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

October 28, 2022

What You Missed on 24 October 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 11:12 am

Blog Posting # 712. Copyright 28 October. 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, and textbook supplier for land lease communities throughout North America! To input this blog and or connect with EducateMHC, telephone (317) 881-3815 and or visit

What You Missed on 24 October 2022

An eclectic mix of manufactured housing and land lease community history, contemporary business musings, useful resources, and more. Following the SECO Conference of a few weeks ago, the ‘MHP Tribe Team’ (specifically, Katerina, Mario & Pablo) asked me to be guest presenter in a Zoom call this past Monday evening. This was a first for me. Since retiring mid-2021 I’ve been very selective as to where and when I participate in industry and realty asset class events. But this opportunity played to my interests: MH & community history, current state of business affairs, and sharing of key resources.

What follows here is a summary of what was covered during the ‘more than hour long’ Zoom call. I hope you find it interesting and helpful. Have questions? Reach me via

HISTORY. The early history of manufactured housing is well-covered in Allan Wallis’ classic, ‘Wheel Estates’ – The Rise & Fall of Mobile Homes (1997). The history of land lease communities is documented in George Allen’s ‘Swan Song’ – 1970s to present day (2017).

Terminology changes over decades: mobile homes to manufactured homes; mobile home park to land lease community; singlewide & doublewide to single section & multisection. And site rent. Once collected in cash – now rarely the case. Rents due on 1st of month, no longer move-in date. And yes, tenant, over time became resident and or homeowner/site lessee.

But, how many know tales of the ‘bad boys of manufactured housing’? Here’s a succinct review:

• Joseph (‘Joey’) Testa, according to UPI, was ‘a millionaire mobile home (park) and restaurant owner, and alleged associate of Chicago crime figures’ – possibly using Sterling Estates, one of his properties, to launder mob money. Read ‘Double Deal’ – The Inside Story of Murder, Unbridled Corruption, and the Cop Who Was a Mobster’, 2003

• Gian Ferre came to Indianapolis, IN., in 1979, buying four ‘mobile home parks’. Things soon went awry, due to far less cash flow than his due diligence team projected. He sold out, and a decade later murdered several attorneys and their clients in a downtown San Francisco high rise office building. Google: ‘101 California Street Shootings’.

• John Robinson, for a short time in the mid-1980s, published ‘Manufactured Modular Living’ newsletter in IL. Used his wife’s job as a transient community manager to cover his nefarious preying on single women, to get their money, and then murder them. His story is in ‘Anyone You Want Me to Be’ – A True Story of Sex & Death on the Internet.

CONTEMPORARY. At present, the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) is working hard to reconcile the controversial DOE energy standards for manufactured homes, with the HUD-Code. They’re doing this via the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (‘MHCC’) and legislation (HR-7651). The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’), a.k.a. ‘Washington Watchdog for Manufactured Housing’ is an additional force to be reckoned with in this battle. If we lose? New home prices jump by around $6,000 per unit.

MHI’s s National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division is the land lease community real estate asset class’ sole national advocate. And while the NCC was launched with great enthusiasm in 1996; in the eyes of some, it has not lived up to early expectations. Some examples: lack of asset class statistics (i.e. with discontinuation of the 30 year ALLEN REPORT, a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who of Land Lease Community Owners/operators Nationwide, no NCC effort to replace it); lack of communication (i.e. no land lease community-focused print or online newsletters from the NCC, or from anywhere else now); and, lack of emphasis on professional property management (i.e. few to no in-person ACM courses and MHM is dormant), with only 125 Certified Property Managers expressing affinity to our unique income-producing property type. This is really an embarrassing state of affairs among commercial real estate property types!

SECO Conference. Land lease community owner/operator focused, now in its’ 12th year, and hosted in Atlanta, GA. Rapidly becoming ‘the place to go’ for community training and interpersonal networking. A dozen new homes on display last month, with dozens of exhibitors.

RESOURCES. In my opinion, the following texts, then trade publications, belong on every land lease community owner/operator’s desk:

• SWAN SONG. Mentioned earlier in this blog as historical profile of land lease communities, it is also the only Official Record of Manufactured Housing Production, year by year, since 1955.

• Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry. This is 8th edition of Mobile Home Park Management, first published during 1988. Chock full of helpful property management information for land lease community owners/operators.

• From SmittyAlpha6 to MHMaven. My autobiography, describing 30 years career as a USMC officer, and 40 year overlapping career as a land lease community owner/operator, and author/consultant to the manufactured housing industry.

All three texts are available for purchase from
And here’s what you should be receiving and reading relative to the MH trade press:

• MHIndustry magazine. Published quarterly and available via Be sure to read my Allen Legacy column at the very end of every issue – a mix of industry/asset class history and lessons we learn that can be applied to today’s business decisions.

• MHInsider BUYER’S GUIDE. A new resource, but an important one. Also available via MHVillage .com

• Manufactured Housing Review, a periodic online communique for everyone in manufactured housing and owning/operating land lease communities. Contact

MY CURRENT PROJECTS. There are two; and for good measure…

Louisville MHSHow Interlude will occur during the timeframe of 18-20 January 2023. Specific date and location TBA. This will be a half day opportunity to convene, discuss and parse industry and realty asset class issues and more. Ask yourself, ‘What other venue offers me the opportunity to talk openly about matters that affect my MH-related business interests?’ Answer? None! So, if seriously interested, let me know via

‘RVs as Affordable Housing’. I’ve begun research on this timely topic; my manuscript will be due to the publishers of VISIONS, an academic magazine, during fall 2023. If you have thoughts and or experience to this end, please let me know, again, via or phone me via (317) 881-3815.

RV/MH Heritage Foundation Hall of Fame, Museum & Library. Most readers of this blog already know this legacy organization is celebrating its’ 50th anniversary during year 2022. But, how many know that a new, huge ‘manufactured housing museum’ or exhibit hall, was opened to the public during August? Add a visit to this facility in Elkhart, IN. (right adjacent to I-80) to your bucket list! And while there, after touring the RV and MH museums, take time to visit the extensive library – where you’ll also see the showcased George Allen collection (recently donated to the RV/MH Hall of Fame) of all land lease community books published since the 1970s. Also while there, inquire as to how to nominate someone, even yourself – if qualified, to be considered for election into the prestigious RV/MH Hall of Fame.

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master
Member, RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s Hall of Fame
Emeritus Member, Manufactured Housing Institute.
Contact via

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