Affordable Homes and Manufactured Housing: South Carolina, Massachusetts, and Delaware Take Different Approaches

Creating affordable homes … it’s an issue for communities throughout the U.S. and around the world.

Greenwood, South Carolina rezones 61 acres of high-density residential manufactured housing – thereby halting any future construction of new MFH in the Uptown area, meanwhile city officials in Wareham, Massachusetts  are working to force state legislators to recognize mobile homes as “affordable housing.” Those renting a manufactured home in The First State – a.k.a. Delaware – have just received a little help stabilizing their rents, thanks to the Delaware Supreme Court.

It’s Monday, October 17, and those are some of the most intriguing manufactured housing headlines from the past week. Now let’s kick the proverbial tires on these stories and drill down on the facts.

 South Carolina manufactured homesGreenwood, South Carolina Zones Out Future Manufactured Homes: Voting to rezone 61 acres in the Uptown area of Greenwood, SC, city officials formally switched the zoning from an affordable and MFH friendly RM7 – Residential Manufactured 7 – to a traditional stick-built friendly, high-density residential zoning of R7. Originally zoned for high-density manufactured housing as a means of creating more affordable homes within the city’s taxable boundaries, city officials, in an attempt to revitalize the neighborhoods have officially rezoned the area for single-family residential housing.

Massachusetts manufactured homesWareham, Massachusetts Fights To Have Mobile Homes Counted: Hoping to correct deceptive verbiage in legislation that allows Massachusetts developers in the city of Wareham to circumvent an affordable housing clause in Chapter 40B, constituents will be asked to cast their vote on whether or not the city should count mobile homes as “affordable housing,” (which, in our opinion, they obviously should.) As it was originally drafted, Chapter 40B was meant to enhance the number of affordable housing units within the state of Massachusetts.

Delaware manufactured homesDelaware Supreme Court Addresses Rising Rents On Tenants in Manufactured Housing: Also coming down on the side of creating more affordable homes, and those renters of manufactured homes, last week the Delaware Supreme Court ruled landlords cannot arbitrarily raise rents of individual tenants simply because neighboring properties – generally stick built – have seen rents increases. Chief Justice Leo Strine explained the landowners must provide evidence that any rent adjustment above normal inflation  is directly connected to the maintenance or upgrading the community. Delaware online reports the court clarified the landlord must demonstrate the rent increase offsets any rise in costs, as weighed against the diminishing financial return.

As would-be homebuyers from New York, Spain, and London come to terms with the existing global housing crisis and the reduced inventory, many are turning to the fiscally responsible option of prefabricated housing. Architecturally significant, modern, and energy-efficient … Today’s manufactured homes are the solution for tomorrow’s housing  crisis.

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