Portland’s Hope: New Manufactured Home Zoning Rules

The Portland City Council has made a major move against the housing crunch facing major urban center in the US. On Wednesday, August 22nd, a new zoning designation was voted in. This designation specifically helps manufactured home parks by making it harder for developers to buy up the land and put up expensive apartments in their place. This gouging of available manufactured home space is harmful to all levels of the economy. Portland City plans to fight back with new manufactured home zoning rules.

The false image of manufactured housing being a property value nightmare makes it easier for developers to buy parks at cut-throat rates and flip the property into apartments, with rent costs that are much larger than renting a space for a manufactured home. It is the city’s hope that this manufactured home zoning plan will stagnate the homelessness problem that continues to grow in the city and nationwide.

According to Kantu.com, “it’s been happening a lot around Portland, with 44-mobile home spaces sold in just the last two years.” These new apartments are higher priced and targeted at an upper-middle-class audience. The parks themselves and their safe manufactured homes are more readily accessible for all income levels, so this change puts those below the new apartments standards at a crossroads: move out of the city limits for more affordable housing or struggle to find something that works inner-city. The latter option often ends in homelessness and a life of struggling.

“Homelessness is a symptom. The underlying illness is our affordable housing shortage, and the only true remedy is to preserve existing affordable housing and create new units, especially for low-income households.”

Kantu quoted Jay Parasco on his opinion of the homelessness crisis and zoning debate, which prove to be intertwined. Homeless advocates say the zoning change will keep more people off the streets. This proves to be beneficial for more than just those affected by the cost of living explosion. benefits of manufactured homes are tangible by every level on the socioeconomic ladder. A healthy economy has all members contributing to its cycle, and that added income being spent helps business owners pay better wages, expand business and hire more workers, all of which help benefit the living conditions of everyone in an urban area.

“From now on, redeveloping a mobile home park will require an extensive review process, along with adjustments to the comprehensive plan and a vote from the City Council,” Kantu reports. This added layer of protection for manufactured homeowners allows them to focus on their families, careers, and advancing their lives out of any difficulties they might be facing. Fighting the poverty problem becomes much easier when you give those suffering from it the tools to fix their circumstances themselves. New manufactured home zoning rules were the right move for this community to address the real issues.

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