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

June 1, 2023

Drs. Samuel (‘Sam’) & Laurie Landy

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 8:03 am

Blog Posting # 744, Copyright 2 June 2023. EducateMHC

Parallel Perspectives. HUD-Code manufactured housing is federally-regulated, performance-based, affordable factory-built 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. This is the sole professional community management text in print today! And, SWAN SONG is a history of land lease communities, and official record of annual MH production totals since 1955; and my autobiography, From SmittyAlpha6 to MHMaven! – describes combat adventures in Vietnam and 40= years business career in MH and communities.

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master, Emeritus member of the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’), RV/MH Hall of Fame enshrinee, retired lieutenant colonel of U.S. Marines, and author/editor of 20 books about MH, communities, business & management wisdom & prayer.

Drs. Samuel (‘Sam’) & Laurie Landy

Curry College, located in Milton, Massachusetts, recently bestowed honorary doctorate degrees on Samuel A. Landy, Esq. and his wife Laurie for their respective achievements in the business marketplace and charitable social work.

Sam is well known and respected as CEO of UMH Properties, a REIT that provides workforce housing in the form manufactured housing and land lease communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities). He founded the not-for-profit Open Space Pace, an organization dedicated to raising awareness about equine and agricultural industries in the state of New Jersey. Sam, a 1982 graduate of Curry College, by dint of his and his wife Laurie’s philanthropic generosity, brought the Landy Family Student Services Area in the college’s Learning Common into existence.

Laurie is a social entrepreneur with a degree in Occupational Therapy. Along with her husband Sam, founded Special Strides, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with disabilities through therapy, recreation, and education on a farm. Every week, approximately 130 clients enhance their lives through the partnership of the natural environment and engagement with horses.

Together, Sam and Laurie were honored by Curry College with honorary doctorate degrees.

Do You Have a Sam Zell Tale to Tell?

Last week, in blog # 743, I announced the passing of land lease community portfolio magnate Samuel Zell, founder and chairman of real estate investment trust MHC, Inc., cum ELS, Inc. Also recommended reading his interesting and entertaining autobiography ‘Am I Being Too Subtle?’ Told a personal tale or two relative to visits to Sam’s office in the early 1990s – and how Sam’s support was germane to the forming of an Industry Steering Committee in 1993, for better national advocacy, and consequent founding of the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (‘MHI’) National Communities Council (now division) in 1996. That alone is an historic achievement!

Well, as is oft said, ‘the ink was hardly dry’ on that manuscript when I started receiving notes and tales from readers regarding their experiences and memories of Sam Zell. Here’s one I found to be especially interesting….

“I went to Sam’s office building. He had each floor dedicated to a type of property. One floor had the operations for the manufactured home REIT, another for the office REIT, another for the industrial REIT, etc. In a large outer office, outside Sam’s private office…was a large motorcycle. It was Sam’s, who rides it to the office building, (then up in) a freight elevator…and to this outer office. He sits us in front of his very large desk. Behind this desk, on the wall, is a large picture of a very fierce-looking bald eagle in attack mode. The eyes are large fierce-looking, the beak  open and ready to pounce. Below the picture of the bald eagle is a picture of Sam in the same position of the eagle. In our half hour conversation I could not keep my eyes off the pictures of Sam and the eagle. Sam noticed I kept looking at his picture, then of the eagle. Finally he asked me what I thought his reason for putting the two pictures in that positon. I gulped and said, “Two birds of prey”. He said that was close enough, and thanked me for my honesty and candor.”

A final observation relative to the business wisdom of the late Samuel Zell. Here quoting from his autobiography, “This has always been a fatal flaw in U.S. real estate: the volume of development has been related to the availability of funds, not to demand.” Think about that. In good economic times what gets built? Whatever dream a developer has, whether really needed or not. Like when downtown condominiums are overbuilt – then converting them to apartments as the only way to fill them. Conversely – like today, when our nation is faced with a serious affordable housing crisis (i.e. record high demand), local regulatory barriers to all forms of affordable housing prevent the development of much-needed land lease communities just about anywhere in the U.S. If you haven’t done so already, visit and order a copy of ‘Am I Being Too Subtle?’ by Sam Zell, and avail yourself of more of his business wisdom.

National Average Site Rent in 2022

According to a recent Wells Fargo Multifamily Capital press release, “the national average monthly site rent (in land lease communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities & MHCs) was $613 for all-age communities and $686 for age-restricted (55+) communities. This compares to a national average conventional multifamily (apartment) rent of $1,715. MHCs continue to lead the housing sector in affordability and sustainable rent growth across the majority of U.S. markets.”

So, what’s your reaction to those statistics? Mine? Applying the Traditional 3:1 Rule for estimating rental homesite rates in any local housing market, divide the $1,715 figure by ‘3’. The answer suggests land lease community rental homesite rates nationwide should be in the neighborhood of $572.00 – considerably less than either of the survey totals put forth in the press release. All this confirms the widespread belief that community owners/operators are pricing themselves out of the affordable housing market! Which then raises the question, ‘How can MHCs continue to lead the housing sector in affordability and sustainable rent growth?’*1

End Note.

  1. There is one offsetting rejoinder to the statistics cited above. For the most part, these rental homesite rent rates are characteristic of what we generally refer to as being ‘institutional investment grade-sized land lease communities’, i.e. properties containing more than 100 rental homesites apiece. Smaller properties, which actually comprise 75-80 percent of the national inventory of this investment real estate asset class, generally charge lower site rent rates per month than aforementioned ‘institutional investment grade-sized communities’.

Infamous Quote of the Week

“I believe you should be able to prove who you say you are when you vote.” Senator Kennedy from Louisiana.

George Allen

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