Manufactured Home News
The following are news reports related to manufactured housing, including,– Clayton Homes’ creating first-ever, net zero manufactured home.– A pending class action lawsuit by residents against New York’s largest mobile home park owner.– U.S. Congress legislation to lower manufactured home/mobile home park rents.
Clayton Homes Unveils Net Zero Electricity Home
MARYSVILLE, TENN – Clayton Homes, the nation’s largest builder of manufactured homes and modular housing, has unveiled its first-ever net-zero electricity home.
Features available to customers include Energy Star appliances, LED lights, Lux windows with argon, a 22-21-50 insulation package, and a smart thermostat. Additional options include solar shingles and low-VOC paint.
The net-zero electricity home costs just under $230,000 before the cost of land and solar panels. With all of the upgrades, the home produces enough energy to power itself.
New York Mobile Home Tenants Planning Class Action Suit Against Largest Mobile Home Park Owner In State
According to a report by Lockport Union-Sun & Journal, the Ridgeview Manufactured Home Association is preparing a class action lawsuit against Cook Properties, the largest mobile home park owner in New York state, in pursuit of better living conditions. The members want work done on their sewers and water lines, identification and removal of dead trees, and rehabilitation of electrical units around the park, as well as better snow plowing during winter.
The association’s rent strike, now entering its third month, shows no sign of waning.
Attorney Sean MacKenzie, from Magavern Grimm LLP, addressed the association on June 23 and laid out his strategy for weathering the coming storm. He said that when Cook Properties realizes the association is serious, the company will “come to the table” – and that means the members have to stick together.
In the past few weeks, the association teamed up with MHAction, advocacy for residents of manufactured housing parks, and started spreading the word at other Cook-owned properties. Since June 24, they’ve canvassed Suburban Rapids MHP and Rapids Estates in Lockport and Applewood Mobile Home Park in Medina, encouraging the formation of tenant associations to combat Cook and supporting MHAction’s advocacy for laws to protect mobile home owners and renters.
The rent strike and the pending lawsuit are aimed at “holding (Cook Properties) accountable for the living conditions,” association president Sharon Ruth said.
According to Ruth, the Ridgeview association’s campaign succeeded in getting more than 150 residents in the canvassed parks to contact MacKenzie about joining the lawsuit.
She noted some examples of neglect that dwarfed Ridgeview’s needs, including open “sewer pits” at Rapids Estates.
Cook Properties acquired 54 parks in April from a deal with Affordable Great Locations (AGL), making Cook the largest owner of manufactured home parks in New York.
“Why Cook?” Ruth says rhetorically, “Instead of buying 75 new parks, why not invest in the ones you got?
Private Equity Investments Spur Congress Push To Lower Manufactured Home Costs
According to a Bloomberg Government report. The U.S House Appropriations Committee wants to spend $500 million on a new manufactured housing program as it seeks to address affordability challenges and rapidly escalating mobile home park rents.
Factory-built houses, such as manufactured homes and mobile homes, provide a more suitable housing option for many Americans,
appropriators wrote in a report accompanying the Transportation Housing and Urban Development funding bill for fiscal 2023. Manufactured housing communities can be “a last pathway to homeownership.” the committee wrote.
The program would provide $500 million in grants through fiscal 2027 that could be used for mobile home infrastructure, planning, resident and community services, resiliency, and land and site acquisition.
Over 20 million people live in around 8 million manufactured homes in the U.S., according to the appropriations report. The average sales price for the homes increased 24% from 2020 to 2021, according to data from the US Census Bureau.
Private equity and finance firms have acquired mobile home parks in recent years. The committee wrote that reports of rising rents have often followed private investment firms’ acquisition of mobile home communities.
“The committee is concerned about the role the financing sector has played in the acquisition of these communities, particularly in instances where there is no intention to maintain the affordability of these communities,” the lawmakers wrote.
The committee wrote they are urging the administration “to examine lending practices to for-profit organizations seeking to use Federal loan backing for the purchase of manufactured home communities.” They encouraged offering more guidance for manufactured home owners to buy their communities if put up for sale.