Manufatured Homes and “Just” Zoning Laws can Solve America’s Affordable Housing Crisis

“Justice delayed is justice denied” – William E. Gladstone

The cost of housing in the U.S.has exploded over the past two years. As a result, the uniquely American dream of affordable homeownership for hardworking low and middle-income families is fading exponentially. The gap between home prices and wages is increasing, not decreasing.

The following excerpts from an op-ed by Ivory Mewborn, minister, mayor pro-term of Ayden, North Carolina, posted online by Baptist News Global, address the need for “just” manufactured home zoning laws that can enable affordable quality homeownership. —

 

Change, fairness, and equality — Their race, creed, or color and the content of their character don’t necessarily matter. What matters to the status quo is the financial status of those seeking homeownership and the kind of home they can afford. We read, see and hear a lot about change, fairness and equality. Unfortunately, equality for affordable housing is not within the grasp of many Americans. Friends now call the fight for fair and affordable homeownership a part of their Christian work.

 

 Manufactured homes, a tool for building generational wealth  — My appeal is on behalf of all hard-working citizens who are unlawfully denied their right to the American dream of affordable homeownership. The playing field for America’s working poor will improve once towns and cities engage in affordable homeownership practices. Homeownership is is a proven and common tool for 

building generational wealth. The nation’s affordable housing crisis is raging, and the only solution is to provide more new housing that is affordable.

Today’s manufactured homes definitely are not the manufactured housing of old. They defy the “trailer house’ or “mobile home” stereotype. These new homes are government-approved and manufactured to strict government safeguards.

The U.S. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has published university-level research debunking common beliefs about manufactured homes harming the value of conventional homes next door. Cases from various urban settings demonstrated manufactured homes and conventional housing appreciated side by side.

 

Punitive zoning laws cause undue harm — Many town and city governments override federal zoning laws because they do not want manufactured homes in their neighborhoods. Their ignorance and/or arrogance has escalated, and they unlawfully prohibit manufactured homes within town and city limits. These punitive zoning laws cause undue harm to many hard-working families who are trying to provide nice homes for their children.

 

Justice delayed …. We have identified the solution to the problem, and “Enhanced Pre-emption” federal law supports our solution. We only need the sincere prayers and vocal support of our Christion brothers and sisters to highlight the travesty “Enhanced Pre-emption” can overcome the unjust barriers that habit, ignorance, prejudice, or any other special interest or excuse can offer.

So why do towns continue to oppose federal laws when federally documented facts are known? What is the excuse? Justice delayed is justice denied. In Ayden and elsewhere, vacant lots sit in long-established neighborhoods where new “site-building” construction costs are prohibitive for people of modest means.

 

Working together works — Every child needs a decent home to enjoy a decent quality of life. Today’s manufactured housing provides this need. New manufactured homes in towns like Ayden will enhance their communities aesthetically and improve the overall spirit. This will increase the tax base, as well as create additional revenue from utilities, water, and sewer. These revenues are desperately needed to advance the communities.

Sometimes an open mind is all it takes to make a situation better. Your voice can be someone else’s blessing. Please join us in becoming a forerunner for those seeking decent affordable manufactured housing. Working together works.

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