Were Abe Lincoln and Frank Rolfe Correct? Federal Agency to Present Speaker’s Insights on Why Affordable Housing and Manufactured Homes Struggle During Affordable Housing Crisis

The following are remarks as prepared for a federal agency who is once more thoughtfully offering this writer for Mobile and Manufactured Home Living News and ManufacturedHomeProNews.com an opportunity to present to federal, corporate, and nonprofit officials. While these are considered expert ‘views’ or ‘opinions,’ the remarks are all documented with evidence that supports the various statements.


Were Abe Lincoln and Frank Rolfe Correct?

What’s changed since a Pimple on an Elephant’s Ass was proclaimed at the 3.25.2021 FHFA Listening Session?

Niskanen Center housing policy analyst attorney Andrew Justus’ op-ed for The Hill pointed to zoning barriers and unequal financing options as factors “holding back manufactured homes.”

Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies State of the Nation’s Housing 2023 made similar observations.

Without mentioning the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), zoning expert and apparently pro-manufactured home law professor Daniel R. Mandelker said in a working paper for the Lincoln Institute that an ‘Organization is Needed in Manufactured Housing for Litigation and Legislative Support.’


Mandelker echoed the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) decade-plus call for a new post-production manufactured housing trade group.

During an earnings call with Cavco Industries CEO and MHI Vice Chairman William “Bill” Boor, analyst Gregory Palm bluntly asked: ‘Why is Manufactured Housing Production so Weak?’

Manufactured housing is in the 8th month of consecutive year-over-year declines in HUD Code manufactured home production and shipments.

MHARR’s warnings on the problematic trend of declining manufactured home production challenge Biden-era assurances pre-bunked by HUD researchers.

MHARR said for decades that near the heart of issues restraining more affordable manufactured housing are zoning barriers that could be relieved by an application of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) of 2000 and its “enhanced preemption” provision.

Despite LendingTree’s research the uneven playing field in manufactured home lending persists.

The Duty to Serve (DTS) remains unenforced on manufactured home chattel lending for approaching 15 years.

On paper, MHI leaders Kevin Clayton and Lesli Gooch seemingly agreed.

In Congressional testimony under oath, Kevin spoke for MHI saying a lack of liquidity hurt manufactured housing.

Warren Buffett said DTS would benefit manufactured housing.

But in practice, why didn’t MHI sue to get DTS and the MHIA’s “enhanced preemption” enforced over a decade ago, as MHI belatedly sued to temporarily halt the harmful DOE energy rule?

Unlike MHARR, MHI leaders arguably palter and posture. MHI suggests manufactured housing production dropped due to retailer inventory overstocking in 2022 and rising interest rates.

Pardon me, but in my expert view as a long-time and successful former retailer in manufactured housing, that’s demonstrably nonsense.

Chattel interest rates in the 1980s hit 20.5 percent, over double current rates.

Yet manufactured home production then was roughly three times the annualized rate of production in manufactured housing per year-to-date data for 2023.

MHI knows that during the same timeframe manufactured housing’s production was falling, more costly conventional housing was increasing their production in 2023.

A well-placed MHI member told MHProNews that Tim Williams, CEO of 21st Mortgage Corporation said he was “happy” that the previously announced chattel pilots failed.

When a coalition of nonprofits asked FHFA Director Sandra Thompson to compel Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to enforce DTS chattel lending, MHI was oddly missing.

Neither MHI, 21st, nor their attorneys denied these observations when recently and repeatedly asked by MHProNews.

Triad Financial Services is an MHI member with a multi-decade example that chattel lending can be done sustainably at more competitive rates then 21st or Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance generally offer.

Several smaller lenders proved their ability to do what the law mandates that FHFA should have Fannie and Freddie do.

Is it any wonder that Doug Ryan with Prosperity Now accused MHI of working on Clayton and their affiliated lending’s behalf to tacitly allow Berkshire Hathaway owned brands to dominate manufactured home lending?

FHFA has a mandate.

Mandate means a compulsory duty.

Obviously not everyone involved at MHI, Fannie, Freddie or FHFA are inept or corrupt.

That said, Crossmods are but one example of how obviously regulated entities have apparently colluded to keep DTS for all HUD Code manufactured homes from becoming a reality.

Lincoln Institute’s George McCarthy claimed DTS for communities made manufactured housing less affordable.

Paul Bradley for ROCUSA echoed McCarthy’s concern.

MHI member Andy Gedo said: “Clayton’s finance capability is a barrier to entry (what you like to call a “moat”) that limits competition.”

The Biden Administration and MHI claim they want more minority homeownership.

Then why is affordable homebuying falling?

Frank Rolfe and Amy Bliss cried “hypocrisy.”

Wasn’t Abe Lincoln right?

Samuel Strommen’s research asserted MHI and key members violated antitrust laws to limit and consolidate manufactured housing.

I’m L.A. “Tony” Kovach. My thanks to the FHFA for reading and posting my hot-linked facts and observations. These hot-linked documented views will be posted on ManufacturedHomeProNews.com (MHProNews.com) and ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com (MHLivingNews.com). ##


A follow up on this topic may be presented once other speakers’ remarks are posted by federal officials on their website. See each linked item for more details. The truth can help set us free. ###


NAHB Research and Mortgage Rates Reveal More Americans Can Afford a New Manufactured Home Than New or Existing (Resale) Conventional House – Facts, Figures, and Analysis


Antione Thompson, left. L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, manufactured home community residents, FHFA Duty to Serve Listening Session in Washington, D.C. 12.2.2019. https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/fhfa-gses-high-cost-to-minorities-all-americans-due-to-asserted-failures-to-follow-duty-to-serve-affordable-housing-existing-federal-laws/


Official U.S. Census Bureau Cost & Size Comparisons of New Manufactured Homes to New Single-Family Site-Built Homes – Facts for Shoppers, Affordable Housing Advocates, Public Officials, Investors & Researchers

‘Debunking Manufactured Housing Myths – Get the Facts,’ Says Mortgage Giant Freddie Mac’s Research – FHLMC Counters, Clarifies Claims About Trailer Houses, Mobile Homes, and Tiny Houses

Unpacking “Manufactured Homes as an Investment” LendingTree “Mobile Home Values Are Rising Faster Than Single-Family Home Values”—When do Mobile and Manufactured Homes Appreciate or Depreciate?

Affordable Housing, Conventional Housing, Mobile Home, Manufactured Home, and Modular Housing Conundrum – What U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Research Revealed

“Preliminary Tornado Data 2021 National Weather Service, III.org–Surprising, Hopeful Facts for Affordable Housing Seekers” – Impact on Conventional Housing, Mobile Home, Manufactured Homeowners

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

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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 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

Recent and Related Reports:

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







MHI has been ducking accountability for years, as these documented examples reflect. https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/masthead/4-quick-documented-examples-of-manufactured-housing-institute-leaders-publicly-ducking-out-on-explaining-their-performance-or-lack-thereof-els-howard-walker/

Official U.S. Census Bureau Cost & Size Comparisons of New Manufactured Homes to New Single-Family Site-Built Homes – Facts for Shoppers, Affordable Housing Advocates, Public Officials, Investors & Researchers

‘Inside a TikTok-famous luxury trailer home featuring an office, a laundry room, a 6-seat couch, and a fireplace’–Study Insider-Yahoo News Glory Lautner’s TikTok Manufactured Home Living Video


Storytellers Wanted! The Mobile and Manufactured Home Storytelling Project – Truth Tellers, Myth Busters, and Behind the Scenes Revelations are Encouraged Here


Affordable Housing, Conventional Housing, Mobile Home, Manufactured Home, and Modular Housing Conundrum – What U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Research Revealed


DOJ-CFPB-Record Racial Discrimination-Redlining Case Settled by Warren Buffett-Led Berkshire Hathaway Owned Lender – Clayton Homes and Their Affiliated Lending Named by Seattle Times – Conventional and Manufactured Housing Claims

Why Are Billionaires Attracted to Manufactured Homes?


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