Preface: it must be kept in mind that every business and profession have good, bad, and meh examples of that occupation. Research by third-parties suggest that millions love their pre-HUD Code mobile home or post June 15, 1976 manufactured home. University and academic studies by nonprofits have praised manufactured homes for decades. That said, there are clear-cut examples of ‘white hat’ companies, as well as ‘black hat’ brands. Smart shoppers should do their homework, and look for the white hats, while avoiding the black hats. That observation would apply to shopping for any kind of housing, product, or service.
With that brief introduction, on June 14, 2019, 2020 presidential hopeful Julián Castro visited Midwest Country Estates. The video below by Castro’s campaign should not be construed as an endorsement by MHLivingNews, but rather as a reflection of their position. It reflects how former HUD Secretary Castro used conversations with the troubled residents of a Havenpark Capital Management property to underscore concerns about affordable housing in America.
Congressional Representative Cindy Axne (IA-3-D) has also taken up concerns about Midwest Country Estates residents’ cause after meeting with the Waukee mobile and manufactured homeowners. Representative Axne wrote a letter obtained by MHLivingNews she sent to Havenpark Capital management executives calling the rent increases “unacceptable.”
Rep. Axne further said that “I was further concerned when I saw that the Better Business Bureau has given your company an F rating, in addition to reports from other states highlighting that residents have complained that promised upgrades and capital improvements at the property were never completed.”
MHLivingNews reached out to Havenpark for comment about similar concerns raised by 2020 presidential hopeful Senator Elizabeth Warren. Havenpark declined comment. See related reports to that, further below.
Local, regional, and national media, including Courthouse News, the Des Moines Register and others have noted that some residents are happy with Havenpark, but the common reaction to these sharp rent increases has naturally been strong, vocal opposition. But once more, it is important to put this scenario in context. As HUD Secretary Ben Carson has made clear, manufactured homes make a fine home option. Millions enjoy their homes, for good reasons.
While MHLivingNews understands those that believe that rent control is the solution, it should be noted that Paul Bradley, President of ROC USA has said that rent control routinely fails all parties.
The logical solution is to restore the balance of supply and demand. It is a lack of options which is what allows some ‘greedy’ or ‘aggressive’ companies to sharply raise site fees. Rent control has in numerous cases been manipulated by some of the very ‘black hat’ companies that cause them to be enacted in the first place.
Rephrased, passing rent control can cause problems for the smaller independents that did nothing wrong to navigate often complex laws. Meanwhile, larger companies that have caused the outrage that moved lawmakers to pass rent control actually benefit because they buy out those independents. That way, the vicious cycle continues.
What these residents in Iowa or elsewhere want is protection against sharp rent increases. That’s completely understandable. If there were other options for home owners impacted by such site fee hikes, if the property owner thought that high rent increases would cost them money, they would be less likely to do it.
To learn more about these issues, including the pros-and-cons of rent control, see the related reports, linked above and below.
Finally, for those shopping for a new place to call home, manufactured homes make a fine choice. We know that from years of first-hand experience living in appealing manufactured homes. This writer has owned nice and new conventional housing for years, before making the change to modern manufactured home living. In most cases, those manufactured homes were in land-lease communities. Not one of those independently owned properties I lived in as a manufactured home-owner/resident did the sort of things that Havenpark or others – often associated with the Manufactured Housing Institute – are accused of doing.
So, it is important in any purchase to do your homework about what companies you should avoid, and which ones you should consider doing business with before signing anything. That same word of caution would apply to selecting an apartment or considering buying any form of conventional housing. Smart shopping, reasonable research, can result in years of happy home ownership. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (LifeStyle news, reports, analysis, fact-checks, and commentary. All third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.)
L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is co-founder of MHLivingNews and MHProNews. He is a highly acclaimed industry expert and consultant, a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, and is a 25 plus year award-winning manufactured home industry professional. Kovach earned the Lottinville award in history at the University of Oklahoma.
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Washington, D.C., June 18, 2019 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), in a June 13, 2019 communication to Fannie Mae Vice President Jonathan Lawless (copy attached), has reiterated its call for a congressional investigation into the failure of both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to implement the statutory Duty to Serve Underserved …