INDIANA UNIVERSITY STUDY TOUTS MANUFACTURED HOMES IN SOLVING WORKPLACE HOUSING AFFORDABILITY CRISIS
An Indiana University report argues manufactured housing deserves more consideration as a solution to housing affordability in the great state of Indiana and nationwide.
The study by MBA students with the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University/Purdue University Indianapolis indicates that many Hoosiers, like others throughout the U.S., can’t afford existing homes, creating a workforce housing shortage. Predicting that the problem will only get worse over the next two decades, the Kelly Report suggested a solution: manufactured housing.
Using the city of Indianapolis as an example, when companies consider moving or expanding to different locations, stakeholders must consider the local workforce.
The Kelley Report argues government regulations gets in the way of home buyers considering manufactured housing. Zoning laws tend to classify manufactured homes as personal property, similar to automobiles or recreation vehicles, instead of houses.
The study also suggests manufactured homes could also address the problems associated with vacant city lots and abandoned homes since a manufactured home could fill that space in a week.
TO ATTRACT POTENTIAL COMPANIES CITIES NEED TO HAVE AVAILABLE AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING
“Manufactured homes offer advantages that traditional ‘site-built’ homes cannot,” Kelley report said. “A number of these manufactured home producers are headquartered or have factories located in Indiana.”
To be attractive to potential companies, Indiana cities need to have available and affordable housing, the associate dean of academic programs for the Kelley School, said at a news conference at Cohron’s Manufactured Homes in Indianapolis.
“Essentially, [$2.5 billion] is the annual potential loss of GDP from Indianapolis’ liability to sufficiently supply workforce housing,” said Mitchell Turnbow, an MBA student behind the Kelley report. “That number actually turns out to be the exact same amount of predicted growth annually over the next 20 years. So without being able to solve the problem, all the predicted growth for this city is going to be eaten up by its loss of potential workforce.”
TODAY’S MODERN QUALITY MANUFACTURED HOME WILL BE ONE HALF THE COST OF A SITE-BUILT HOME
U.S. Sen. Todd Young, R-Indiana, addressed nearly two dozen at the news conference, stages inside a new manufactured home. The home had an estimated value between $80,000 and $90,000, less than half the average “site-built” home value of between $280,000 and $290,000 according to Ronald Breymier, the executive director of the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association.
“It’s important when you have over eight million Americans spending half of their income on housing you come up with real solutions,” Young said. “I know it’s time to put greater emphasis on, more broadly, housing affordability …We know this crisis has been long festering.”
Young and other attendees advocated for creating pathways to better finance the purchase of manufactured homes, including land-leases, and addressing municipal zoning laws that prevent residents from placing manufactured homes within their borders.
In that regard, Senator Young has recently introduced a bipartisan bill, HUD MANUFACTURED HOUSING MODERNIZATION ACT of 2019 (SB 1804), to require the U.S. Secretary (Ben Carson) of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to issue guidelines that would include residential manufactured homes as affordable housing for federal funding. For more information on this legislation, click our recent post, “U.S. Senate Bill Would Make Manufactured Homes Eligible For Low-income Housing Funds.”
SOURCES: Excerpts from 93.1 FM WABC & Indianapolis News/Tribune