.k.a. The Telephone Doctor, has been teaching business communication and client relationships for decades. She recently sent me her Six Cardinal Rules of Customer Service. They’re Keepers, all six of them! Nancy has given me permission to share them with you in this unabridged fashion:

Cardinal Rule # 1. People Before Paperwork
‘When someone walks into your place of business, or calls you while you’re working on something, drop everything for that person. Remember, paper can wait, people should not.’ To which I’d add: You rarely get a second chance to make a good first impression!

Cardinal Rule # 2. Rushing Threatens Customers
‘Sure, you may understand something quick, but rushing the customer along will only lead to them feeling intimidated. Remember, speed is not success! Take your time with each contact.’ And SMILE! A pundit once said: ‘I’d rather see a fake smile than a genuine frown.’

Cardinal Rule # 3. Company Jargon
‘Ever get a report from a company and not understand it? Some companies have jargon that makes the CIA envious. Be very careful not to use company jargon on your customers. You and your employees may understand it, but the customer may not. And you’ll only cause lots of unnecessary confusion.’ That’s why we say ‘manufactured housing’ and not something less appealing or image demeaning.

Cardinal Rule # 4. Don’t Be Too Busy To Be Nice
‘Hey, everyone’s busy! That’s what it’s all about. Being busy does not give you carte blanche to be rude. Remember, you meet the same people coming down, as you do going up.’ And NOT being busy is worse than being busy, so don’t do be rude and risk becoming inactive.

Cardinal Rule # 5. “Uh huh’ is not ‘Thank You’ & ‘There ya go’ is not ‘You’re Welcome!’
‘Remember, ‘Thank You’ and ‘You’re Welcome’ are beautiful words. The customer cannot hear them too often. And, if you’re telling your customers to ‘have a nice day’, say it with meaning and make eye contact! I recently had a checkout clerk tell the FLOOR to have a nice day.’

Cardinal Rule # 6. Be Friendly BEFORE You Know Who It is
‘The Telephone Doctor motto is: Smile BEFORE you know who it is. The customer needs to know you want to work with them, no matter who they are. Often, it’s way too late to smile and be friendly after you know who it is.’ And as I’ve heard Nancy say before: ‘Smile, it might be the boss calling!’

As you can see, I’ve added the word SALES to the title. Every one of these six cardinal rules apply to those of us who sell new and resale manufactured homes and are involved in leasing vacant rental homesites in land lease communities. I hope the Manufactured Housing Institute sees the wisdom in featuring The Telephone Doctor at a future MHCongress. In the meantime, if you’d like to engage Nancy to address your sales, leasing, management, customer staff, reach her via (314) 276-1012. And tell her ‘George sent me!’ Not really, but it’d be nice. GFA

End Note.

1. One of my all time favorite quotes is this from Proverbs 24: 3&4, the Living Bible: “Any enterprise is built by wise planning, becomes strong through common sense, and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts.”

George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC

May 13, 2022

APARTMENT & RENTAL HOMESITE RATES

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 7:03 am

Blog Posting # 689. Copyright @ 13 May 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 lese communities throughout North America!

To input this blog and or connect with EducateMHC, telephone (317) 881-3815, email gfa7156@aaol.com and or visit www.educatemhc.com 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: This is one of the most heterogeneous blogs I’ve penned to date. Part I = What every land lease community owner/operator should know about setting competitive rental homesite rates. Part II = Return of an event in Washington, D.C. you should consider attending! Part III = Clear contrast of views espoused by MHI & MHARR re: FHFA & two GSEs’ DTS plans.
Part IV = Tiptoeing along the precipice of partisan politics and legacy or ‘fake’ news coverage.

I.

APARTMENT & RENTAL HOMESITE RATES

Once and for all, here’s how ‘it’ works! What’s ‘it’? The traditional Rule of Thumb*1 for estimating rental homesite rates in land lease communities in any local housing market.

Goes like this. Ascertain the average monthly rental rate of three bedroom, two bath conventional apartments in a given local housing market; then divide that $ amount by three. For example, in the April 2022 issue of MULTIFAMILY EXECUTIVE magazine, Yardi Matrix is cites the ‘average U.S. (conventional apartment) asking rent’ in February 2022 as $1628.00/month. Dividing that $ figure by three, suggests average national land lease community monthly rental homesite rate is around $540.00. However, that estimate will be much higher in some local housing markets, much lower in others; but that’s how to start the process.

And a recent Rule of Thumb faux adjustment, foisted on our unique, income-producing property type (i.e. land lease communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities; and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’) by – in my opinion – predatory investors, would have the divisor, in the previous paragraph, changed from three to two, raising the rental homesite rate estimate from $540 to $814/month. Now that’s a heady topic for another blog posting.

Other Rules of Thumb germane (‘relative’) to the unique realty asset class?

Average national operating expense ratio (‘OER’) is widely accepted as being 40 percent. And, as a general rule; the greater the number of occupied and paying rental homesites in a land lease community, the lower the OER; and the lower the number of rental homesites, the higher the OER. 40 percent includes all property operating expenses, not including debt service.

The New Rule of 72. Give an ‘average’ land lease community (‘whatever that is’*2), perform two similar calculations: # rentable homesites X average monthly site rent rate X 72 = estimated income value of the property if/when all rental homesites are occupied and paying rent. For example: 200 sites X $500/month X 72 = $7,200,000. Again, an ‘average’ community with no management-owned homes, and what it could well be worth when full. The second calculation involves the actual number of rental homesites occupied and paid current; e.g. 180 sites X $500/month X 72 = $6,480,000., or $720,000. less than potential income value of the property. The replacement or income value of ‘park-owned homes’ is calculated separately and added in, with explanation.

End Notes.

1. This was one of several property management Rules of Thumb I was taught when entering this business in the late 1970s. Some disagree, but in the end it prevails.

2. Land lease community quality assessment continues to be a perennial bugaboo of manufactured housing. Today (2022), there is NO approved or accepted grading system for land lease communities! The Woodall Star System has been defunct since the late 1970s. And the ABClassification System, proposed to, but rejected by the National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division during the late 1990s, while existent and used by some, is no longer readily available to owners/operators of this property type.

II.

INNOVATIVE HOUSING SHOWCASE

Hosted by HUD & NAHB, ‘Homes on the Hill’ returns to Washington, D.C. from June 7 – 12, 2022. Manufactured Housing Institute will be staging three HUD-Code homes on the National Mall, and will host a reception with policymakers on June 8th. For details, email: events@mfghome.org

I attended the first such event (before the pandemic) and found it to be a very worthwhile experience – and may attend this time around. It was educational to see the variety of innovative housing designs and structures on display during this six day event, and to talk firsthand with legislators and housing professional from throughout the U.S. Attend and be part of MH industry history!

III.

NOW THIS IS INTERESTING!

The Federal Housing Finance Agency ‘FHFA’) has approved 2022-2024 Duty to Serve (‘DTS’) Plans for GSEs Fannie Mae & Freddie Mack, for three underserved markets – including manufactured housing.

Here is where this matter becomes INTERESTING. Specifically, in comparing how the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) and Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’) industry advocates view what many of us consider to be GSEs’ ongoing ‘benign neglect’ of financing and other needs of HUD-Code manufactured housing, particularly relative to land lease communities.*1

This is MHI’s ‘take’ on this matter.*2 “The revised Plans incorporate recommendations from MHI including increasing the volume of land-home financing targets. Further, Freddie Mac’s DTS Plan calls for creation of a personal property (chattel) loan financing product by 2024. (Fannie Mae’s Plan is silent on chattel). While MHI is pleased with these changes, given that approximately 845 of all new single family homes under $200,000 are manufactured homes, more action by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is still needed.”

This is MHARR’s ‘take’ on this matter.*3 “…the Fannie Mae plan contains no provision whatsoever for securitization or secondary market support for the personal property (chattel) loans that comprise nearly 80% of the mainstream, affordable manufactured housing consumer financing market.” And “The Freddie Mac plan…offers the possibility of a meager 1500 to 2500 chattel loan purchases for ‘study’ purposes in the plan’s final year – some 16 years following Congress’ enactment of DTS.”*4 MHARR goes on to observe that this exclusion of chattel loans from DTS by the GSEs confirms: 1) neither Enterprise has any interest in serving…the vast majority of affordable, mainstream manufactured housing; & 3) representation of industry’s post-production sector has been ineffective…in pressing for full and robust compliance” (in this matter).*5

So, do you pick up on the undercurrent of ‘reluctant participation’ on the part of Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac in matters ‘manufactured housing’? Once again, as an industry, we are dead in the water, until we identify a charismatic leader capable of leading, empower the post-production sector of manufactured housing, and make our financial needs and affordable housing message heard!

End Note.

1. ‘Benign neglect’? Simply, an attitude or policy intended to benefit someone or something less than continual attention would!

2. Quoted from MHI’s News & Updates dated April 27, 2022.

3. Quoted from MHARR’s Press Release dated 28 April 2022.

4. “As consumers and industry members know all too well…there is absolutely no guarantee that even this minimal level of purchase activity will actually occur, as similar ‘pilot’ type proposals contained in the Enterprises’ FHFA-approved 2017-2021 DTS plans were promptly jettisoned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in subsequent amendments.” Suggest you read that expose’ statement again!

5. This may be direct reference to blog postings in recent weeks (i.e. ‘Put Up or Shut Up!’), calling for renewed attention by MHI to the post-production sector of the industry, OR, a widespread call to form a new national trade advocacy entity to better represent the legislative and regulatory needs of the post-production sector in Washington, D.C.

IV.

AN INSIDE LOOK AT THE ‘NEW YORK TIMES’

Every once in a (long) while, something pops up (is published) that goes beyond the norm of day to day news reporting, reading and watching. This happened, for me, in an Editor’s Picks press release, on 28 April, from the Columbia Journalism Review (‘CJR’), announcing the change in executive editors at the New York Times. Here’s what CJR’s editor had to say about the newspaper:

“The residue of the Trump years, and fears that the former president will return for another campaign, have put the Times in the bull’s-eye of the journalistic debates over objectivity and both-sides coverage, which have led many legacy news operations to wonder whether traditional approaches to journalism apply at a time of high concern for the fate of American democracy.”

Whoa! Wouldn’t it be helpful to state the nature of alleged threat(s) to American democracy? Or is this a default position simply related to Trump returning for another term? And since when – in my opinion – has The New York Times and other legacy news operations aligned with traditional approaches to journalism?

The press release goes on to describe the Times’ posture towards independence (‘whatever that is?)’: “I (Joe Kahn, new Times’ editor) honestly think if we become a partisan organization exclusively focused on threats to democracy, and we give up our coverage of the issues, the social, political, and cultural divides that are animating participation in politics in America, we will lose the battle to be independent.”

Whoa again! I think many U.S. citizens already view the Times’ as a partisan news organization, NOT covering issues, the social, political, and cultural divides in place today, having already lost the battle to be truly independent (of political partisanship). But hey, that’s simply my opinion based on what I read and don’t read about in that newspaper; e.g. illegal immigration along the U.S. southern border, true cause of rampant inflation, content of Hunter Biden’s laptop computer and his family’s Chinese business dealings, and on and on.


George Allen
EducateMHC

May 6, 2022

NOW IS THE TIME!

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 1:34 pm

Blog Posting # 688. Copyright @ 6 May 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 gfa7156@aol.com and or visit www.educatemhc.com 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: Parts I & II are intended to be read sequentially. Bottom line? We continue to await word from someone at MHARR, and or online trade newsletter publisher, about hosting a an organization planning meeting for post-production segments of the manufactured housing industry. Part II? The first considered response, on this subject, from a like-minded businessman. And Part III? Maybe a Credit Risk Transfer (‘CRT’) ‘light at the end of the home-only finance tunnel’. The folk at MHI & MHARR have been provided copies of this brief.

I.

NOW IS THE TIME!

We are now into a new month, the month of MAY. This is a scant three months before the celebratory event of the year, and possibly, a watershed moment (‘a dividing or transitional point’) for the manufactured housing industry – especially finance firms and land lease communities coast to coast.

The celebratory event? The RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s annual Hall of Fame induction banquet at the event hall, museum and library in Elkhart, IN. the evening of 15 August 2022.
For banquet tickets, phone (574) 294-2344. I plan to attend; hope you do as well!

The watershed moment? Could be and should be, when entrepreneurial businessmen and women in the HUD-Code housing manufacturing industry; especially finance firms and land lease communities, convene to encourage the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) to become markedly more inclusive, and aggressively advocate, in behalf of all post-production sectors of the industry; OR, not be surprised when others take steps to birth a new national trade body that will do so! To that end, MHARR, an online trade newsletter publisher, and like-minded individuals need to, once and for all, move ahead in this fashion – as they’ve ‘threatened’, or ‘forever hold their peace’.

To this latter end, we received a position paper from Paul F. Martens, ACM, MHM, and portfolio land lease community owner/operator, headquartered in California. Part II, here following, is Paul’s view on this timely topic, lightly edited. As you read it, ask yourself: ‘If and when will we receive a similar communique from MHARR, the online publisher, and like-minded individuals?

II.

A NEW NATIONAL ASSOCIATION?

“A new national association? To be, or not to be! To that end, the elephant in the room is NIMBY (i.e. ‘Not in My Back Yard’), and how do we as an industry eliminate that perennial roadblock?*1 The solution begins with this question, ‘Who are ‘we’ as an industry?’ The Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’), of which I am a direct, dues-paying member, is our industry’s national leader, and their important contributions to our industry are focused on macro level lobbying in Washington, DC. and trade education, nationwide. MHI’s National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division, an important extension of the institute, was created to provide a platform for the real estate sector of the industry.*2 And for a brief period of time, as the first real estate investment trusts (‘REITs’) were launched, circa 1994-2000, this was the case – until more institutional investors became involved, eventually dominating the council. This is not necessarily a negative, but it has changed the original intent of NCC founders, and created a leadership void; and leaving many asset class insiders feeling marginalized, standing on the outside looking in.

So, where are we as an industry? We are small to mid-sized community owners/operators, the 99 percent not yet institutionalized, as well as a variety of business service providers that support the manufactured housing industry. We are a group without a voice, because MHI and the NCC, while important to our industry, have agendas not focused on our needs! Herein the timely conundrum, as George Allen succinctly states, now is the time and opportunity to either ‘Put up or shut up!’ – but what does that mean?

I very reluctantly suggest – as have others before me – that we create another new national trade association to represent and advocate for the disfranchised of our industry. Individually, we do not have the clout or funds to move the needle. It takes commitment by the majority of people reading this – and more. It requires a plan. It requires compromise. And most importantly, it requires funds. We are not starting by asking for money, but rather, boots-on-the-ground to create a framework for how an ideal national association, representing and advocating for this majority body, might look. We welcome input and support from MHI and the NCC, but the board of a newly formed association should consist of elected small to mid-sized community owners/operators and other post-production sector representatives – none of whom will individually, or in cliques, control the new entity. Think Elon Musk trying to buy Twitter.

It’s easy to say, ‘I’m in!’ However, consider the time commitment carefully, as it will take work to make this a reality. Two related examples: 1) an early initiative of this newly formed body might be creation of a minimum set of performance standards for land lease communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities) nationwide, to ensure consistent levels of quality among communities, using something measurable, such as one of the existent rating systems. Doing this begins the process of negating the NIMBY syndrome. 2) The next step might be to ensure all states support implementation of licensing or regulations to enforce aforementioned minimal standards of performance and quality, holding investor owners and their property managers accountable. And, of course, there are other measures appropriate to address the needs of other post-production sectors. In any case, if the majority of our industry is willing to compromise and agree to some sacrifices, we can change the image and ensure future growth of our industry!

However, if creating a new entity is asking too much, what would you suggest that would give the 99 percent of our industry the visibility it currently lacks?

It is much easier putting this call-to-action into words than it will be getting the majority of your support, but we can make this a reality if you are up for the challenge. I will commit the time, if many of you newer and seasoned industry insiders will commit as well. Furthermore; given the chance this call–to-action succeeds, we have already secured/parked a couple URLs for consideration, being:’ manufactured home community owners association of America’ (‘MHCOAA’). org or .com.*3

End Notes.

1. NIMBY is just one of several ‘affordable housing progress negating epithets’ in use these days; others include: LULU = ‘locally unwanted land use’, & BANANA = ‘build absolutely nothing anywhere near anyone.’ For more information on this subject read SWAN SONG, a history of the land lease communities, available from www.educatemhc.com

2. For a history of the formation of the NCC division, read the late Bruce Savage’s ‘The First 20 Years’, also available from www.educatemhc.com

3. If the entire spectrum of post-production sectors of the manufactured housing industry are likely to be represented in a new national trade body, more URLs and other identifying names and symbols will be needed.

Editor’s Note.

Do you realize what you just read in Part II? There’s a dozen or more businessmen and women who’ve expressed interest in or support of this proposal – to at least meet and consider/plan the creation of a new post-production trade body; or, demand the rejuvenation of MHI and its’ NCC division, to better represent and advocate for ‘all’ of us! (By the way, it took only 19 land lease community owners, meeting on 31 August 1993, to get the NCC started.) So far, today’s individuals hail from east and west coasts, as well as the Midwest. All we’re waiting for now, is for MHARR (‘Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform), an online trade newsletter publisher, and like-minded individuals (‘You?’) to step forward and lead….GFA

III.

CREDIT RISK TRANSFERS (‘CRT’) AS AFFORDABLE HOUSING INITIATIVES

David M. Brickman, writing for the URBAN Institute, during early April, penned a report titled: ‘Credit Risk Transfers as a Catalyst for Affordable Housing Initiatives’. His first sentence sets the stage for what follows: “This brief explains how credit risk transfers (‘CRT’) have historically been used, and argues for a more expansive approach to promoting affordable housing.”

Two things caught my attention. First, this challenge to Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac: Leverage “existing and potential suite of credit risk transfer (‘CRT’) tools and capabilities, the government-sponsored enterprises (‘GSEs’) can boldly address the acute barriers to affordable and equitable homeownership.” Then, within the report proper, the author provides ‘examples of how a CRT could encourage loans for manufactured and multifamily housing.’

Then, in no fewer than seven lengthy paragraphs, Brickman describes, in detail, how CRT applies to this unique, eminently affordable, housing type. And within one of those paragraphs, he provides this clear indictment of how ‘finance’ operates in the manufactured housing industry today: “…nonbank lenders are gaining market share as banks have decreased their activity or left the market altogether over the past decade. The result is a market that lacks both the liquidity and completion necessary to bring down interest rates for borrowers, especially among those who rely on chattel loans.”

Brickman’s recommended solution to this dilemma? “The GSEs could leverage the activities of existing lenders and investors through (a) more expansive and ‘proactive’ view of CRT. Specifically, the GSEs could work with existing lenders to develop a standardized product for manufactured housing chattel loans, including a single set of loan terms and documents, credit parameters, and delivery mechanics, which would create significant value and bring helpful liquidity to an otherwise fragmented market.” And his recommendations continue on….

The report concludes with a very interesting, even exciting, ‘Theoretical CRT for the Manufactured Housing Sector’. To read this, obtain your own copy of this brief from the Urban Institute (www.urban.org), the Housing finance Policy Center (‘HFPC’) or via urban.org/fundingprinciples

George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC




April 30, 2022

WE ARE THE 10% MARKET SHARE FOLK!

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 6:22 am

Blog Posting # 687. Copyright @ 30 April 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 gfa7156@aol.com and or visit www.educatemhc.com 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 primary consequence of not responding to the ‘Put Up or Shut Up!’ challenge of the past two weeks of blog postings? We will likely remain known as the ‘10% Housing Market Share Industry’. Seriously. While 105,772 new HUD-Code homes shipped during 2021 is a notable achievement – it’s still only 10% of the national housing market! Read Part I here following to learn how to increase this to maybe 20% or more market share.
Part II, frankly, is just plain sobering! And Part III should be a wake-up call to our industry.

I.

WE ARE THE 10% MARKET SHARE FOLK!

Yes, our 105,772 new HUD-Code housing units shipped during year 2021 calculates to approximately 10 percent of the national housing market share of single family residential houses started during that time period.

Here’re two ways to look at those numbers. One source announces 1,040,000 single family housing starts, of all types, during year 2021. Ten percent of that market is 104,000 – only 1,772 fewer than HUD-Code manufactured housing’s 105,772 units shipped.*1 Taking this a step further, 10 percent of the average of all four separately-published U.S. housing start totals (i.e. 1,040,000; 1,215,000; 1,238,000; & 1,087,000) = 114,500; still only 8,728 units more than the HUD manufactured housing shipment total for the year.

Point? Year after year it seems, we – as an industry – are stuck (Some say ‘satisfied’) with a measly 10% of national single family housing starts market share. But has that always been the case? No! Way back in 1973, the 579,940+/- new ‘mobile homes’ we shipped (i.e. HUD-manufactured housing code was legislated in 1974 & enacted in 1976) was a whopping 44 percent of national housing market share! And in 1998, the peak of our too sort renascence, the 372,943+/- new manufactured homes we shipped, pegged us at 23 percent of national housing market share! And frankly, there’ve been other similar ‘high points’, during years when national housing starts fell off sharply for various reasons.

OK, assuming manufactured housing ‘powers that be’ want to routinely achieve higher (e.g. 25%+) national market share (Again, some question whether such motivation is real and ready – or not), how might they achieve such a goal?

Well, one of the many responses received to two weeks of ‘Put Up or Shut Up!’ blog postings, suggested a couple common sense, practical measures, and here they are:

The independent (street) MHRetailers and ‘company stores’ should/must reposition themselves to attract and service traditional real estate homebuyers! To do so, they’ll need to become licensed real estate brokers and licensed general building contractors. Frankly, we attempted this during the late 1990s (a.k.a. land-home packages) but failed. Why? In part, because ‘dealers’ did not retrain and become licensed as suggested here. This is a whole new mindset and far more intense than simply selling and delivering (i.e. our DOR, or ‘Drop & Run’ delivery rep) new manufactured homes!

Furthermore, there absolutely must be more raw land development into land lease communities and subdivisions than has been the case anytime during the past 50 years! MHI is headed in the right direction with their efforts to identify and end local regulatory barriers to all forms of affordable housing, ameliorating local housing markets to receptivity of manufactured housing.

But I see significant challenges to the measures put forth in the previous two paragraphs.

• Unless there is already an independent (street) MHRetailers or ‘company stores’ already fully licensed and operating successfully with traditional real estate homebuyers – and willing to share said knowledge and experience with peers; we as an industry, are in the position of having to ‘reinvent the wheel’ to this end. This will not be a simple task.

• Given recent retirements, just who does the manufactured housing industry have on hand now to handle design and engineering of various raw land development projects nationwide? After all, it appears old mobile home parks are disappearing faster than new land lease communities are being developed. That is a sure path to oblivion, if not addressed soon.

• ‘Development, Marketing & Operation of Manufactured Home Communities’ text was published by J. Wiley & Sons in 1992 – a best seller at the time, but now out of print. The three co-authors are retired or deceased. We, as an industry and realty asset class, are in dire need of up to date HOW TO instructions.

• And last, but certainly not least of these concerns, remains the paucity of chattel capital (i.e. home-only loans) available to independent (street) MHRetailers, ‘company stores’, and community owners/operators marketing and selling new HUD-Code homes on-site within land lease communities. At least the sorry matter is being talked about in Washington circles these days, and elsewhere, but the handicap continues to exist.

In closing, it’s been interesting to me how the blog challenge of ‘Put up or Shut Up!’ has stimulated the discussion presented here today. Why interesting? Because, in my mind, it appears we have a classic ‘chicken or egg’ first conundrum. Do we just forge ahead to ‘break free of the 10% market share’ shackle, or do we first stop and decide whether the need is real, serious and timely enough to create a new POST-PRODUCTION ADVOCACY ENTITY for the manufactured housing industry and land lease communities of all sizes – INCLUDING MH subdivisions?*3
All this is why I’m anxious to hear more input from YOU, the blog readers. After all, it’s thanks to those who’ve responded during the past two weeks that this open conversation has progressed this far. Reach me via gfa7156@aol.com And don’t worry ‘bout me divulging your name; happy to keep it confidential if you wish.
End Notes

1. 105,772 is the widely-recognized official manufactured housing shipment total comprised from 12 monthly reports distributed, during year 2021, by HUD’s scorekeeper, the Institute of Building Technology & Safety (‘IBTS’).

2. 579,940+/- & 372,943+/- are burdened with (+/_) uncertainty (and have been from between 1974 & 2013), because four entities (i.e. IBTS, HUD, MHARR, & EducateMHC) report the comprised IBTS total and only one entity reports a different shipment total.

3. To this end, here’s what one veteran land lease community portfolio owner/operator opines: “I always thought a well-funded division of MHI was the way to go. But the NCC division doesn’t seem to be working in its’ present form. If we tried to pump up the NCC, or create a new advocacy group, would smaller operators (like me) support it? Or would we end up being pushed aside by the likes of ELS, SUN, RHP, UMH, etc? Isn’t that the reason MHARR exists? Smaller operators were pushed aside by the big guys?” (lightly edited. GFA)

II.

HAVE YOU HEARD OF THE ‘GREAT RESET’?

Well, I have during the past several months to a year long period of time. Sometimes it refers to
political matters, other times to domestic issues, and on and on. Well, I picked up a new book recently, authored by fairly well known pundit, Glenn Beck. (Do you recall my review of his earlier novel, The Overton Window – it described how we’re influenced by advertising messages, when repeated time and again, cause us to consider something once disliked, as now being OK).

Anyway, the new 317 page tome is co-authored by Beck and Justin Haskins, and carries the subtitle ‘Joe Biden and the Rise of 21st Century Fascism’. Here’s how the book ends: “This book offers a wealth of information you can use to help show others how to recognize the Great Reset for what it really is – a globalist, authoritarian scheme to manipulate virtually every industrialized society on earth….” P.277

Earlier in the book, the authors present this summary: “…how the Great Reset would be fueled (modern monetary theory), how the conditions have come about that make the Reset possible (the coronavirus pandemic), and what the justification is for the destruction of the current world economic system (claims of an ‘existential’ climate change crisis).” P.152.

And this scary thought: “…the Great Reset’s biggest backers have deliberately chosen to use terminology that sounds appealing to many supporters of free markets – like ‘capitalism’, ‘investments’, and ‘stakeholders’ – while meaning something very different from what many of us think of when we hear these ideas discussed in the United States.” P.152.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? “Countless members of the press have argued this is all just a wild conspiracy theory cooked up by the ‘far right’ to scare you. Why should you believe Glenn Beck when the New York Times is portraying the Great Reset in a completely different light? Well, here’s something you won’t hear the New York Times say, especially when it comes to the Great Reset. Do not take my word for it. Do your own homework, and you will see the Great Reset is all too real and that it is an overt power grab by the ruling class, one that might be impossible to fully reverse once it is in place.” P.221.

So, as is oft said, you have been forewarned, now you are forearmed – if/when you look into the Great Reset on your own.







III.

BEST BOSSES

In the March/April issue of Globe St., Real Estate Forum magazine, there’s a feature article titled BEST BOSSES. It begins with this: “On the following pages you will find our selection for Best Bosses in commercial real estate – (35) men and women who have had an indelible impact on their companies and our industry, even as they navigated the unprecedented events of the last two years.” P 15..

As I thumbed through the article and photographs of Best Bosses, I recognized several individuals – but only one, from the interrelated manufactured housing and land lease communities business model. This was DAVE HEGEMANN, founder of London Computer Systems, but better known for Rent Manager property management computer software.

My relationship with Dave goes back to the early 1990s when we launched the annual Networking Roundtables for (then) manufactured home community owners/operators. He was the first vendor to demonstrate computer software developed for the realty asset class. Today his company employs more than 400 and serves customers throughout North America.

So, why am I bringing this accolade to your attention? Simply because – in my opinion – we should and could do a far better job identifying and honoring our ‘movers and shakers’, or as this trade magazine puts it: Best Bosses.

Right now, tributes and citations for pioneers and achievers in our industry and asset class are limited to the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s prestigious Hall of Fame, MHI’s annual awards to members only, and in the pages of MHInsider magazine. So, it is a ‘big deal’ when our folk are singled out, like this, by others. And Dave Hegemann is certainly worthy of recognition and honor – not only amongst his commercial real estate peers but with us as well!

Point? We need more avenues of recognition among our business leaders, male and female, entrepreneurs and association executives. I can think of at least two possible venues: the annual SECO conference for land lease community folk, and non-member recognition by the Manufactured Housing Institute. What do you think?


George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC

P.S. Next week, watch for yet another suggestion on how to increase our shipment performance.




April 21, 2022

PUT UP OR SHUT UP! – CONTINUED…

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 7:01 am

Blog Posting # 686. Copyright @ 22 April 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 gfa7156@aol.com and or visit www.educatemhc.com 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: The ‘Put Up or Shut Up!’ blog posting last week touched a nerve throughout the manufactured housing industry and among land lease community owners/operators nationwide. I’ve stopped counting the number of (all positive to date) responses we’ve received to date. Part I, here following, pretty much encompasses the viewpoints expressed in various forms of correspondence to us. And Part II is taking on increased importance as some new owners of communities continue to jack their rental homesite rates and add new fees. Doing so is akin to shooting oneself in one’s foot. We’ve ‘been here before’ and endured the resulting shakeouts among other new players. We’ll continue to watch and report on how this unfolds.

I.

PUT UP OR SHUT UP! – CONTINUED…

Last week in blog posting # 685, you learned of “…criticism that MHI (‘Manufactured Housing Institute’) does not truly and fully advocate for the entire manufactured housing industry, particularly its’ post-production segments (e.g. communities, finance, state associations, service firms, suppliers, etc.)” Criticism articulated by an ‘online publisher, MHARR (‘Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform’) and others of like mind’.

It was suggested, in the same blog posting, these parties should “…plan and convene a national gathering for everyone interested in improving advocacy for the post-production segments of the manufactured housing industry.” – on the 16th of August at or near the RV/MH Heritage Foundation Hall of Fame, Library & Museum in Elkhart, IN. – the day after the induction of ten RV/MH pioneers and executives are inducted into the prestigious Hall of Fame.

Well, the cited criticism, and possibility of a national gathering to discuss and resolve this perennial issue stimulated responses, plenty of them. And while most of it was positive, there were two reality checks amongst the whole that warrant mention here.

First off, in light of the ‘put up or shut up’ challenge to the online publisher, MHARR, and like-minded individuals, such a national meeting might well cut two ways:

• Is this issue or matter, Real or Not? If the former, it begs inquiry and discussion.

• Furthermore, degree of response to this call for a national gathering will make clear, once and for all, the degree of tacit and real support these disparate parties have.

And then there’s this second reality check. Given the political power brokers at play within MHI today (disparagingly known as the Big Boys Club), especially – in my opinion – in the manufacturers and finance divisions, and National Communities Council (manifested by who’s ‘in power’ or office, at any given time), why not expect this sort of power play to be replicated in any new advocacy organization, especially one birthed to serve post-production segments of the manufactured housing industry? After all, this is pretty much what occurred within the NCC division within a few years after it was formed.

So, given these reactions so soon after this call for national action, where do matters stand at present? I have no idea. But in my opinion, the online publisher, MHARR, and like-minded individuals should ‘man up’, once and for all, and make a very public play for independent post-production advocacy, or STOP complaining about the matter going forward. As said before, ‘Put Up or Shut Up!’
II.

HEADLINE ALMOST SAYS IT ALL!

‘Sitting on a time bomb’: Mobile home (park) residents at risk in red-hot housing market. Yes, that’s the way the headline read in a recent issue of Colorado Newsline. The article was penned by Ariana Figueroa, a reporter in Washington, DC.

In the article we learn there’s an estimated 2.7 million homes in 49 states, 45,600 ‘mobile home parks’, and the 2019 average cost of a manufactured home was $82,000.

And we also learn this: “Mobile home parks (i.e. land lease communities) provide affordable housing for millions of low-income residents – including seniors on fixed incomes – (who) own homes while renting the land underneath.” One homeowner/site lessee, a Mr. Zany “who pays $550 a month for his lot (rental homesite) compared to an average rent in the area of $1,700 monthly for a one-bedroom apartment.” What’s interesting about this scenario is it closely follows the pattern of the traditional Rule of Thumb comparing rental rates of rental homesites in land lease communities and conventional (non-subsidized) apartments in the same local housing market. The Rule of Thumb? To estimate the appropriate rental homesite rate for a land lease community, identify the average rent charged for a rental apartment in the same local housing market. For example. In this instance, average apartment rent is $1,700/month. Divide this by three and the result is $566. very close to the $550 cited in the article. So, in this instance, the apartment and land lease community rental rates are in sync.

A caveat. In today’s ‘red-hot housing market’, among land lease communities, the traditional 1:3 Rule of Thumb has morphed – due to large rental homesite rate increases, to 1:2. In other words, in the previous example, given $1,700 apartment unit rent, expect land lease community rental homesite rates to be closer to $850/month, rather than $550 or $560. Now, that’s a market where apartment and land lease community monthly rents are ‘out of sync’!

This sad reality is playing out in states throughout the U.S. as ‘Rent-Control Measures (become) a Top Priority for Local Lawmakers’ (title of a feature article in the March/April 2022 issue of Real Estate Forum. (p.6) And the article goes on to say: “…estimates (are) that home-rental prices have increased an average of 18% across the US during the past two years, hitting record levels with some cities reporting rent hikes of 30%.”

And get this! “The national housing crunch is so severe, it’s impacting mobile-home (park) occupants. Colorado is debating a new law that would cap rent increases on space at mobile-home lots (rental homesites) where rents have surged by as much as 50%.”

Harkening back to Part I of this blog posting, the ‘exorbitant rental homesite rate’ scenario today, is one reason some/many land lease community owners/operators are clamoring for alternative representation on the national level – along the lines of the National Apartment Association (‘NAA’) and Multi-housing Council, where issues are researched and resolved. And just like MHARR is widely regarded – and respected, as the manufactured housing industry’s ‘Watchdog in Washington, DC’, the realty asset class needs like representation, – whether it be a renewed NCC division at MHI, or a new national advocacy entity altogether. Same with the finance sector of post-production firms. How long will the industry abide excuses as to why we can’t access more chattel capital (i.e. home-only loans), and why there’s still no secondary market for selling-off seasoned manufactured housing loans?

Frankly, we – as an industry and unique income-producing property type, could well be on the cusp of taking a major step towards renewed productivity and prosperity, if/when we demand more of our salaried and volunteer leaders on the national and state levels. The question is whether this is accomplished with present day organizations or new ones willing to fight for what is needed, e.g. more chattel capital, a secondary finance market, and less regulation (i.e. rent control and other forms of landlord/tenant legislation), for starters.

George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC

P.S. Watch for next week’s blog posting. Penning it already, and it’ll include a practical plan, by an industry executive, for getting our industry out of the 10% production doldrums.

April 15, 2022

PUT UP OR SHUT UP!

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 7:56 am

Blog Posting # 685. Copyright @ 15 April 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 gfa7156@aol.com and or visit www.educatemhc.com Previous phone #s no longer connected.

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: to promote HUD-Code manufactured housing and land lese communities as U.S. # 1 source of affordable, attainable housing! Be MHM certified!

INTRODUCTION. Every once in a while, usually after a time of editorial or political posturing, one wishes the trumpeting party would ‘Put up or shut up!’ We seem to be entering into one of those times now – maybe for good reason. Read Parts I & IV, to see where you are on the matter described. And Parts II & II feature, in the first instance, a timely $ reference that should be in every land lease community; and in the latter instance, some sad and surprising news.

I.
PUT UP OR SHUT UP!

You may or may not have recently received and read a lengthy diatribe (‘bitter & abusive denunciation’) of the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) by the publisher of an online newsletter. I don’t usually respond to these periodic communiques, but felt compelled to do so this time around. Here’s why and what I penned….

During my 44 year career in manufactured housing, and as a land lease community owner,

“I’ve vacillated from being an enthusiastic supporter of the way the institute does things – or doesn’t do what I think they should. So I understand the frustration that’s ‘out there’ today, especially with our industry shipping only 105,772 new HUD-Code homes during year 2021. And this in the midst of our nation’s affordable housing crisis. We should be shipping many more new homes nationwide.”

“A perennial ‘whipping boy’ has been criticism that MHI does not truly and fully advocate for the entire manufactured housing industry, particularly its’ post-production segments (e.g. communities, finance, state associations, service firms, suppliers, etc.) And, in a sense, that’s understandable – if true, since the majority of the institute’s operating funds come from the manufacturers division of MHI. And today, the majority of those funds presumably come from just three companies, i.e. The Big Three Cs: Clayton, Cavco, & Skyline/Champion. How’s the bromide go? ‘Follow the money!”

“So, what to do about this uncertain advocacy matter? In my opinion, if this online publisher, MHARR, and others of like mind, really and truly believe lack of representation is pervasive and self-defeating, then plan and convene a national gathering for everyone interested in improving advocacy for the post-production segments of the manufactured housing industry! Seriously. And here’s a practical suggestion. Convene a national meeting on the 16th of August 2022, at or near the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN. After all, the day before, on the 15th, we’ll see ten RV & MH pioneers/notable executives inducted into the prestigious Hall of Fame at that location. Simply stay overnight and convene the next morning. I’ll be the first person to sign-up. And I can think of several others that will as well.”

“There’s precedent for this bold suggestion. On 31 August 1993, 19 portfolio owners/operators of (then) manufactured home communities met at a hotel in Indianapolis, IN., to strategically plan how to ensure effective representation for the realty asset class in the years ahead. (This meeting occurred one year before the first ‘community REIT’ was launched). And up until that time, representation of 50,000+/- communities nationwide, was handled by a committee of volunteers at MHI meetings. Eventual result? On 1 January 1996, under the leadership of MHI executive Jim Ayotte, CAE, the National Communities Council (later designated as NCC division of MHI) began its’ work. Has it lived up to expectations? Originally yes, but that’s a worthy subject for a future critique.”

“Bottom line, for online publisher and MHARR? If you and others truly believe the post-production segments of the manufactured housing industry need better representation and advocacy, than is presently the case, plan soon how to resolve the matter and get started this year! In a word: ‘Put Up or shut up!”

I sent this email communique out early Saturday afternoon. Literally, within minutes, I started receiving replies. Here’s the first one, from a HUD-Code housing manufacturer.

“Thank You for stating that. I am obsessed and committed to help this industry break out of the 9-10% of new single-family housing starts. That is where we are now and have always been – except when easy financing existed, and that turned around (to) set the industry back. As you indicated, we need specific suggestions as to what can help us break out of the 10% restraint, and action plans to achieve more! That is what we are working on at MHI.” (Lightly edited, GFA)


II.
MANUFACTURED HOME COMMUNITY FINANCING HANDBOOK

Do you have this valuable resource in hand? If not, then email eerik.edwards@wellsfargo.com and request a free copy. If you’re a land lease community owner/operator, you want to have this comprehensive document in your personal or corporate library. This is the 16th edition and besides the usual background and HOW TO information, it also includes a copy of the last published edition of the ALLEN REPORT (i.e. annual compendium of community operating statistics, market trends, and list of top 100 or so of the 500 known portfolio owners/operators in North America today.

III.

DID YOU KNOW?

WMA executive director Sheila Dey has retired after nearly three decades of service to land lease community owners/operators in the state of California? Doug Johnson, WMA’s senior regional representative has been tapped to serve as WMA’s new executive director. He’s been with WMA for 28 years. Source of this and following information: March/April 2022 edition of MHInsider magazine.

What a shock – to me anyway. Wally Moreland, long long time business partner with the likes of Gary McDaniel, Jim Grange, and others at ROC Properties, nee Chateau Communities, a REIT; and YES! Communities, died during January 2022. I’m sure there are many of you ‘out there’ who remember the comical skits his company put on during the MHCongress in its’ early years.

IV.

THE FOLLY OF POST-PRODUCTION ADVOCACY!

What? It was only in Part I of this blog posting that someone credible suggested the timely need for separate representation of the post-production segments of the manufactured housing industry! And here, already, the efficacy of that idea is being contested? Well, it’s true. Among the many responses to the communique described in Part I above, were some pretty heady, sobering observations about the present state of national and state advocacy, and why a ‘new player’ on the scene might well have little to no positive effect on manufactured housing matters. I’ll present and explore those reasonings in next week’s blog posting (# 686).

Until then, if you’d like to add your opinion on this heady topic to the mix, just let me know via gfa7156@aol.com

George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC


April 7, 2022

MHShipment Total@ February & Stock Market Report @ 4 April

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 7:58 am

Blog Posting # 684. Copyright @ 8 April 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 gfa7156@aol.com and or visit www.educatemhc.com 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: Other than by direct email from me to you, Part I, here following is our industry’s and asset class’ sole access to ‘MHShipment Totals & Stock Market Report’. And if you don’t know MHAction is nipping at your heels, if a community owner/operators, read about it in Part II. Part III? Review of another exciting novel by Charles Irion, former community owner. Most important of all, plan to participate in the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s Hall of Fame at the annual induction banquet on 15 August 2020.

I.

MHShipment Total@ February & Stock Market Report @ 4 April

According to the Institute for building Technology & Safety (‘IBTS’), HUD’s ‘scorekeeper’ for HUD-Code manufactured housing production, 9,281 new homes were shipped during February 2022. This, the sole Official Total recorded and publicized by IBTS, HUD, MHARR & EducateMHC.

9,281 exceeds February 2021 total of 7,995 homes, and 9,110 homes reported last month, during January 2022. And 2022 YTD, we’re already 1,200 new homes ahead of 2021 YTD!

The production value of these 9,281 new homes, using Dr. Stephen C. Cooke’s $43,126/MH factor is estimated to be $400 million; and 2022 production value YTD is $793 million. As I’ve said before, it’s past time for an update of Dr. Cooke’s valuation factor. Anyone listening?

Stock price-wise; of ten publicly-traded manufactured housing and land lease community companies, during early April, five were UP and five were DOWN from previous month. The MH/LLCommunity Composite Stock Index (‘CSI’) for this period of time rose from $713 to $732. For a FREE stock market summary of these ten firms, request it via gfa7156@aol.com


II.


MHAction calls for Legislative Day of Action on 10 May 2022

This is a state (e.g. New York, et. al.) and national initiative aimed at ‘predatory investors’ acquiring and operating land lease communities. Specific provisions ban rent-gouging companies, provide better (property management) oversight (i.e. licensing), improve leases, and stop unfair seizure of homes. If you’re not following these developments you should be!


III.

MURDERED BY GODS – TIMBUKTU

Yet another murder mystery, high adventure tale, from former Arizona real estate broker and land lease community owner/operator Charles Irion. I’ve reviewed many of Chuck’s novels and non-fiction books (e.g. ‘Roadkill Cookbook for Campers’) over the years, and sincerely believe ‘Murdered by Gods – Timbuktu’ is one of his best as a wordsmith, to date. By way of review…

‘Murdered by Gods – Timbuktu is an eclectic mix of writing genres; from mystery to adventure to survival to sci-fi, even demon possession. Set in the Sahara Desert, Irion’s perennial hero Scott Devlon – mountaineer and director of Project: RESCUE, is on a mission of mercy, to rescue a group of kidnapped scholars who aim to restore the cultural heritage of Timbuktu.

The author’s writing style also varies, from being akin to late mystery writer Dick Francis’ penchant for details (i.e. which is to say, you’ll learn all about salt mining, intirion crystals and more), Karl Marlantes’ flare for penning graphic life and death scenarios (as in his ‘Matterhorn’ historical novel of U.S. Marines fighting in RVN), as well as describing exhausting personal endurance, as in Slavomir Rawicz’s The Long Walk’. Taken all together, this is one of those books that once-in-hand is darn difficult to put down!

Besides the education a reader receives, and gripping descriptions of hero Devlon’s high adventures in life and near death scenarios, there’s a continuing plot line from Irion’s previous novels that smacks of other-worldly presence, even demon possession. I’ve read all his books, but still get goose bumps when he first touches, then dives into a nether (or ‘higher’) world beyond that upon which most of us live and work. GFA




IV.

2022 = 50th ANNIVERSARY OF RV/MH HALL OF FAME!

Who knew? The repository and protector of our industry and realty asset class history will celebrate its’ 50th anniversary on 15 August 2022, at the RV/MH Heritage Foundation facility in Elkhart, IN.

To that end, watch for the July/August issue of MHInsider magazine. Therein, the Allen Legacy column will – for the first time in print – tell how the RV/MH Hall of Fame, museum and library was birthed, then describe some picturesque Hall of Fame members. Some examples: One sold a new ‘mobile home’ to Elvis Presley; another, an immigrant from Denmark who made his fortune in this business’; yet another was on the War Production Board during WWII; another, the mayor of a major Midwest City; and one revolutionized RV advertising!

For now, however, why not commit yourself to attend the RV/MH Hall of Fame induction banquet on 15 August 2022? I know I plan to be present among the expected 700 guests. For tickets, phone (574) 293-2344. Who’s being inducted, from the manufactured housing industry? Eugene (Gene) Landy, founder and chairman of the board of REIT, UMH Properties, Inc. Tim Williams, founder and CEO of 21st Mortgage. Raylen Gritton, an independent (street) MHRetailer with 13 locations in five states. David Carter, Sr., a supplier of lumber and OEM supplies to the manufactured housing industry. Harry Karsten, longtime HUD-Code manufacturer on the west coast, also son-in-law of an inductee in the inaugural 1972 class. In addition to these five honorees, there’ll be five inductees from the recreational vehicle industry.

New U.S. presidents have their fancy inaugural balls, Hollywood actors and actresses have their Oscars. Well, manufactured housing and land lease communities, along with their recreational vehicle brethren, have their annual Hall of Fame induction banquet! It is the most gala affair MH & RV folk enjoy almost every year (skipped 2020 due to the pandemic). Frankly, ‘anyone who’s anyone’ in both industries, will be present at this event. It’s the one occasion where everyone goes to ‘see and be seen’, especially those who aspire to be nominated and selected for induction into the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s prestigious Hall of Fame. Will you be there in 2022?

And this footnote to the 15 August festivities. As in years past, I’ve already been asked to teach, over a two to three hour period of time, that day, ‘How to Pen One’s Memoirs & Wordsmith an Autobiography’. If this interests you, let me know via gfa7156@aol.com As in years past this seminar will likely be held in the RV/MH Hall of Fame library or another room at the facility.

George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC

March 31, 2022

NEW HOME FOR ‘INNOVATIONS IN

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 1:33 pm

MH (the ‘I’M HOME’) NETWORK’

Blog Posting # 683. Copyright @ 1 April 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 gfa7156@aol.com and or visit www.educatemhc.com 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: The times they are a-changing, or so it certainly seems. Prosperity Now has bowed away from its activist interest in manufactured housing, in deference to the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. And look who’s going to be administering that part of the program! Also, a stunning, but o’ so practical suggestion from within the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies! Frankly, I found it hard to believe the first time I read the suggestion. Go for it! GFA

I.

NEW HOME FOR ‘INNOVATIONS IN
MH (the ‘I’M HOME’) NETWORK’

Learned a couple weeks ago the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy is now supervising the Innovations in Manufactured Homes (‘I’m Home’) Network. Since 2005, this initiative, launched to address the housing affordability crisis here in the U.S., was administered by the activist group Prosperity Now. Simply, the initiative “promotes manufactured housing as a source of wealth-building home ownership and stable rental housing.”

And now this week we learn Jim Gray, formerly with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (‘FHFA’) – where he headed up the Duty to Serve effort fielded by the two GSEs, Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, is now the point of contact at the Lincoln Institute, where the ‘I’m Home’ program is concerned. Reach him via (202) 722-7543.

What can we expect, relative to the institute’s interest in housing affordability where HUD-Code manufactured housing and land lease communities are concerned? Guess we’ll have to wait and see. Personally, I’m encouraged to see the Lincoln Institute become involved. Hopefully this will mean that manufactured housing will be looked upon as ‘more than low income housing’ and land lease communities as the desirable lifestyle they are!

II.

AN INSPIRED SUGGESTION

Don Layton of the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, in the 3/26/2022 issue of that organization’s HOUSING PERSPECTIVES newsletter boldly suggests, “The four government mortgage agencies (i.e. GSEs’ Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae, also FHFA, and the VA) should produce a unified report on mission activities.”

Layton then lays the groundwork for his suggestion, by first informing us of how there’s almost $12 trillion outstanding of traditional first mortgages on single-family homes, about 70 percent of which is financed by these agencies! Then he reminds readers how all four agencies attempt to increase the supply of affordable housing in the U.S. via 1) manufactured housing, and 2) preservation of existing affordable housing.

After describing how the four agencies, which should be working together, have created a reality that is considerably messier than need be or desirable, he drops this bombshell of a suggestion:

“…my modest suggestion: the four agencies should work together to produce, at first annually but then quarterly, a single, unified and comprehensive report on their SECONDARY-MARKET MISSION ACTIVITIES to illustrate how well the government has utilized taxpayer support to reach the goal of successfully IMPROVING HOMEOWNERSHIP, especially for underserved groups of families. This could produce comprehensive and timely reporting about how much taxpayer-supported financing is received by specific racial groups, by rural families in low-income geographies, by LMI families, and so on.” (EMPHASIS ADDED. gfa)

Whoa! This is precisely what those of us in the manufactured housing industry, and among owners/operators of land lease communities (needing home-only loans) have been hollering for for years! Yes, we need better, easier access to chattel capital for our home-only loans on-site in communities, but we also need ready and regular access, with GSEs help, to the secondary market – where we’d sell off our mature housing loans and renew our supply of chattel capital for more transactions. And for sure this would open up chattel loan sourcing beyond the singular firm presently enjoying, I’m told, an estimated 70 percent of market share.

Like this thinking? Reach out to Don Layton via jchs@harvard.edu

George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC

March 24, 2022

PUTTING BEST FOOT FORWARD!&?

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 gfa7156@aol.com and or visit www.educatemhc.com 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?

I.

PUTTING BEST FOOT FORWARD!&?

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 Rebecca@nadigroup.com

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.
II.

OUR WORST ENEMY? US!

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!”

III.

FOUR DEFICIENCIES IN MH

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?

III.
NATIONAL VIETNAM VETERAN REMEMBRANCE DAY

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!

March 16, 2022

LOAN ORIGINATORS SPEAK OUT!

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 10:28 am

Blog Posting # 681. Copyright @ 18 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 gfa7156@aol.com and or visit www.educatemhc.com Previous phone #s no longer connected.

Moto: ‘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: This week’s posting is chockfull of financial advice, program change, and what a couple of our colleagues are doing with their retirement time and resources. Enjoy! GFA

I.

LOAN ORIGINATORS SPEAK OUT!

Did you see or read ‘Making Sound Financing Decisions in a Chaotic World’, penned by Tony Petosa, Nick Bertino, Erik Edwards, and Matt Herskowitz, all loan originators with Wells Fargo Bank?

Well, if not, here’s one of nine paragraphs that were chock full of good & timely advice relative to financing and refinancing land lease communities in today’s hectic investment climate.

“As far as acquisition financing is concerned, most commercial real estate investors recognize cap rates have continued to compress in recent years, particularly among land lease communities, which proved to be one of the most resilient asset classes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to try to maximize returns, we have seen some borrowers seek out interest-only loans at the highest leverage level possible. However, this type of financing structure in an increasing interest rate environment may be putting one’s property at refinance risk in the future. While 2007 may seem like a long time ago, it is important to remember that many commercial real estate owners at that time, who had taken out high leverage, short-term, interest-only loans, found themselves in quite a bind when those loans matured in a more conservative lending environment with higher rates. It is worth keeping the tough lessons learned from the last downturn in mind as we head into what may be an increasing interest rate environment.” (lightly edited. GFA)

To receive your own copy of the complete document, reach out to tpetosa@wellsfargo.com Also nick.bertino, erik.edwards, and matthew.herskowitz – all at wellsfargo.com Tell them ‘George Allen sent me!’

II.

NEW HOME FOR ‘I’M HOME’ PROGRAM

Here’s how the Press Release begins: “For nearly two decades, Prosperity Now, first as CFED (‘Corporation for Enterprise Development’), has housed the Innovations in Manufactured Homes (‘I’M HOME’) program…the nation’s leading resource for manufactured housing policy education, programming, communications, and events.” And here’s how the Press Release kinda ‘ends’: “Over the next few months, we will transition the program to the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, a nonprofit, private operating foundation that seeks to improve quality of life through the effective use, taxation, and stewardship of land.”

Research into the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy finds it was founded in 1946 and is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. But more important, to manufactured housing aficionados, is the reality this institute is one of 20 members of the Underserved Mortgage Market Coalition – a coalition urging FHFA and both GSEs (Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac) to improve their loan performance (availability) serving families presently not in the traditional mortgage market. This includes elusive home-only mortgages needed by prospective buyers of manufactured homes being sited within land lease communities.

Next Step and ROC USA are the only two manufactured housing and land lease community-related organizations that I saw, presently among the 20 members of the Underserved Mortgage market Coalition. Neither MHI or MHARR are included among the coalition membership, and probably for good reason. (?)

As a personal aside, I’ve read the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy magazine for many years and have always viewed it, based on editorial and subject content, as a quasi-academic magazine sans a social and financial activist presence. Perhaps this is about to change as they seek to improve the quality of life for folk in need of chattel capital to finance their purchase of a manufactured home. Guess we’ll have to wait and see….

And this sidebar. When I googled ‘Innovations in Manufactured Homes’, guess what popped up ahead of Prosperity Now’s program? Innovations in Manufactured Homes – Clayton Homes. No surprise there, really, as Clayton has long been a leader in innovative manufactured housing.


III.

A NEW NOVEL & A UKRAINE DOG RESCUE

So, what do land lease community owners/operators do when they retire? Some become world travelers, others sportsmen (hunters), some novelists, while still others take on altruistic and service projects of one sort or another. To that end, Charles Irion’s new mystery/adventure novel landed on my doorstep recently. And given the war turmoil in Ukraine these days, I was pleased to see ‘one of our own’ step forward to assist in unique rescue operations.

‘Murdered by Gods – Timbuktu’ is Irion’s latest novel and I’m looking forward to getting started on it. This is his 16th book, featuring a heady mix of fiction and non-fiction works over the past few decades. And know what? I already know it’s going to be a good ‘attention getting’ read! I’ve watched his wordsmithing and style improve with each book, and the last few have been difficult to put down until the end. Google Charles Irion and order his books via Amazon.com

Then there’s Anne-Marie Wiseman. Remember her? She helped grow a land lease community portfolio a while back, managed it for years, and retired when the properties sold. Well, if you were present at the Networking Roundtable in Colorado Springs in 1999, you’ll recall Anne-Marie being present with two Borzoi Russian Wolfhounds, now generally referred to as being The Borzoi. Well, she’s director of the National Borzoi Rescue Foundation-International, working out of Florida. And just within the past couple weeks, she’s arranged for the rescue of several Borzoi from the Ukraine. To reach and support her efforts, telephone (844) NBRFZOI; better yet, email her via annmarieNBRF@gmail.com

Know of other recent retirees who’re doing something interesting, charitable, adventuresome or in service to society? Let me now via gfa7156@aol.com


George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC


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