For Millions of Americans “ Home for the Holidays ” is a Manufactured Home
“Don’t knock manufactured homes or their value to America”
proclaimed Suzanne Anarde in an op-ed published in the opinion section of U.S, Today on Friday, November 24, 2017, titled “I Celebrated Holidays In A Mobile Home”.
We posted excerpts from that first-person narrative originally in December 2017 reconfirming that today’s manufactured homes have come a long way since the mobile homes and trailers of yesteryear and how today’s manufactured housing is essential to the uniquely American dream of homeownership, yet do not garner the respect that is deserved. The following is a reprise of that condensed narrative in the author’s own words.
“The holidays are where many of us reflect on the meaning of home. But not all homes are created, or valued, equally. Take the manufactured home, otherwise known as a mobile home or trailer home. There is no American dwelling more disrespected. They’re derided as “tornado magnets” and they serve as the butt of jokes and derogatory terms about low-income rural people.”
“I grew up in manufactured housing, it was where my mom was, where we shared Thanksgiving dinner and put up our Christmas tree. We lived comfortably, with dignity, and had nothing to do with the public’s attitude toward the physical structure of our house”
Manufactured Homes Are the Country’s Largest Source of Unsubsided Housing in the U.S.A.
“Updating the perception is important because manufactured housing is important. It constitutes the country’s largest source of unsubsidized affordable housing and is home to over 18 million low-to-moderate income Americans. Manufactured homes cost about 50% of the average site-built home. Growing evidence shows that a high-quality built manufactured home, combined with affordable financing and ownership or long-term control of the land where it is installed, is an effective tool for low and middle-income Americans to keep a reliable roof over their heads and build equity. Manufactured homes can be produced and installed in a third of the time it takes to build a home from the ground up.”
Manufactured Homes Appreciate in Value
“Research has charted how manufactured homes appreciate in value when located in stable neighborhoods. In fact, manufactured housing has improved radically. With pitched roofs, front porches, conventional siding, and even two stories, most indistinguishable from site-built homes. Educating policymakers and residents could go a long way toward lifting regulatory barriers and narrowing the affordable housing gap.”
“The vast majority of “mobile homes” aren’t mobile at all — they’re attached to permanent foundations. Yet at least 80% of new manufactured homes are titled as chattel (personal property) rather than as real estate. As a result, consumers are penalized with higher interest rates, shorter terms, and fewer protections than what’s offered for a standard mortgage.”
For Millions, a Manufactured House is The Definition of Home.
“Ultimately, manufactured homes offer parents a way to raise a family and make modest financial gains, and elderly Americans an affordable way to stay in communities they’ve long loved. They’re places where a child can do her homework and celebrate the holidays. For millions of rural and suburban people, like my own family, that is the definition of home.”
Suzanne Anarde is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC), headquartered in Sacramento, California.