The utilization and acceptance of manufactured housing in helping solve the affordable housing crises that are seriously plaguing communities across the U.S. will require a change in misplaced conceptions and attitudes of existing homeowners and relaxation of regulations that cater to those public misconceptions.

A new report by California’s nonpartisan Legislative Analysis office titled, “Do Communities Adequately Plan for Housing?” The report sums up the local barriers in California, (often applicable throughout the nation), that the two most prominent detriments to homeownership development and placement are local community planning and zoning laws that are often outdated, restrictive and difficult to change, both procedurally and politically. Many of which are prejudicial against today’s manufactured home community developments, as well as individual manufactured home placements.

The second impediment is that residents in these communities often disfavor updates to plans and zoning to accommodate more housing, particularly manufactured housing, because many see the changes manufactured homes would bring to those communities as a “threat to their well being.” The report concluded that this mindset cannot be legislated away — it must be understood and engaged.

Followers of MFH News most likely are aware of our weekly monitoring and reporting on planning, zoning and land use meetings from towns across the nation that there are ongoing debates and discussions relative to the role of manufactured housing in those communities in providing citizen access to America’s only affordable quality non-subsidized housing — manufactured homes and modular homes.

As the pressure mounts for city leaders to address affordable housing in their communities we are beginning to witness, from the published transcripts of those zoning and planning meetings, that manufactured housing is being positively considered in more precincts –  likely as the only remaining alternative that addresses affordable homeownership.

Unfortunately, there still remains those planning officials who are hesitant to welcome manufactured housing when confronted by occasional descent by citizens opposed to affordable housing in their neighborhood. More often than not town officials are ill-prepared and ill-informed to defend manufactured homes as an important community asset, resulting in allowing the myths and misconceptions to go unchallenged.

The following accounts from planner’s meetings in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, Allenstown, and New Hampshire are examples of the diverse interactions when considering manufactured home community development within their jurisdiction.

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