There are several reasons that Mobile and Manufactured Home Living News (MHLivingNews) published the article linked here and further before before this one. Those reasons will become more apparent to the detail minded who read that article in conjunction with this one. Millions from all walks of life have chosen a mobile or manufactured home (MH) as a primary or secondary residence. Millions love the affordability of their mobile or manufactured home. But for millions who have purchased a manufactured home and who are living in a land-lease community, the significance of the trend of private equity investors buying up hundreds of ‘mobile home parks’ (MHP) and manufactured home communities (MHCs, which can include MHPs) every year loom large. While there may be exceptions, oftentimes soon after a consolidator of manufactured home communities (MHCs, which can include MHPs) buys an MHC, the site fees can go up dramatically. What was previously affordable can rapidly become unaffordable to numbers of residents. This trend has been reported by mainstream media dozens of times, as some of the reports linked herein below illustrate.
Several of the manufactured home community (MHC) aggregators or consolidators involved in this trend are either a member of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) or of an MHI member ‘state affiliate.’ The reason that can be significant. It is documented in the article linked below. The John Oliver video report entitled “Mobile Homes” should be viewed in conjunction with that article. While there are some terminology and other glitches in Oliver’s video, there is also plenty of potent insights that make the viewing and proper understanding worthwhile.
As in any profession or walk of life, there are organizations that do a better job and some that do their work less effectively than may otherwise be possible. This certainly applies in the manufactured home industry professionally. The wisdom of the principle of separating the wheat from the chaff should be applied to every person and organization, this one included.
That said, the difference between what the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) each say on a specific issue may seem modest at first glance. But the distinctions come into focus when someone begins to realize that it is routinely MHI members that are doing the consolidating of manufactured housing. It is routinely MHI members, as the report on John Oliver’s Mobile Homes revealed, that are accused of predatory behavior. As an article linked here and below reflect, MHARR has been warning for well over a decade about the shortcomings of MHI. Why would it be a surprise if something similar is occurring in manufactured home community resident advocacy?
The work of the late Robert ‘Bob’ Van Cleef, a manufactured homeowner who became a volunteer resident advocate, comes into focus when these issues are examined. Van Cleef was involved in several advocacy groups, some of which were better than others.
Read the reports linked above and below. It doesn’t matter if today you are from the political left, center, or right. What matters is that you have a stake in the future of manufactured home community living. If you and others you know understandably find the current situation, the status quo, unacceptable, then the time to consider new lawful approaches to fix the underlying issues ought to be obvious.
Yes, resident owned communities (ROCs) can provide security to those who are fortunate enough to live in one as opposed to living in a community owned by an aggressive hiker of site fees. But Paul Bradley, of ROC USA, has told MHProNews that there are limited numbers of land lease MHCs they can convert annually. Which begs the question. What about the tens of thousands of those others who aren’t living in a properly operated ROC?
Let’s also note that as a rule, ‘mom and pop’ operations are routinely well aligned with their residents. It is normally ‘corporate’ owned properties where the allegations of problematic, aggressive, and potentially illegal behavior arise.
All too many corporate MHI members seem to take Dave Reynolds and Frank Rolfe’s advice to potential and current MHC investors seriously. Note, these quotations are not endorsement, anything but. Rather, they reflect their beliefs and their pitch. But these quotes could be useful to understand from the possible legal viewpoint for actionable solutions. Why? Because their words reveal problems their sort of “predatory” behavior and thinking, as numbers of their residents have called it, lead to woes, stressful, and costly disruptions for thousands of residents.
MHI claims to have ‘a code of ethical conduct.’ Seriously?
What is arguably needed are residents who learn why antitrust, RICO, Hobbs Act and other legislation may offer protections for them against such apparently predatory behavior and thinking. Those legal protections already exist in state and federal laws. So, there is arguably no need to wait for some new legislation to be enacted. What is necessary is for good existing laws to be fully and PROPERLY applied NOW.
That is where MHC resident groups, existing or new, could play an important role in getting public officials to enforce good existing laws. Bob Van Cleef arguably learned the importance of that concept and began his own efforts from within the groups he was already engaged in. Regrettably, Van Cleef died. Others now need to follow in his wake and fill those shoes.
MHLivingNews is prepared to provide digital support to those who are willing to volunteer their time and talents to learning the issues and possible solutions. Some may want to write about their experiences and to then engage with others in an effort to make manufactured home community living the best it could be. Read the related reports to learn more. Click here to send an email to MHLivingNews with the email subject line “Taking Manufactured Home Community Resident Advocacy to the Next Level – DBN.” We are looking forward to reading messages from those who want to bring about positive changes in manufactured home community living as rapidly as possible.
It is 2023, a new year. Unless some tweaks and changes are made to learn from the successes and failures of past experiences, this year and the next ones will only be more of the same, or perhaps worse. If you don’t like the status quo, and you are living in a manufactured home community operated by a predatory brand with aggressive management tactics, it is time to step up for positive changes through intelligent, legal activities.
As in any successful movement, it will take people of good will who are ready to invest some time to work for positive change as swiftly as possible. Dedicated residents are needed to fight for their own interests and that of their neighbors to make mobile and manufactured home living achieve its best possible potential. Working together with others of good will is proven to work and can work in this realm. There are already success stories. There are more possible. The many can beat the monied powers who are wrongfully creating undue and arguably avoidable pressures in manufactured home community living. ###
Strommen “Felony” “Conspiracy” Case-“Monopolization” of Affordable Manufactured Housing and Manufactured Home Communities “Rube Goldberg Machine of Human Suffering” by Manufactured Housing Institute Firms – Knudson Law
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.)
By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHLivingNews.com.
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 MHLivingNews.com. 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: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
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