Shock! Better Business Bureau D- Rated Flagship Communities (TSX:MHC.U) (TSX:MHC.UN) Announces 3 Manufactured Housing Institute ‘Awards for Excellence’–What Gives? Media Release, Facts & Analysis

It is important to note as a preface to this shocking report that there are scores of honorable companies that operate in the manufactured housing industry. For that reason, this fact- and evidence-supported MHLivingNews editorial report ought to be disturbing to honorable manufactured home professionals, to current and prospective manufactured home buyers, residents, and customers seeking the affordable quality lifestyle manufactured home living can provide when done properly. That said, Better Business Bureau (BBB) D- rated Flagship Communities Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX:MHC.U) (TSX:MHC.UN) has announced they have been given three (3) Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) “awards” for “excellence.” It is evidence of either incompetence, cronyism, or a scandalous scam on the part of those involved in the MHI awards process. Since these MHI “awards” may be used by Flagship or their related YouGotItHomes sister company to ensnare unsuspecting and trusting consumers, it merits swift public exposure and investigation. Any honorable business or professional ought to reject the notion that a firm with a poor reputation for dealing with their own resident/customers is the opposite of the principle that former MHI president and CEO Chris Stinebert said, quoted here. It is problems like this which caused a longtime MHI member to lament that the organization has been taken over by greedy expletive deleted individuals. That noted, what this report, analysis and editorial commentary will arguably underscore vindicates several reports previously published by MHLivingNews, our MHProNews sister site on both the problems at MHI in the 21st century while illustrating that Flagship’s business practices are still seemingly similar to how the firm operated under its prior name, SSK Communities, as was evidenced in the previous mainstream and trade news reports linked below.

Shoppers of affordable housing should NOT be turned off to manufactured housing by its apparent bad apples.

Rather, this report should stand as a warning not to do business with ‘predatory’ firms, nor trust a nonprofit organization that is purportedly run by rouges.

An entire industry should NOT be branded due to the troubling behavior of the few.

In fairness, Flagship’s full press release is being provided – not as an endorsement of any kind, which this is not. But rather to be ‘fair and balanced’ while giving clear examples of just how bad the rouges involved appear to be.

Shoppers of affordable manufactured homes should look for proverbial good guys and avoid proverbial bad guys, as we warned readers here years ago in our two-part video interview with transcript conducted by popular PissedConsumer. See that linked further below. 

As part of this introduction, please note the contents of the following linked reports and when those articles were first published. It is evidence that the prior ‘award’ is not a one-off, but rather part of an apparent pattern involving nonprofits and so-called ‘predatory’ corporations. This is arguably evidence of an illegal scam that federal and state officials can and should have jurisdiction over and ought to investigate and lawfully address until justice is served.

This consumer cautionary report linked below was published on July 1, 2019. It is a prior example of the same problem being illustrated herein. A nonprofit organization gives an ‘award’ to a company that has a documented history of problematic practices with respect to consumers.


Home Shopping Consumer Alert – BBB “F” Rated SSK Communities Rebrands As Flagship Communities


Information on MHI and their “tricks of the trade” was published on September 16, 2021.


“Tricks of the Trade” Manufactured Housing Institute Award Winner Yes! Communities Threatened Disabled Grandmother Current on “Lot Rent” With Eviction-Local Attorney, Consumer Advocates Step In


More on both Flagship and MHI will follow in Part II.  But for journalistic fairness, balance and to frame the information that follows is the Flagship press release dated 4.21.2023.  Once again, this firm is NOT being endorsed in any way by MHLivingNews. Rather this is arguably a scandalous lesson into the kind of troubling and corrupt practices that every honorable business professional should reject.


Part I –

Flagship Communities Real Estate Investment Trust Wins National Manufactured Housing Institute’s Highest Awards for Excellence in Manufactured Housing

ERLANGER, Ky., April 21, 2023 /CNW/ – Flagship Communities Real Estate Investment Trust (“Flagship” or the “REIT”) (TSX: MHC.U) (TSX: MHC.UN) today announced it received three of the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (“MHI”) highest awards for excellence in manufactured housing at the 2023 MHI Congress & Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Flagship was the recipient of the following awards:

  • Land Lease Community Operator of the Year (Flagship Communities REIT)
  • Retail Sales Center of the Year (Ashley Pointe)
  • Community Impact of the Year (Grandin Pointe)

“We are beyond proud and excited to receive three of the top MHI national awards,” said Flagship CEO Kurt Keeney. “This is a testament to the dedication of our staff who always ensure excellence in customer service and continually work to bring high quality affordable communities to the market. Thank you to the Manufactured Housing Institute for shining a spotlight on the efforts of its member companies to build and grow quality communities across the United States.”

The MHI annual awards program honors those in the manufactured and modular housing industry who continue to pave the way by providing outstanding products, customer service, creative solutions, and state of the art homes. Flagship was chosen from among 77 submissions by member companies.

“Major efforts in our sales and inventory program have been significant and we are honored to receive recognition from MHI for our retail program,” said Flagship Chief Investment Officer Nathan Smith. “It is a great honor for our company to receive these awards and we express our heartfelt thanks to MHI for this recognition.”

About Flagship Communities Real Estate Investment Trust

Flagship Communities Real Estate Investment Trust is an internally managed, unincorporated, open-ended real estate investment trust established pursuant to a declaration of trust under the laws of the Province of Ontario. The REIT has been formed to own and operate a portfolio of income-producing manufactured housing communities located in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, and Illinois, including a fleet of manufactured homes for lease to residents of such housing communities.

SOURCE Flagship Communities Real Estate Investment Trust ##

Part II – Additional Information, Evidence, Previous Warnings About These Operations with More MHLivingNews Industry Expert Editorial Analysis and Commentary 

MHLivingNews published the following report on April 10, 2019. It specifically named SSK Communities, which was later rebranded to their current DBA of Flagship Communities. “You Got It Homes” is an apparently affiliated brand. The report below also named MHI as a common link between the various brands named which HBO’s John Oliver satirized and skewered. The qualifier then and now is that proverbial ‘black hat’ firms should not tarnish the entire industry. Scores of honorable firms that have high consumer ratings are the ones that affordable housing seekers should look for before doing business in any industry or profession.



Oliver did not specifically mention SSK/Flagship. But his video included this still, shown below which was part of the original report published above. MHLivingNews recognized that local news video as being part of a report featuring SSK, now Flagship Communities.



From the BBB website on 4.26.2023 are the following quotations of actual consumer complaints. The names are omitted by the BBB, so the quoted items are as published by that third-party organization.

QuoteMarksLeftSideMHLivingNewsHilltop Pointe was acquired by Flagship Communities. They are not honoring my previous lease that was in place and sent me a Five day eviction notice if I do not pay additional fees that are not in my lease. I am abiding by my current active lease. They are changing due dates, charging me for services that were previously included in my rent and not informing me of water bill which was paid through previous landlord.”


Here is another posted on BBB’s website filed by them under the Flagship brand name. Note an HOA is typically an abbreviation for Home Owners Association.

QuoteMarksLeftSideMHLivingNewsWe have lived in our Flagship built home for 3 years and have been working to get several things fixed in our home, most importantly our stairs that squeak. When they 1st came to look at the stairs we were told by customer service that the framers who worked on our house were fired because of poor work. We have had customer service coming to our house for three years to fix issues related to our stairs. The customer service people have been great themselves. However, the problem has returned over and over. They do come to look at the problem but then state that they have to have someone else come look at it and then they don’t come back. So it takes months between visits. We have had a hole in our drywall for months waiting for someone to come fix the stairs. Also, we have a wall that is not 90 degrees but they state that it is within the margin of error. Also, Flagship or someone connected to flagship owns our HOA and there are many current issues going on with our HOA.”

Screen captures from the BBB website to document these allegations will be shown further below.

The next remarks are from the BBB website with respect to SSK Communities, which supposedly rebranded as Flagship Communities.  As someone reads these remarks, consider the notion that MHI reportedly gave Flagship Communities, not one, not two, but THREE ‘awards’ for ‘excellence’ to that firm. That begs several questions. Such as, did anyone at MHI check to see what their online reputation was before giving those ‘awards’ for supposed excellence??


QuoteMarksLeftSideMHLivingNewsWe have lived in our Flagship built home for 3 years and have been working to get several things fixed in our home, most importantly our stairs that squeak. When they 1st came to look at the stairs we were told by customer service that the framers who worked on our house were fired because of poor work. We have had customer service coming to our house for three years to fix issues related to our stairs. The customer service people have been great themselves. However, the problem has returned over and over. They do come to look at the problem but then state that they have to have someone else come look at it and then they don’t come back. So it takes months between visits. We have had a hole in our drywall for months waiting for someone to come fix the stairs. Also, we have a wall that is not 90 degrees but they state that it is within the margin of error. Also, Flagship or someone connected to flagship owns our HOA and there are many current issues going on with our HOA.”


The following was also from the BBB website for SSK (now more commonly known as Flagship Communities).


QuoteMarksLeftSideMHLivingNews11/22022. We rented from ********* ****** *or about 8 years, we kept the unit like our own. Kept the lawn mowed. We were asked to buy the unit but we wasnt interested. The manager said then it will go up for sale. We paid our rent on 10/5/22 and on 10/6 there was a note saying were not renewing your lease so we want you out by 11/3/22. That only gave us 30 days to pack, find a place and move out. We moved our stuff out on 10/29/22 but went back an cleaned the appliances, bathrooms and patched the nail holes the best we could. We were told not to paint when we moved in. We didnt have time to shampoo the carpet, with the time we were given. We did leave a desk for the trash that they didnt take so we were charged for that. We left in move in ready, we turned in the keys and our new address on 10/31/22 and the new owners moved in on 11/2/22. Our security deposit is not being returned, and I dont understand why. I know it didnt take 360 to fix anything. Our lease said if there was no damage and there was none. If there had been damage the new owners wouldnt have moved in in 2 days. Thank you”

Per the BBB website on this date is the following remarks.


Some consumers may elect to not publish the details of their complaints, some complaints may not meet BBB’s standards for publication, or BBB may display a portion of complaints when a high volume is received for a particular business.”


Also from the BBB website is the following.

QuoteMarksLeftSideMHLivingNewsBBB Rating & Accreditation


Customer Reviews are not used in the calculation of BBB Rating

Reasons for BBB Rating

Jumping back to the SSK Communities page by the BBB is the following.


QuoteMarksLeftSideMHLivingNewsBusiness response


****** ******

Marketplace Resource Consultant

Good afternoon, *** ******:

I am general counsel for ********* ******.  I have reviewed the complaint and *** ******* request for refund of her security deposit.   I have also copied *** ***** on this response.  ********* will be refunding the security deposit in the amount of $635.00.  We will request *** ***** sign a settlement agreement and release prior to sending the refund check.  I will provide the agreement tomorrow for *** ******* review.  I ask that the agreement be signed and emailed back to me.  I will provide a fully executed copy in with the refund check.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at ******************************* or call me at ###-###-####.



Jody B. G****

General Counsel

********* ******

467 Erlanger Road

Erlanger, KY 41018

O: ###-###-####

M:  ###-###-####”


On this date, attorney Jody Gabel’s LinkedIn profile lists her as “General Counsel – Flagship Communities LLC.”  Our MHProNews sister site ran the following report that referred to Gabel and MHI.

Further below are screen captures on this date from the BBB website pages referred to above.

Editorial Observations 

In no particular order of importance are the following observations.

  • 1) Per Flagship’s press release, “The MHI annual awards program honors those in the manufactured and modular housing industry who continue to pave the way by providing outstanding products, customer service, creative solutions, and state of the art homes. Flagship was chosen from among 77 submissions by member companies.”
  • 2) Imagine the other 76 companies that were NOT selected by MHI. One would hope that some are honorable operations that actually care about good customer service. Why did MHI pick Flagship for these three awards when Flagship/SSK obviously has YEARS of this type of troubling reputation?
  • 3) Perhaps some of the other 76 companies that are were not selected have business practices similar to those of Flagship/SSK. Giving THREE awards to such a company, wouldn’t it encourage ‘bad actors’ to apply for awards with MHI next year?
  • 4) That’s not merely rhetorical.  MHProNews did a report on MHI and their so called Code of Ethical Conduct. This troubling case being reported herein is but one more example of how MHI appears to ignore their own code of conduct, but actually rewards (awards) those who have a demonstrated pattern of poor business practices.


  • 5) There are reasons to believe that Nathan Smith is well connected in Democratic Party political circles. Doesn’t this troubling track record give pause to Democrats, or any other politician of whatever party, for accepting campaign donations from a person whose business has this kind of problematic history? Note this collage by MHLivingNews was initially uploaded on June 12, 2021. Not to brag, but this is one of numerous examples that articles on our website stand the test of time.  Reports often remain relevant months or years later.


The following was Uploaded on: November 27, 2021

The following was Uploaded on: June 12, 2021
  • 6) The Democratic Party ought to formally investigate Smith, his colleagues, his company(ies) and MHI. There is an affordable housing crisis raging in the U.S. If Democrats want to be associated with donations from this type of individual, then media of all type should call attention to these facts, evidence, and concerns.


Image uploaded on December 21, 2018. This event at the home of Nathan Smith, former MHI chairman, reportedly current MHI board member, and a corporate leader at Flagship Communities and You Got It Homes, which along with SSK Communities, have a troubling history of consumer complaints. These photos were obviously from the 2016 election cycle.


  • 7) Public officials of whatever political party ought to investigate Flagship/SSK/YouGotItHomes and MHI. It is outrageous that an organization that claims to represent “all segments” of manufactured housing and claims to have a “code of ethical conduct” gives awards to brands that exhibit behavior that is readily found by online searches and/or by reading articles on MHLivingNews or our MHProNews sister site.


  • 8) The need for affordable housing should not be cover for public officials to look away from clear evidence of wrongdoing. While mainstream media does at times report on such issues, they arguably ought to go a step further and specifically point out the apparently interconnected behaviors from manipulative and Machiavellian tactics that MHI and some of their dominating brands exhibit.






  • 9) To be fair and balanced, several of the firms named in the report above were contacted by MHLivingNews/MHProNews for comments and reaction. No known reply was ever received. The report below was uploaded February 4, 2021.


“Machine of Human Suffering”-Berkshire Hathaway’s Clayton Homes, Manufactured Housing Institute Attorneys Response to Allegations “Felony” Abuses – Knudson Law Legal Report by Sam Strommen


  • 10) Several periodic contacts of MHI and their leading brands have occurred before and since the report linked above. One recent example is documented below (March 27, 2023).


  • 11) Beyond publishing reports and expert commentaries like this one, MHLivingNews/MHProNews has repeatedly brought these concerns to various public officials attention. One example is found on the FHFA website at the link below. A related report is linked following that overview.


Billions in Economic Harm to Millions of Mobile Home and Manufactured Homeowners – FHFA Attorney Kevin Sheehan Responds to Mobile and Manufactured Home Living News Publisher’s “Concerns”


  • 12) Reams of evidence exists that supports the good that is accomplished by manufactured homes ‘done right.’




  • 13) MHLivingNews maintains and periodically adds to a growing number of third-party research reports that routinely state that manufactured housing is a good value for consumer, especially for those who may not be able to afford any other kind of permanent housing.




Research-Data-Stats – Media & Investigator Resources – Mobile Homes, Manufactured Homes, Manufactured Housing Research – HUD, Univ-Studies, CFPB, Nonprofits, GAO, NFPA – Exec Summary, Definitions, Facts, Trends, More

Which Is It? Is it a Mobile Home or a Manufactured Home? Visual Guidance Planned by AP Stylebook for Reporters/Journalists Useful to General Public, Public Officials, and Researchers


  • 14) That said, the best of professions has its bad actors. So long as public officials and/or plaintiffs’ attorneys, fail to robustly dig into the types of problems illustrated and linked from this report and lawfully punish bad actors, there is every reason to think that these problems will continue. Thus, consumers must be their own best advocates. Seek out the operations with good reputations. Don’t assume that a large brand is automatically a good or honorable corporation.
  • 15) Which is why MHLivingNews, thanks to PissedConsumer, teamed up to do two video reports with transcripts and illustrations that give tips for shoppers to consider. The best possible outcome is for people to avoid doing business with a problematic firm in the first place. Those reports have stood the test of time, as evidenced by this troubling ‘awards’ report about MHI-Flagship-SSK-YouGotItHomes illustrates.

“All the Truth About Manufactured Homes” – Facts, Comparisons Between Trailer Houses, Mobile Homes, Manufactured Homes, and Conventional Housing

Saving Time, Money, Hassles – How Can You Buy a Manufactured Home Without Encountering Problems? Pissed Consumer Video Interview of L. A. “Tony” Kovach on Manufactured Housing


  • 16) Study after study reveals that manufactured housing ‘done right’ is a proven solution for the affordable housing crisis. Many of the myths and misconceptions are demonstrably incorrect.


Lisa’s doctoral dissertation, from which the quote above is found, is part of the collection of third party research downloadable from this link here. Note: now Dr. Tyler’s acknowledgements in her dissertation specifically mentions this writer in kind words of thanks.


  • 17) Examples of mainstream news videos of SSK Communities complaints.



It is challenging to convey to affordable housing shoppers a) the notion manufactured homes are a good option, but also that b) there are sadly numbers of rather prominent firms that have a troubling reputation in manufactured housing. MHLivingNews/MHProNews have repeatedly encouraged applying the wise notion of separating the wheat from the chaff.

All too many companies with problematic reputations are MHI members, as the linked reports herein reflect.

Not all MHI members are problematic, but enough are that the industry’s ‘awards’ should not be considered as some authentic indication of a truly honorable brand. Perhaps no one in U.S. media has sought to provide as balanced a picture of the good about manufactured housing along with the obviously troubling realities, such as MHI dubious ‘awards’ program. This latest awards to Flagship are just a continuation of a pattern previously reported, as is reflected in the article linked below.





Part III – Visual and Other Support for Claims Made Above.

Screen Captures from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) on 4.26.2023.

Notice: the graphic below (and some others herein) can be expanded to a larger size.

See the instructions below the graphic below or click the image and follow the prompts.


In the business world, the rear-view mirror is always clearer than the windshield.” – Warren Buffett. That begs a key question. Why don’t more people LOOK at the rearview mirror more so they can learn more about the patterns that influence what’s ahead? Note: depending on your browser or device, many images in this report can be clicked to expand. or example, in some browsers/devices you click the image and select ‘open in a new window.’ After clicking that selection, you click the image in the open window to expand the image to a larger size. To return to this page, use your back key, escape or follow the prompts. 


Screen capture and collage are by MHLivingNews, with base image per LinkedIn, and parody logos of MHI and comments editorially supplied by MHLivingNews. 






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That’s a wrap on this installment of “News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Affordable housing, manufactured homes, reports, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. Third-party images or content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.) (See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them.)

All on Capitol Hill were welcoming and interested in the discussion of manufactured housing-related issues in our 12.3.2019 meetings. But Texas Congressman Al Green’s office was tremendous in their hospitality. Our son’s hand is on a package that included a copy of the Constitution of the United States and other goodies. MHProNews has worked with people and politicos across the left-right divide.

By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for

Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing. For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He’s a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.

Connect on LinkedIn:

Recent and Related Reports:

The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which can be accessed by clicking on them.





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