Why We Love Manufactured Housing and the Manufactured Housing Institute
What a crazy couple of weeks it has been! First we attended Design and Construction Week with over 100,000 others to see what's new in the home building industry, then came back to Dallas to celebrate KidFilm - the oldest and largest childrens film festival in the US. It is a shining star for the Dallas Film Community and has now been presented for 32 years by the USA Film Festival. Then back to Las Vegas for the furniture market - so many great things, people and ideas to share!
When we were at the International Builders Show we were reminded that it was over 20 years ago when I was introduced to the Manufactured Housing Institute. I've been active in the building industry for now over 30 years including owning my own building company. I saw the factory built homes that were on display at the show the first thing I thought was "this makes so much sense - why aren't all homes being constructed this way"?
Fortunately for me the Manufactured Housing Institute had a booth at the show and as always I had lots of questions including learning more about MHI and the services they offered. As a proud member of The National Association of Homebuilders for many, many years including being on the boards for some of their councils I understood the value of a strong association so getting involved with MHI made sense for me, and I made an appointment to visit their DC headquarters and get an in-depth feel for what this industry was all about. I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I ever made.
Now that I have been very active in manufactured housing including being the Lifestylist® for Patriot Homes (I still think they had one of the best teams and products that any home builder has assembled), working with Champion, Clayton and Cavco and what I have really loved - learning about land lease communities and designing clubhouses for YES! Communities, I would like to think I have a good feel for this industry and it's members. And I'm in love with everything this industry is about.
It just makes sense. Building a home in a controlled environment where the same people do the same jobs out of the elements is going to help build a better constructed home. Then take into consideration the buying power this provides - instead of having materials shipped to scattered job sites everything is on placed and shipped to one location - you are going to have coast savings. I'm going to brag on Clayton Homes - I truly am amazed with the products that they use in their homes - things you can't even find a lot of times in a $300,000 or even $500,000 home. Their ability to spot trends and source the products for these trends is helping affordable housing look like never in my wildest dreams I thought could be possible.
The Manufactured Housing Institute is the glue that keeps this industry moving forward. There have been some excellent staffing decisions made in the past years including the addition of Rick Robinson as General Counsel & Senior Vice President, State & Regulatory Affairs and Dick Jennison as President and CEO. When Dick was hired we were just coming out of the housing crisis that we all saw and felt. He had to make some tough decisions to make us thrive but they are definitely paying off. Rick has really helped our industry get the respect that we deserve on Capitol Hill and has managed to even get me involved with contacting my congress people! It feels good to have a voice. We are so fortunate to have these men and the entire staff at MHI representing our industry and being there to support us - I can't thank all of them enough.
The hardest challenge I have seen for the Manufactured Housing Industry is to change the consumer perception about what manufactured housing is all about. As an industry I think we have failed the public on sharing our good news and stories, possibly because there are so many it's hard to keep up! Bruce Savage who was the staff person for MHI that originally got me involved decided to be part of the solution and started American Housing Advocates as a way to share all of the good news about this great industry. We are doing this as a labor of love and at no cost so we aren't always the fastest at getting things posted but it will always be a source of good news about the industry.
If you haven't looked at what today's manufactured housing can offer you and your family, now might be the time to see why your next home might be built in a factory.