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Welcome 2021!

 We made it! 2020 is finally in our rearview mirror, and we have a clean slate in front of us. How do you plan on making the most of this year?

We have heard people proclaim that 2021 will be the year of relationships, and we are hoping this is true. It can be if you make it that way. 2020 forcibly made us slow down, and re-evaluate how we spend our time and grow our businesses. Home is more important than ever, but people want more than a house, they truly want a home that they are happy spending lots of time in. We can't wait to get started!

Mobile Homes Are Trending!

It's true - people used to look down at "mobile homes" and trailer Parks" but with people wanting to move out of apartments and cities at a rapid rate, factory-built housing is being looked at with a new appreciation. 

We just spent some time at RoundTop - a huge antiques and vintage show that takes over a few Texas towns during teh Spring and Summer. You'll see a little bit of everything here, and Martha Stewart is an often spotted visitor.

We noticed this year an abundance of merchandise celebrating the mobile home lifestyle, especially renovating the older manufactured homes. Glamping is a household word - is our time to shine here?

We Have Been Nominated for the Designhounds Influencer Awards!

Veronika Eagleson is someone that I have always admired. She is someone who is in the know more than anyone I have ever met about design trends, and her networking skills are legendary.

It was a huge honor this year to be asked to be on the Signature Kitchen Suite Design Council, and when we were invited to the Experience and Design Center with Veronika and her Designhounds group, I was thrilled to get to spend some time getting to know her a little bit better and to learn everything I could from her and her incredibly talented group.

Veronika hosts a very prestigious list of Influencers and Designers every year, and this Lifestylist® was so excited to find out that I am a finalist this year! My goal is to make it to the Top 10 of this group, but I need your help.

The public is now invited to vote for who the Top 10 should be. You can vote every day, and it's as easy as just clicking here and voting.

Every vote will be appreciated, and I thank-you from the bottom of my heart for reading our blog and supporting us.

Voting goes until January 15th, and the winners will be announced at the KBIS Show in Las Vegas.

Hoping that I will have some great news to share soon!
From our homes to yours - happiest of holidays!

The Manufactured Housing Institute Announces New Leadership

This Lifestylist® was so excited to hear that Dr Lesli Gooch and Mark Bowersox will be making up the new Manufactured Housing Institute leadership! We will truly miss Dick Jennison and the leadership he has provided to our industry, but are happy for him and his next chapter.

Dr Gooch's passion for the manufactured housing industry is infectious, and her relationships and an excellent reputation across Washington should be a huge help promoting and growing our industry. She has become the CEO-Elect of MHI, and will take over the position when President Dick Jennison retires at the end of the year.

MHI shared the following bio for Dr Gooch:
Lesli Gooch, currently MHI’s Executive Vice President of Advocacy and Communications, joined the organization in 2014. Because of established, long-standing and bipartisan relationships across Washington, Lesli has helped MHI become an influential and relied upon resource for housing policy, including with Congress, the Administration, the GSEs, the media and other housing industry groups. She has secured appearances by key Administration officials and Members of Congress at association events, including multiple addresses by the HUD Secretary. During her tenure, she has achieved a number of legislative and regulatory successes and a significant increase in bipartisan support for MHI priorities. By completely revamping the approach for grassroots outreach, she significantly improved the efficacy of the deployment of these assets. Lesli has a doctorate in political science from the prestigious Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center at the University of Oklahoma with concentrations in American government, public policy, and public administration. Her dissertation, which explores the motivations of members of Congress in selecting issues to champion, provides her with valuable insights and experience about how best to advocate on behalf of the industry.

Mark Bowersox has been chosen to become the President-Elect for MHI:
Mark Bowersox is currently MHI’s Executive Vice President of Industry Relations. Since joining MHI in 2015, Mark has overseen the development of new training programs for community managers, salespeople, and installers which have been migrated to an online learning platform to create a user-friendly experience for members. With Mark heading up MHI’s industry relations efforts the organization’s membership has grown from under 300 members in 2015 to over 900 today. Event attendance increased by more than 50 percent during the same time period. He joined the organization after serving as the Executive Director of the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association — Recreation Vehicle Indiana Council, where he led all aspects of the organization including financial and personnel management, membership recruitment, board member and volunteer development, industry promotion and advocacy. Representing both industries as a legislative and regulatory lobbyist, he developed relationships with employees and elected officials in local, state and federal offices. Working at the state level for more than 10 years, Mark built his knowledge of the industry from the ground up with the first-hand experience in zoning, titling, installations, and other challenging issues. He began his trade association career at an association management firm where he managed national trade associations.

We couldn't be more excited about the knowledge, professionalism, and enthusiasm these two will be bringing to the industry - the best is yet to come!

MHVillage Shares Tips on Finding the Perfect Manufactured Housing Community for You

Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber recently shared with MHVillage readers some great tips on what you should be looking for when searching for your new home.

The process can be daunting, and these easy suggestions will help you find the perfect home and community for you. You can read the article here!

Secretary Ben Carson Speaks at MHI Congress and Expo

Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography
We got the following press release from The Manufactured Housing Institute today:
Today, at MHI’s 2019 Congress & Expo in New Orleans, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson reaffirmed his commitment to manufactured housing. Addressing over 1,400 manufactured housing professionals, Secretary Carson said, “manufactured housing is an active ingredient in the medication we are prescribing for a stronger America.” MHI’s continuous and productive outreach to HUD resulted in the Secretary’s strong remarks in favor of manufactured housing. This is the second year in a row that Secretary Carson addressed MHI’s Congress and Expo. In addition, last Wednesday, he spoke to HUD’s Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee in Washington, D.C. 

Telling attendees the nation’s housing shortage is an issue of supply and demand and that HUD’s strategy is focused on increasing supply, Secretary Carson stated: “Since the key constraint on supply is the cost of new construction and development, the solution to the problem is to change the cost side of the equation. Manufactured housing has emerged out of the limestone and stepped into the limelight, to address precisely this need.” 

While extolling the affordability of manufactured housing, Secretary Carson highlighted the benefits of land-lease manufactured home communities saying that they “combine affordability with a sense of neighborhood and lifestyle.”

Secretary Carson said, “The fact that manufactured homes can be so beautifully done – and in fact are often indistinguishable from site-built homes – is manufactured housing’s best-kept secret. Well, HUD believes that secret should be shared.” 

A top priority of MHI is expediting changes to the HUD Code. Through ongoing outreach with the Administration, HUD, and Congress, MHI has repeatedly said the regulatory climate for manufactured housing at HUD must be improved so that regulatory requirements do not increase costs or add unnecessary hurdles to the production of quality, affordable manufactured housing. Secretary Carson acknowledged MHI’s efforts, stating the Department is “currently evaluating our Office of Policy Development and Research’s recent recommendation to expedite the manufactured home code-making process within HUD, which could better help HUD Standards keep pace with new industry innovations and techniques.”

Wrapping up his remarks to attendees, Secretary Carson stated: “Manufactured housing is a vital part of HUD’s prescription to make safe, quality, desirable, affordable homes available to millions of hard-working Americans. The foundations of a better tomorrow are built with the new techniques and new technologies of today, and for manufactured housing, that time is now.”

MHI appreciates Secretary Carson’s prioritization of manufactured housing and will continue to strongly advocate that HUD support the industry’s efficient production of quality homes with features that consumers want at an affordable price. 

If you have any questions, please contact MHI's Government Affairs Department at
(703) 229-6208 or MHIgov@mfghome.org.