Clayton and Champion Ramp Up Production as Demand Grows, and more…

As Clayton Homes and Champion Homes announced new production facilities in Kansas City and Benton, Kentucky respectively, one Oregon town looks to provide some critically needed funding for the repair of their communities manufactured homes. Meanwhile, on the FEMA front, while Louisiana flood victims are projected to spend the next 12 months waiting to get into their FEMA supplied manufactured housing units (MHUs), many of California’s Butte fire victims prepare to rebuild their lives with manufactured housing rather than traditional stick-built homes.

It’s Monday, November 15, 2016, and that means it’s time to drill down and make sense of last week’s manufactured housing headlines.

Champion Homes Brings Jobs And Affordable Housing To Kentucky –

Champion manufactured homesChampion Home Builders Inc., a modular and manufactured housing producer, opened a 100,000 sq.ft. facility, investing $6.3 million and expecting to create 150 jobs in Benton, Kentucky, according to online reportsTo encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority approved tax incentives up to $2.25 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows Champion to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets. Keith Anderson, CEO of Troy, Michigan-based Champion, said the strong craftsmanship skills available in the Benton-area workforce was a chief reason for selecting the location. “At Champion, we’re driven to produce the highest-quality affordable housing in part because we understand the special feeling our customers have when they first move into their new home,”  Anderson said. “This day we’ll cherish for years because we’re experiencing the same feeling here today in Benton. The heart and soul of today’s celebration is really what this new location means for our customers; better access to affordable housing, remarkable Champion value, and increased convenience. We’re thrilled for them and look forward to what our collective future hold.” Founded in 1953 in Troy, Michigan, Champion specializes in a wide variety of manufactured, modular and park model homes, as well as, modular buildings for the multi-family, hospitality, senior and workforce housing.

Clayton Homes Buys Kansas City’s Summit Custom Homes –

Clayton manufactured homesPer The Kansas City Business Journal, Clayton Properties, the site built division of Clayton Homes, purchased its third homebuilder in the past year, acquiring all of the assets of Summit Custom Homes, which includes approximately 1200 lots in the Kansas City metro area. Summit Custom Homes was founded in 2002 and is the largest homebuilder in Kansas City. The company has 54 team members that develop communities from the ground up. Founded on 1956, Clayton recently sold its 500th site built home this past month.The company first entered the industry in the fall of 2015 with the acquisition of 81 lots in Atlanta. The Clayton building group provides affordable housing, traditional site built homes, modular homes, manufactured housing, college dormitories, military barracks and apartments. In 2015 Clayton built more than 34,000 homes.

Oregon City Council Addresses Grants For Manufactured Housing Repairs –

Newberg Oregon affordable housing repairsDue to the nation’s shortage of affordable housing, many local housing authorities are reluctantly arriving at a conclusion that long overlooked mobile homes and manufactured homes may actually be considered affordable housing. In Newberg, Oregon, a city located in the greater Portland metropolitan area, a city committee has been meeting quarterly to make decisions on the city’s affordable housing trust fund, a pot of money designed “for the development, preservation and rehabilitation of housing that is affordable” to local households whose incomes do not exceed the area median income, according to the city’s description of the plan, as reported by the Newberg Graphic. The 2016 median income in Newberg was $54,846. The fund was established in 2012 and offers several grant programs for which the fund was seeded about $70,000. That money was available for applicants seeking to rehabilitate older homes so they can remain affordable, or to assist with the development of new affordable housingBut the program has been virtually unused, leading the council to make a significant change, by including mobile homes and manufactured homes eligible for the repair funds. These residences represent a substantial portion of the city’s affordable housing supply, but until now they didn’t qualify to apply for the repair funds. “We’re trying to focus on those low-income households living in mobile or manufactured homes who need assistance to do rehabilitation and repair on those units so they can continue to be affordable,” said Community Development Director Doug Rux.

FEMA:  Louisiana Flood Victims Will Need Patients –

 FEMA Manufactured housing units (MHUs)Recently, you will recall that MFH News passed along a published FEMA report for flood victims in Louisiana, requesting retailers to submit contract bids for open inventory needed.  That call for dealer inventory was somewhat surprising based upon previous reports that FEMA had previously declared the need for 3,300 MHUs and that contracts were being let with manufacturers to produce those required units. Apparently, FEMA has miscalculated the dynamics of the manufactured home distribution system when assessing the time frame  of getting thousands of displaced victims into temporary manufactured homes. Could it be that FEMA is competing for the same pool of manufactured homes as many displaced families who have the means to buy their own homes without FEMA’s help? Is FEMA too big and to bureaucratic to efficiently handle major disasters? According to a report by The Advocate, FEMA is facing intermittent shortfalls in some kinds of manufactured housing units. FEMA has contracted with seven manufacturing companies around the nation to build 3,700 such units for residents displaced by the August floods in Louisiana, officials said. FEMA officials said those newly built units are arriving daily and that 430 had arrived as of 11/4/16. But Justo “Tito” Hernandez, FEMA’s deputy coordinating officer for Louisiana, sad that some of the 4,359 people who want these “manufactured housing units” won’t get them until sometime early next year. By then they will have been waiting five months since the severe flood that displaced more than 100,000 people across the state. While FEMA officials hope to have 2,000 families in manufactured housing units by Dec.2 – 1,095 families were in them last week – they won’t all be in MHUs by the agency’s earlier deadline of of Dec.15. Steve Duke, executive director of Louisiana Manufactured Housing Association, said there was a shortfall in mobile homes in the aftermath of the floods. He said FEMA is competing for the same pool of mobile homes as many displaced families who have the means to buy their own mobile homes without FEMA’s help. He said this has taxed existing inventory on retail lots and, with FEMA’s push to hire manufacturers, will also create competition for local businesses that might have been looking to manufacturers, as well, to replenish their inventory. Duke said he believes FEMA officials are working hard to fix the problem. He suggested the agency is too big and bureaucratic to move quickly enough and believes allowing the state to manage federal emergency funds in conjunction with local industry would move faster. “It would be so much better. It really would,” Duke said. Hernandez said FEMA didn’t have more mobile homes in reserve because the agency deals with disasters that requires a few dozen to as many as 200 mobile homes, not several thousands. (MFH Note: Does FEMA not remember hurricane Katrina, also in Louisiana?)

Victims of California’s Butte Fire Rebuild with Manufactured Homes –

Manufactured homes help fire victims rebuildThe Calaveras County Enterprise reports that the County Board of Supervisors has issued a report on Butte Fire efforts. In particular, Assistant County Administrative Officer Brian Moss noted that so far, the county has received applications to rebuild or replace 116 of the approximately 550 dwellings destroyed in the fire. Moss said the county government has received applications to build 69 conventional houses and place 47 manufactured homes. A report he provided to the supervisors also indicated that there have been five applications for permits to build new homes on previously vacant lots in the burn area and five applications to place manufactured homes on previously vacant lots. “It is very interesting to see just how much activity is going on up in the burn area,” Moss said, to date 6 of the conventional replacement homes and 14 of the replacement manufactured homes have passed their inspections.

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