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MHCCV Symposium 2020: Some Assembly Required

October 5, 2020 - October 9, 2020


Some Assembly Required

A Virtual Conference on Virginia’s Manufactured Home Communities

Monday, October 5, 2020 through Friday. October 9, 2020

Over 350,000 of our fellow Virginians live in manufactured homes. Many of those homes are the building blocks of manufactured home communities—otherwise known as mobile home parks. They are found throughout the state, in our cities, suburbs, and rural neighborhoods. Although these communities provide affordable and accessible housing options, they rarely give residents the security, agency, and financial independence enjoyed by other homeowners. In short, the deck is stacked against them.

Fortunately, things are changing. Communities are transitioning to nonprofit and resident ownership. Innovations in manufactured home design and construction are leading to high-quality, affordable units. Policymakers are finding ways to make the system work for, not against, park residents. And much of this progress is happening right here in Virginia.

Join MHCCV and our partners for a week-long virtual conference this October to explore these changes and learn how you can get involved. Across eight different sessions, you’ll have the opportunity to hear from over 20 experts, practitioners, leaders, and innovators who are collectively making life better for our neighbors living in manufactured home communities.

All sessions will be held virtually. You can register to join the conversations live by clicking the link below.

Register at HousingForward Virginia


Keynote: Esther Sullivan, Ph.D.

Monday, 11:00am

Esther Sullivan is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Colorado Denver. Her research focuses on poverty, spatial inequality, urban governance, and housing, with a special interest in both forced and voluntary relocation. Her 2018 book Manufactured Insecurity: Mobile Home Parks and Americans’ Tenuous Right to Place, winner of the Robert Park Book Award, provides examines the social, legal, geospatial, and market forces that intersect to create housing insecurity in manufactured housing communities, which provide a central source of affordable housing in the United States.

Help from Above: Breakthroughs in State and National Policy

Tuesday, 11:00am

From titling issues to resident protections to financing options, state and national policies have long prevented manufactured housing from being a truly equitable solution for affordable homeownership. Thankfully, the tide is starting to turn. In this session you’ll hear the federal perspective from Washington, how one west coast state is leading the way, and what’s changing—and still yet to come—here in Virginia.


  • Doug Ryan, Senior Fellow, Prosperity Now

    • Doug Ryan is a Senior Fellow at Prosperity Now. Doug also worked as Assistant Director of Federal Programs at the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County, Maryland, as a legislative assistant in the U.S. Senate, with the Federal Housing Finance Board and as project manager for the Housing Development Institute at Catholic Charities in New York. Doug graduated from Fordham University and has an M.P.A. from New York University. He is an adjunct instructor at American University’s School of Public Affairs and a graduate advisor at Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies. Doug is a former Montgomery County Commissioner on Human Rights and a graduate of Achieving Excellence, a joint program of the Harvard and NeighborWorks America.

  • Chelsea Catto, Manufactured Housing Senior Program Analyst, Oregon Housing and Community Services

    • Chelsea joined Oregon Housing and Community Services in January 2020 as the Manufactured Housing Senior Program Analyst.  She oversees program development for new resources allocated by the state legislature in 2019 aimed at supporting the preservation of safe and affordable manufactured housing.  From 2007 to 2017, she directed CASA of Oregon’s Manufactured Housing Cooperative Development program, which promotes affordable homeownership, economic security and long-term stability through resident ownership of manufactured housing parks.

  • Pamela Kestner, Chief Deputy, Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development

    • Pam Kestner serves as Chief Deputy with the Department of Housing and Community Development. She also is serving as Acting Deputy Director of the Housing Division where efforts focus on the production and preservation of affordable housing as well as those that effectively address homelessness in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Prior to joining DHCD, Pam served as Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Resources where she also served as staff to the Governor’s Coordinating Council on Homelessness, a function she continues to fill. Prior to joining state government, Pam served as President and CEO of the Council of Community Services in Roanoke where she worked for 26 years. She holds a BA degree in Sociology from Emory & Henry College and a MSW from Virginia Commonwealth University.

  • Christie Marra, Director of Housing Advocacy, Virginia Poverty Law Center

    • Christie Marra is the Director of Housing Advocacy at the Virginia Poverty Law Center. After receiving her law degree from the University of Richmond, Christie worked for legal aid representing tenants and others in courts throughout central Virginia. She joined the staff of the Virginia Poverty Law Center in 2004.

  • Moderator: Jonathan Knopf, MHCCV

Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Local Policy in Transition

Tuesday, 1:30pm

Local policy plays a major role in the preservation and revitalization of manufactured home communities. Across the country, as well as right here in Virginia, local governments are utilizing innovative strategies to ensure that manufactured home communities remain a part of their affordable housing supply. This session provides you with an opportunity to learn about these strategies and the challenges and opportunities that come with them.


  • Dan Cohen, Director of Community Enhancement, Chesterfield County, Virginia

    • Daniel Cohen brings more than 30 years of planning and community development experience in the public sector and in private business. Dan has managed several municipal government departments, serving in a director capacity. He directed and managed affordable housing trust fund programs and projects in California and Virginia. Dan served as vice president of acquisitions at Eastern Edge Development, where he sourced investment opportunities. He served as assistant director of development for the City of Norfolk and department head for the City of Atlanta, as well as working for Huntley Partners, Metropolitan Planning Associates, the Orange County Transit District, the City of West Hollywood and Route 2 Community Housing Corporation.

  • Ted Barclay, Special Projects Manager, Chesterfield County, Virginia

    • Ted Barclay has worked for Chesterfield County in a code enforcement capacity for 32 years. Ted has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is  a certified Zoning Administrator. I am currently the Special Projects Manager in the Community Enhancement Department. Additionally, he has been the Secretary to the Chesterfield County Board of Zoning Appeals since 2011. He also created and manage the sign removal program for Chesterfield County. He has lived in Chesterfield County for 38 years. 

  • Karen Prochilo, Housing Development Administrator, Virginia Beach, Virginia

    • Karen Prochilo has worked for the City of Virginia Beach since 1999. She joined the Department of Housing and Neighborhood Preservation (DHNP) in 2013 to manage the Housing Development Division. Karen has been responsible for a variety of programs under this division including, the City’s workforce housing program, city-wide housing rehabilitation programs, coordination of neighborhood revitalization strategies and the project manager for the Housing Resource Center, a one-stop facility for Virginia Beach’s homeless population completed in 2018. Prior to DHNP, Karen was a senior City Planner with the City’s Department of Planning and Community Development where she was involved in the long-term planning of the City as well as current development projects. She attended Wentworth Institute of Technology for Architectural Engineering, has a Certificate of Architecture from Boston Architectural Center and a degree in Urban Planning from Old Dominion University.

  • Crystal Launder, Housing Planner, Boulder, Colorado

    • Crystal Launder works for the City of Boulder’s Department of Housing and Human Services as a housing planner. Her work focuses on housing policy, most recently concentrating on manufactured housing issues. She is the project manager for the Ponderosa Community Stabilization Project, which seeks to stabilize a manufactured home community with failing infrastructure while minimizing displacement. She also helped develop the city’s first Manufactured Housing Strategy and is overseeing implementation of its Action Plan. Launder holds an undergraduate degree in sociology and psychology from Middlebury College and a Master of Regional Planning degree from Cornell University.

  • Cameron Herrington, Program Manager, Living Cully

    • Cameron Herrington manages the Living Cully coalition in Portland, OR. Living Cully is a partnership of four community development organizations that are active in the Cully neighborhood: Habitat for Humanity, Hacienda CDC, NAYA and Verde. Cameron leads Living Cully’s efforts to ensure that neighborhood change and investment creates more opportunities for people of color and low-income households to live and thrive in Cully and beyond, rather than leading to their displacement as housing costs increase. His background is in cross-cultural community organizing, policy advocacy, and strategic communications.

  • Moderator: Vaughn Poller, Neighborhood Development Administrator, James City County

    • Mr. Poller is presently the Administrator of the James City County Division of Neighborhood Development in the Community Development Department. Neighborhood Development is tasked with managing CDBG and Housing preservation programs at the Neighborhood level and higher. Neighborhood Development seeks to preserve the County’s housing stock and promote affordability for low and moderate James City County households.

Financing Park Acquisition and Revitalization

Wednesday, 11:00am

While affordability is the essential benefit of manufactured home communities, the costs to acquire parks and to upgrade or replace homes can be substantial. This makes the availability of debt financing a critical element of these projects. But not all lenders are comfortable with this type of lending – a reality that complicates the revitalization of these properties.   This session will feature presenters who are supportive lenders to the nonprofit community and who approach the issue from several perspectives, including strategies to enable resident ownership. 


  • Chris Thompson, Director of Strategic Housing, Virginia Housing

    • Chris Thompson is the Director of Strategic Housing at Virginia Housing. He leads a team charged with developing and managing relationships with the Commonwealth’s Housing Services Delivery Network. Mr. Thompson coordinates the design and delivery of trainings intended to strengthen the ability of local officials, land use planners, planning entities, and housing developers to better address local affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization issues. He also identifies strategic opportunities to provide technical assistance to individuals and organizations seeking to undertake transformational revitalization projects. Prior to joining VHDA he served as Deputy Director for Housing at the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).

  • Jen Hopkins,  Director of Single Family Housing, NH Community Loan Fund

    • Jennifer Hopkins is Director of Single Family Housing for the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund where she runs the Welcome Home Loan program financing fair, fixed-rate mortgage loans for manufactured homes in ROCs and on their own land. This program was recognized with the CFED Future of Economic Opportunity Award as well as the national NEXT Award for Opportunity Finance, a prestigious honor in the field of community development finance. Hopkins leads the Community Loan Fund’s single family housing team in ongoing program innovation, evaluation, and impact. She was selected as a 2016-2017 Homeownership Fellow by New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority. She also serves on the Board of Directors of ROC USA. Before joining the Community Loan Fund, she was a lawyer and foundation program officer where she oversaw a grant making portfolio supporting social change makers in economic justice, housing and community economic development.

  • Bill Van Vliet, Executive Director, Network for Oregon Affordable Housing (NOAH)

    • William Van Vliet joined NOAH as a Loan Officer in 1998 and was appointed Executive Director in 2000. He oversees the overall operation, credit quality, and capitalization of NOAH, in addition to serving as an expert and leader in affordable housing policy and finance. Van Vliet’s 20 years of experience in housing finance and his strong credit and management background, together with his skill as an advocate, provide him with the required skills to lead NOAH. Since becoming Executive Director in 2000, NOAH’s overall lending capacity has nearly tripled, from $57 million in 2000 to over $168 million in 2011. He is also an active member of the Oregon Housing Alliance and the Preservation (OHAP) Steering Committee. Van Vliet is an advocate for affordable housing issues in numerous forums, frequently testifying before the state legislature and related committees, and has been instrumental in developing housing policy at state and local levels.

  • Mary O’Hara, Director, ROC-USA Network

    • Previous to joining ROC USA® Network as its founding Director, Mary spent 15 years providing a wide range of community investment and development consulting services as a principal in Burlington Associates in Community Development, LLC, a national consulting cooperative. Mary has 25 years of experience in the field of community development lending and community reinvestment. She has served in leadership positions at the Massachusetts Urban Reinvestment Advisory Group, Boston Community Capital, and the Institute for Community Economics. Mary holds a bachelor’s degree in government and human services from Cornell University, School of Human Ecology. In 2014, Mary graduated from Achieving Excellence in Community Development, a joint 18-month Executive Education program with NeighborWorks® America and Harvard University.

  • Moderator, Bill Greenleaf, Senior Vice President, Virginia Community Capital

    • Bill is the real estate lending manager at VCC and also runs the clean energy lending program. He has worked at VCC for five years.

On Home Turf: Resident Outreach and Organizing

Wednesday, 1:30pm

In Virginia, there are no resident-owned manufactured home communities. But this has not prevented residents across Virginia from working together to have their voices heard. In this session, you will hear from individuals working directly within communities to educate and organize residents. From best practices in outreach and organizing, this session will provide a snapshot of initiatives here in Virginia and in other states.


  • Phil Storey, Staff Attorney, Housing Advocacy, Virginia Poverty Law Center

    • Phil Storey is a legal aid lawyer and the Director of the Eviction Legal Helpline, a project of the Virginia Poverty Law Center providing free legal advice to tenants throughout the state facing potential eviction. He has spent more than a decade assisting residents of manufactured home communities in Virginia. Those efforts have included helping form the first residents’ associations in manufactured home parks in Virginia, defending residents’ rights in federal and state court, and helping organize political advocacy efforts.

  • Vanessa Hatch, Community Services & Housing Compliance Manager, Augusta Communities

    • Vanessa Hatch has over thirty years of public sector, non-profit, education and experience in housing, community service, project management and public outreach. She works with stakeholders to access community needs, develop resident services programming, build relationships with partnering organizations, identify new sources of funding, and monitor compliance and regulatory requirements.

  • Mayra Torres, Housing Organizer, Living Cully

    • Mayra Torres has been a Cully resident for over 15 years and has always enjoyed working with her community. In January 2019 she was offered the Housing Organizer position in Living Cully and she started working in February. Through this time she has connected with people from the 5 mobile home parks in Cully. She has helped with the creation of a Resident Association in one of the parks and since March she has been working with staff and volunteers with food accessibility. For the past 5 months she has been leading a team that meets every Friday to make 150-180 food boxes at a local pantry and distributes them the same day by bikes, porch drop offs and driveway pick up. They not only give food but they also print flyers with information about other activities or resources that are within her organization or community and place them in the box so their food box recipients can continue to get connected to services and/or information during these difficult times.

  • Joe Ciszek, formerly of Virginia Poverty Law Center

    • Joe Ciszek is an attorney with a legal aid background who volunteers his time to support the residents of manufactured home communities in Virginia. Joe recently spent two years with the Virginia Poverty Law Center working to stabilize and enhance Virginia manufactured home communities. During that time, Joe worked to empower residents by performing door-to-door legal aid services and providing know-your-rights materials to residents. Joe also gathered statistical information on residents and their housing needs in collaboration with Chesterfield County to better enhance government services in those communities. 

  • Augustin Bravo, Mobile Towne Residents Association

  • Moderator: Eric Mai, MHCCV

Innovation in Design, Construction and Delivery

Thursday, 10:00am

In the last few years, we have seen an amazing amount of innovation happen in home design and construction, much of it driven by the goal of reducing cost. Indeed, some of the long held views of home size, construction materials, site plan and other design considerations are being fundamentally re-thought. The panelists in this session are all working on innovations that have already been brought to market or are in the pipeline. Find out what’s in store for homebuyers of the future. 


  • John Weldy, Director of Engineering, Clayton Homes

    • John Weldy has more than twenty-six years of experience working in the manufactured housing industry and has been serving at Clayton Homes in Engineering since 2005. John began his career at NTA following graduation from Purdue University with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Civil Engineering. While with NTA John served as a structural engineer, Director of Testing Services, DAPIA coordinator, and Director of DAPIA & IPIA Services. Mr. Weldy is a Registered Professional Engineer (Civil & Structural) in thirty-nine states, holds the International Code Council (ICC) certifications for residential inspection for all disciplines. Mr. Weldy just finished serving on the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) where he has served as chairman of the Technical systems subcommittee as well as chair of several Task Force groups. John is an active member of the Manufactured Housing Institute, where he serves on the Technical Activities Committee. John is a member of the executive board of the Systems Building Research Alliance where he serves as treasurer. John serves on several Technical Activities Committee’s for national research projects. John was honored with the 2017 MHI Frank Walter Standards Award.

  • Andrew McCoy, Beliveau Professor, Virginia Tech

    • Andrew P. McCoy, Ph.D. is the Director of the Virginia Center for Housing Research (VCHR), Professor of the Department of Building Construction, and Associate Director of the Myers-Lawson School of Construction (MLSoC) at Virginia Tech. He currently holds the Beliveau Professorship in the Department of Building Construction and previously held the Preston and Catharine White Fellowship.  Dr. McCoy’s main area of research involves diffusion and commercialization of innovative projects in the construction industry. He is the main author of numerous books and peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers on the subjects of innovation adoption, diffusion and commercialization in residential construction and construction safety. He is also Editor-in-Chief of the ASC’s International Journal of Construction Education and Research and Associate Editor of the inaugural edition of ASCE’s Journal of Architectural Engineering Special Edition on Residential Building Construction. Dr. McCoy’s research won  awards within the Mid- Atlantic, State of Virginia, and American Real Estate Society conference’s.

  • Marion Cake, Vice President, project:HOMES

    • As the Vice President of Affordable Housing Development at project:HOMES, Marion has helped advance the organization’s efforts to preserve and produce affordable housing through the implementation of several neighborhood revitalization programs and the construction of high quality single and multi-family homes.

  • Pete Gombert, Executive Chairman, IndieDwell

    • Pete is a lifelong entrepreneur and has founded or co-founded businesses in several industries primarily focusing on innovative technology driven solutions. His approach to building businesses centers on building high performing, humane cultures focused on disrupting stagnant markets. As Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of indieDwell, Pete is responsible for the overall business strategy, sales and marketing of the company. indieDwell is focused on building sustainable, energy efficient, healthy and durable, affordable housing by using shipping containers as the frame of the home.

  • Moderator: Chris Nicely, CEO, Next Step

    • Chris Nicely, CEO of Next Step Homes, brings 25 years of factory-built housing and management experience to his role of training nonprofits and industry leaders on how to effectively use factory-built housing for developments and communities. Prior to joining Next Step, Chris served as the Vice President of Marketing at Clayton Homes, the nation’s largest homebuilder. At Clayton, Chris established a new brand identity package, coordinated branding and positioning, led the re-positioning of the company’s Web presence, led public relations efforts and designed and coordinated a CRM system. Prior to becoming VP of Marketing and Sales, Chris served in the positions of Zone Vice President, Regional Manager/VP and General Manager at Clayton Communities. Altogether, his history with the company spans nearly two decades. Chris holds a BA in Economics from the College of Wooster and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University. Chris recently graduated from Harvard’s Achieving Excellence in Community Development Program.

The ABC’s of Nonprofit Park Purchase and Operation

Thursday, 1:30pm

Manufactured home communities (aka mobile home parks) are increasingly being viewed as part of the spectrum of solutions to the affordable housing challenge. Parks are also an increasingly popular investment for real estate developers due to their strong cash flow and lower management costs. Nonprofit housing organizations are also becoming more engaged in the acquisition and revitalization of these communities. The panelists in this session are all experienced practitioners who will describe the opportunities and risks that these projects offer.


  • Charlie Einsman, Board member, Catholics for Housing

    • Mr. Einsmann has 25 years of real estate work experience and is a licensed real estate agent in VA. Mr. Einsmann jointly owns a holding company, Clear Sky Properties LLC (CSP), for residential rental properties that are acquired, resold, or retained in portfolio. CSP has done over 350 renovation/flip properties including a condo conversion in Washington DC. CSP owns 50 residential rentals and a couple of commercial properties. In November 2013 Mr. Einsmann launched a jointly owned subsidiary of Clear Sky Properties, LLC called Clear Sky Financial (CSF). CSF is a hard money lender that does “asset” based lending. CSF currently has over 25 Million in outstanding loans.  Mr. Einsmann has been on the Board of Directors for Catholics for Housing (CFH) for 7 years. He has served as Vice President/Treasure during his tenure as well as chairing the Investment Committee for 8 years. Mr. Einsmann was solely responsible for the purchase of a distressed trailer park for CFH. The trailer park is called the Manassas East End Mobile Home Park (EEMHP).

  • Suzanne Taylor,  President and CEO, Augusta Communities

    • Suzanne Taylor is the  founder and CEO of Augusta Communities, a California-based 501(c)3 nonprofit that serves over 1,100 lower income households. Prior to founding Augusta, Suzanne held various positions in the affordable housing industry, and was the architect of the nonprofit ownership model that is today’s industry standard.  Suzanne is also the President of ACG, a consulting firm that supports the manufactured housing industry, including nonprofit community owners, and provides federal and state housing compliance services. 

  • Terry McDonald, Executive Director, Lane County St. Vincent de Paul

    • Terrence R. (Terry) McDonald became the executive director of the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County, Inc. (SVdP) on June 14, 1984, and is the visionary hands-on leader of the agency. With degrees in Political Science and History and a Masters of Education from the University of Oregon, Terry’s energies are focused on social services, homeless services, affordable housing and economic development projects that create jobs while improving the environment and the community. As the largest non-profit humanitarian agency in Lane County, Ore., SVdP has nearly 600 employees, 1,500 units of affordable housing, five emergency service programs, ten retail thrift stores, online book and jewelry shops, a vocational services department, an appliance shop, a mattress recycling operation and a used car lot.

  • Lee Housholder, CEO, project:HOMES

    • Lee Householder is the CEO of project:HOMES, a nonprofit community development organization serving 10 cities and 21 counties in Central Virginia. With over 20 years of experience in urban planning and real estate development he leads the agency’s home rehabilitation, weatherization, volunteer, and home construction programs in improving the lives of 1,500 homeowners and family members each year.  He has been an adjunct faculty member at L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affair since 2006.

  • Moderator: Bob Adams, MHCCV

Closing Session: What Lies Ahead

Friday, 11:00am

The closing plenary session will be a conversation between experts who are working on this issue at both the national and state level.  Policies are changing quickly and manufactured housing/mobile home parks are emerging from the shadow of years of misconceptions. The industry and the product are undergoing transformation.  We’ll ask them what changes and opportunities are coming our way and how we can be prepared to take advantage of them.  


  • Randy Grumbine, Executive Director, Virginia Manufactured and Modular Housing Association

    • Randy Grumbine is in his fifth year as Executive Director of the Virginia Manufactured and Modular Housing Association Housing Association. He came to this position after a 21-year career with Clayton Homes as a salesperson, manager, and district manager mostly in the Roanoke area. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Drexel University and a Master of Landscape Architecture from Virginia Tech. His 3 young adult daughters challenge him to try to keep up and encourage an active lifestyle.

  • Esther Sullivan, Ph.D, University of Colorado Denver

  • Chris Nicely, CEO, Next Step

  • Doug Ryan, Senior Fellow, Prosperity Now

  • Moderator: Jonathan Knopf, MHCCV


October 5, 2020
October 9, 2020
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