U.S. Housing Authorities Begin To Acknowledge That Manufactured Homes Are Indeed Affordable Housing

Housing authorities across the nation are struggling to address remedies to mitigate America’s serious and unprecedented affordable housing crisis. Many of those states, cities, towns, and counties are required by social conscience or state mandates to maintain a reasonable percentage (usually 10%) of housing that would accommodate lower to middle-income families. In many instances failure to reach the mandated percent of affordable housing can reduce the municipalities portions of state tax revenues.

Here at MFH we have reported many instances where local authorities are reluctantly arriving at a conclusion that long overlooked mobile homes and manufactured housing may actually be considered affordable housing. Most recently in Rhode Island, where a bipartisan group of state senators introduced legislation, SB-217, to “rationalize” the state’s approach to securing low and moderate income housing, according to an editorial by Rhode Island citizen Mark Zaccaria to the SRA newspaper group and reported online by ricentral.com.

Provide affordable housing units, or else…

The main change by this legislation is the inclusion of both mobile homes and manufactured homes in the housing units that qualify to be counted in a municipality’s official register of low and moderate income housing stock. Additional changes made by the legislation mandate each of the 39 municipalities are required to meet the goal of 10 percent affordable housing units or face state penalties; a goal yet to be attained by 35 of the 39 communities.

Rhode Island Senate Bill 217

Read Senate Bill 217

Mark Zaccaria pointed to another benefit for those residents within the cities and towns regulated by SB-217:  The two new proposed types of rental or purchased units (manufactured homes and mobile homes) do not require deed restrictions to forcibly maintain their resale prices within the affordable range. “Currently those restrictions severely limit the use of an approved affordable housing unit as part of its owner’s financial portfolio. For most of us, our single biggest asset is our home. Why should that be any different for those in the lower income ranges?” asked Zaccaria.

2016  Marks Eighth Consecutive Year of Manufactured Housing Production Improvement 

The results are now official. Manufactured home production for December 2016 again showed a significant increase over the same period in 2015 and marking the eighth consecutive yearly improvement since 2008.

According to a report by the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) and conveyed by MH PRONews that according to official statistics compiled on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) year-over-year manufactured housing production increased substantially again during December 2016.

Just-released statistics indicate that HUD Code manufacturers produced 6,995 homes in December 2016, a 23.6% increase over the 5,657 HUD Code homes produced during December 2015. Cumulative industry production for 2016 thus totals 81,136 homes, a 15% increase over the 70,544 HUD Code homes produced during 2015. For context, cumulative annual industry production figures since 2008 are as follows: (Home production/shipment statistics do not include modular homes which have become a significant component of manufactured home production over the last few years.)

  • 2008 – 81,457 homes
  • 2009 – 49,683 homes
  • 2010 – 50,056 homes
  • 2011 – 51,618 homes
  • 2012 – 54,881 homes
  • 2013 – 60,228 homes
  • 2014 – 64,334 homes
  • 2015 – 70,544 homes
  • 2016 – 81,136 homes

A further analysis of the official industry statistics shows that the top ten shipment states from the beginning of the industry production rebound in August 2011 through December 2016  – with cumulative, monthly, and current year (2016) and prior year (2015) shipments per category as indicated. Rankings in parenthesis indicate state rankings in those categories.

State   Cumulative Dec. 2016   2016   2015
1.Texas 66,692 Homes  872     12,747     13,592
2.Louisiana 26,838 Homes   1900     7,769     4,485
3.Florida 20,858 Homes   428      5,453     4,954
4.Alabama 14,665 Homes   253      3,612     2,822
5.N.C. 14,575 Homes   273      3,333     2,977
6.Mississippi 13,500 Homes   239      3,183     2,581
7.California 12,973 Homes   216      3,120     2,956
8.Kentucky 12,420 Home   175      2,692     2,384
9.Michigan 11,605 Homes   358      3,866     2,845
10.Tennessee 10,385 Homes   141      2,282      2,114

 

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The production shipment results closely correlate with the number of retail manufactured sales. The cumulative top ten results for December 2016 do not reflect any changes to this list.However, the rankings within the top 10 have changed over the last few years.

*Texas has retained the top position as the most manufactured home friendly state in the nation, outpacing by far the state of Louisiana, which has long held the number two position in manufactured home sales. The December statistical report indicates that Louisiana received shipments of at least 1,900 manufactured homes for the month. That is skewed by the fact that FEMA delivered at least 1,500 manufactured housing units into Louisiana for temporary housing following last year’s declared flood disaster that ravaged much of the state.

The state of Michigan, currently ranked in the number nine position for cumulative homes since the recognized production rebound in 2011, but was number six in 2015 and now has climbed to number four for the year ending 2016.

Yes, 2016 was a good year, relatively speaking, however, considering the nation’s growing demand for affordable housing and home ownership – and given the unprecedented quality and amenities offered by today’s modern manufactured homes at a price that cannot be matched by any other type of housing – annual production levels should rightly be in the hundreds-of-thousands.

In order for the industry to enjoy a “really good year” in 2017 and beyond, the Trump Administration will need to go back and curtail many of the onerous regulations implemented by the Obama administration. Modifying those baseless and discriminatory regulations against the manufactured housing sector and unleashing the power of America’s only form of affordable high-quality non-subsidized housing. its

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