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Home > Advocacy, Affordable Housing, Analysis and Commentary, Manufactured Home Communities, Manufactured Homes, News Item, Non-Profit > Public Radio, State Research Says “Manufactured Homes Could be Opportunity in Affordable Housing Crisis”

Public Radio, State Research Says “Manufactured Homes Could be Opportunity in Affordable Housing Crisis”

July 26th, 2018



Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax held a series of community meetings on the eviction crisis recently, says Virginia’s Public Radio (VPR) to the Daily Business News.



VA Lt. Gov Justin Fairfax.

The underlying problem?

A lack of affordable housing.  “Now some advocates think manufactured homes, also known as mobile homes, could be a part of the solution,” wrote Mallory Noe-Payne, for VPR.

According to a recent National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) study, someone making minimum wage in Richmond or Charlottesville would have to work more than 100 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom apartment.

That NLIHC graphic is shown below.



Bob Adams, with Housing and Development Advisors, said that manufactured homes represent an affordable path to housing.

There’s no one who’s coming in and questioning what you do in your own home,” Adams said, as he argued the case for owning a manufactured home vs. rentals. “A lot of families find that living in manufactured housing communities is very desirable and more desirable than being in a traditional apartment community.”


Slide from Bob Adams, with Housing and Development Advisors, research study.

Manufactured homes have become more durable and energy efficient,” said Noe-Payne, pointing to Adam’s research.


Manufactured home on privately owned land. Still from WVTF, Public Radio.

According to research Adams presented to a group of lawmakers Wednesday, almost 60,000 people already live in manufactured housing in the Richmond metro area alone.”  More precisely, that’s a mix of mobile homes and manufactured homes.

Senator Mamie Locke says she sees the opportunity. “But we have to get a handle on making sure that individuals who are in manufactured homes also get a good deal on the parks where they’re located,” she said, a refrain that’s often heard from advocate groups, such as Prosperity Now.

VPR said that “One possibility is turning to nonprofits. There’s already a growing trend in Virginia of charities buying and redeveloping manufactured home parks.”

On the one hand, the report is overall positive.  Similar to the report noted from CityLabs last week, a common refrain is that resident ownership is popular among many advocates.

CityLabs Spotlights ROC USA’s Bright Communities Brand, Lessons for Manufactured Home Professionals, Investors

Paul Bradley, with ROC USA has told MHProNews that their capacity to do conversions is increasing.  But they still can’t handle all of the potential conversions.  Furthermore, thousands of communities will never be converted to ROC status.


Adam’s report shows three different levels of quality for communities. This is a mid-level range community of affordable manufactured housing.

There’s a significant opportunity for manufactured home communities that are ‘investor owned’ to brand or rebrand themselves in more positive ways.


A “top performing” community in Adam’s research of Richmond, VA area communities.

ROC’s Bradley has noted that a number of operations that he personally knows are well run, and are mindful of their residents.


From Bob Adam’s report of Richmond metro area communities. This is a mobile home that is 4 plus decades old.

The challenge for the industry at large is that much of the media reports are slanted against them, due in part to protests from activist groups such as MHAction or NMHOA. For more on those groups, see the related resources, linked below.


Part of Adam’s research PowerPoint. The full report is linked below.


Competing Trends?

There are competing trends found in mainstream media. On the one hand, there is a steady rise of positive reports, like the one from the National Association of Realtors, linked in the related reports, further below.

But regrettably, far more common are the problematic reports about pre-HUD Code mobile homes, or post HUD Code manufactured homes.

“Even When We Had a Hurricane, It Wasn’t This Bad,” Profitably Decoding Post-Windstorm, Survivor of Possible Tornadoes Statement, Impacting Manufactured Home Community, Manufactured Housing Industry

It is incumbent upon the industry to get to the root issues, which often comes down to positive industry engagement with researchers and media.

Finally, the industry must engage to insure that affordable housing seekers aren’t left with an false impression that site-built housing is necessarily superior. While Bob Adam’s report doesn’t make that point, industry professionals must learn to make and repeat the facts that underscore the value proposition of today’s manufactured homes.

Exposé! Heartbroken Conventional Housing Buyers? Dare to Compare Site Built with Modern Manufactured Homes

The D.R. Horton reports, the public one above the professional version further below, are reminders of why manufactured home producers and owners can and should feel proud of the value that the industry’s been producing for years.

Bob Adam’s entire report can be downloaded here. © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

(Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.) See Related Reports, linked further below.


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Related Reports:

Manufactured Home Community Owner Alert, Rent Control, MHAction Plans Organized Action in Several States

The case below includes a point that reflects NMHOA activities.

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Asks Industry Members to Ask Senators to Support S 2155, Behind the Scenes Details

Realtor University, Journal for the Center of Real Estate Studies, Makes Corrections– “The Market for Manufactured Homes,” by Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton, CBE

Road to Zero Wealth, Fisking Prosperity Now, Institute for Policy Studies Report

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