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

May 6, 2022


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 and or visit Previous phone #s no longer connected.

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

INTRODUCTION: 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.



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?



“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

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

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



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 (, the Housing finance Policy Center (‘HFPC’) or via

George Allen, CPM, MHM

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