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Posts Tagged ‘baton rouge’

Developers Turn to Modular in Housing Crisis

March 27th, 2017 Comments off
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Credit: Baton Rouge Business Report.

In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, two developers have turned to modular housing to ease the stress of finding housing.

According to the Baton Rouge Business Report, Jak Kunstler and Susannah Bing believe that modular homes in Baton Rouge could be a solution to a housing shortage in the city’s older neighborhoods.

We’re in a housing crisis,” says Bing, a former executive with the East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority.

Bing teamed up with Kunstler two years ago to launch Louisiana Purchase Real Estate and Development.

There are people moving to Baton Rouge who want the nightlife, restaurants and activity that are closer to downtown, yet there are very few houses that are available or in good condition and they are priced out of that market. We see this as a tool to provide new housing in older neighborhoods, whether that is market rate or affordable.

The recently completed home by Bing and Kunstler comes in at 1,256 square feet, and looks similar to the classic homes in the area that were built 70 to 80 years ago. Two similar houses are planned for adjacent lots.

I think there is a stigma about modular housing to a certain extent,said Bing.

Nobody really understands what a modular house is. Everybody thinks it’s some house trailer [sic]. It couldn’t be more different. We tweak the houses to make them more south Louisiana.

Bing and Kunstler say their business plan calls for infill development projects in neighborhoods where additional housing is needed, and they’re looking to acquire vacant lots or adjudicated properties from the city-parish and redevelop the sites with their modular homes.

As Daily Business News readers are already aware, manufactured housing has also been used more frequently in urban infill situations as a solution to affordable housing shortages. For an in-depth look into what’s happening around the country, click here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Update: Manufacturers Must Turn Over Documents in FEMA Case

March 23rd, 2017 Comments off
UpdateManufacturersMustTurnOverDocumentsinFEMACasecreditTheAdvocate-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

FEMA Units in Leo’s Manufactured Home Community, where Everett Wilson died. Credit: The Advocate.

In a follow up to a story the Daily Business News originally covered last month, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (HOGR), led by chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), has ordered two home manufacturers to turn over documents related to the Louisiana floods, as it investigates the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) response to the disaster.

According to The Advocate, Chaffetz said that the two companies — Lexington Homes Inc. and Scotbilt Homes, Inc. — provided many of the FEMA units after the floods, and had especially high rates of maintenance complaints.

A key component in the investigation is the death of 84-year-old Baton Rouge resident Everett Wilson, who died in his temporary FEMA home on October 25th from overheating.

When authorities inspected the (unit), they discovered temperatures over 137.5 degrees Fahrenheit with the air conditioning and heating control unit reading 50 degrees Fahrenheit,” wrote Chaffetz in his February letter.

CongressDemandsAnswersfromFEMAcreditOfficialPhoto-JasonChaffetzpostedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Rep. Jason Chaffetz. Official Photo.

In addition to the death of Wilson, the letter also points out other issues, including FEMA sending a housing unit to a dead person’s address, delivery of a housing unit to the wrong address, and temporary housing units that were unused and cost as much as $340,000.

The cap for assistance under federal law is $33,000.

FEMA failed to fix many of the problems discussed at a September, 2016, HOGR hearing, such as the agency’s poor communication and failure to properly distribute assistance funds to survivors,” wrote Chaffetz.

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Garret Graves. Credit: Google.

Congressman Garret Graves has also been an outspoken critic of the FEMA responses to the floods, citing slow and sloppy deployment of FEMA units.

It’s amazing the number of calls we still get every day — seven months after the flood — from people still in need of a trailer [sic] or looking for answers about why it’s taking so long for theirs to get delivered or wired,” said Graves.

Many of these people have homes that have literally been condemned, but FEMA won’t or ‘can’t’ authorize a trailer [sic] it’s ridiculous. The soup to nuts cost of the (manufactured housing unit) operation is exorbitant, and taxpayers aren’t getting their money’s worth.

Dale Gilliland, General Manager of ScotBilt, defended the company in its actions.

Ours were not connected to Wilson’s death, and we had not heard about any complaints until we received Rep. Chaffetz’s letter Tuesday,” said Gilliland.

We contacted FEMA and we were told the agency hasn’t yet fully investigated the complaints or possible defects with mobile homes [sic].”

In an interesting twist, Gilliland said that FEMA told him “the thought that ScotBilt’s quality is sub-par compared to other vendors is (an) unfair and possibly inaccurate assumption at this point.

FEMA would neither confirm nor deny this quote.

CongressDemandsAnswersfromFEMAcreditTimesPicayune3-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

A family looks at the remains of their home after the Louisiana floods. Credit: NOLA.

FEMA is complying with the oversight committee’s document requests,” said FEMA Deputy Director Eileen Lainez.

When asked if FEMA has made any changes to its programs in light of the floods, Lainez provided this response:

FEMA is always evaluating the effectiveness of our programs and taking steps to continuously improve coordination, to ensure that survivors affected by disasters are returned to homes that are safe, secure, and functional, as soon as possible,” said Lainez.

For Graves, disappointment in FEMA is still front and center.

These inefficiencies are more than frustrating — they’re wrong. They add insult to injury and re-victimize honest people whose lives have already been flipped upside down,” said Graves.

For more on FEMA, including former director Craig Fugate’s comments on what the next FEMA leader will need, click here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Congress Demands Answers from FEMA

February 27th, 2017 Comments off
CongressDemandsAnswersfromFEMAcreditTimesPicayune1-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

A home being demolished after the Louisiana floods. Credit: NOLA.

The Louisiana floods of 2016 devastated Baton Rouge, and left many without homes.

It also left more questions than answers in the response from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

And now, one member of Congress is demanding answers, including why 84-year-old Baton Rouge resident Everett Wilson died in his temporary FEMA home on October 25th from overheating.

According to the Daily Caller, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (HOGR) chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) demanded those answers after discovering a slew of problems with FEMA’s use of post-disaster temporary housing.

In a formal letter to FEMA Acting Administrator Robert Fenton, Chaffetz asked Fenton to provide records explaining how the agency botched its deployment of manufactured housing units (MHUs) in the wake of August 2016 floods.

CongressDemandsAnswersfromFEMAcreditOfficialPhoto-JasonChaffetzpostedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Rep. Jason Chaffetz. Official Photo.

The committee continues to learn of high levels of dissatisfaction from survivors and local officials regarding FEMA’s recovery efforts,” wrote Chaffetz.

In the death of Wilson, Chaffetz clearly defines what he sees as a significant issue with the FEMA units.

When authorities inspected the (unit), they discovered temperatures over 137.5 degrees Fahrenheit with the air conditioning and heating control unit reading 50 degrees Fahrenheit,wrote Chaffetz.

In addition to the death of Wilson, the letter also points out other issues, including FEMA sending a housing unit to a dead person’s address, delivery of a housing unit to the wrong address, and temporary housing units that were unused and cost as much as $340,000.

The cap for assistance under federal law is $33,000.

FEMA failed to fix many of the problems discussed at a September, 2016, HOGR hearing, such as the agency’s poor communication and failure to properly distribute assistance funds to survivors,wrote Chaffetz.

On Friday, FEMA responded.

CongressDemandsAnswersfromFEMAcreditTimesPicayune3-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

A family looks at the remains of their home after the Louisiana floods. Credit: NOLA.

FEMA received the Chairman’s letter, and the Agency will respond, as requested, directly to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform,” said FEMA deputy affairs director Eileen Lainez.

While we did not know if the thermostat led to overheating in the unit, and while a review of our maintenance records of occupied units did not identify any systemic issues, FEMA took the precautionary step of replacing the thermostats in other occupied units manufactured before 2016.

The Daily Business News will continue to monitor this story and responses from FEMA.

Rep. Chaffetz letter is linked here.

For more on the Louisiana floods, and questions related to FEMA’s response, click here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

rcwilliams-writer75x75manufacturedhousingindustrymhpronews

RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

FEMA setting up manufactured homes in Louisiana near airport, says WBRZ2

September 8th, 2016 Comments off

femamanufacturedhomecommunitybeingsetup-posteddailybusinessnews-mhpronewsIn an update to our reports on the massive flooding in Louisiana and FEMAs response with manufactured housing units (MHUs), WBRZ2 out of Baton Rouge reports on new communities being set up, one in this photo, off Blount Road near the airport.

Their report indicates that “dozens” of locations in the area are sprouting manufactured home communities, which they refer to as “mobile home parks” (sic).

A worker at the community being established was quoted, saying: “After the first two or three trailers (sic) started coming… it became a little more quicker.”

The property has been vacant for years.

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The location was also used post-Katrina for FEMA travel trailers.

FEMA reports there are some 63,000 applications for housing solutions. There are also other options that federal and state officials are providing, including ones that allow residents to shelter in place and repair their damaged houses as they live in them.  ##

(Editor’s note – the report is laced with incorrect terminology, which articles and videos like the one linked here can be used to inform the uninformed. Please review and share links like these on MHLivingNews.com often. Note 2, “Sic” defined by Google as – (sic) used in brackets after a copied or quoted word that appears odd or erroneous to show that the word is quoted exactly as it stands in the original,)

(Image and video credits, ABC – WBRZ 2)

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L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is the publisher of MHProNews.com and MHLivingNews.com.

Submitted by L. A. “Tony” Kovach to the Daily Business News, MHProNews.

FEMA’s Manufactured Home Units Likely Heading to Louisiana

August 17th, 2016 Comments off

FEMA_temporary_housing_unit_txlihis_dot_files postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThe Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will begin determining how it may address the thousands of people who have been flooded out of their homes, according to theadvocate. With 20 parishes having been included in the federal disaster declaration, 40,000 homes have been damaged in the rising tide of floodwaters that have overwhelmed Baton Rouge and parts of southern Louisiana.

Some will live with family or friends, some in rentals, and those with minor home damage will have their homes repaired and move back in.

The other option may be manufactured housing units (MHUs), much unlike the formaldehyde-laced trailers FEMA used so disastrously following Hurricane Katrina, as MHProNews knows.

This is not the FEMA travel trailers,” FEMA head Craig Fugate said on Tuesday. “If we need to bring in any kind of temporary housing units, they are better than they’ve ever been. These are HUD-approved, they all meet HUD standards and in many cases exceed them,” he said.

Some 8,000 people stayed in shelters Monday night, and 40,000 have applied for federal disaster assistance. Gov. John Bel Edwards said it’s too early to know exactly what temporary housing may look like as the flood waters continue to hamper relief efforts and make it difficult to determine the exact need for housing.

FEMA will be sending teams into shelters and communities to document the needs of the flood victims so that plans can be implemented. ##

(Photo credit: txlihis.files–FEMA manufactured housing unit)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Modular Juvenile Center Still Seeking Buyer

May 22nd, 2014 Comments off

Following a story MHProNews.com last reported April 17, 2014 regarding the disposition of a modular juvenile detention center on the banks of the Mississippi River in Vacherie, Louisiana, the St. James Parish Council voted to reduce the price from $2.5 million to $1.87 million. State law requires the building must first be listed at the appraised value, and can then be reduced. The multi-parish facility was closed June 30, 2013 because of required costly upgrades due to new state regulations. As theadvocate.com informs MHProNews.com, the facility may be converted to modular housing for industrial workers, a prisoner work-release center, a nursing home or a minimum security prison. ##

(Photo credit: Spectrum Building Systems–modular jail)

Former Detention Center may Become Modular Housing

April 17th, 2014 Comments off

Due to new state regulations that would have driven up the cost to operate the St. James Parish Youth Detention Center in Vacherie, Louisiana, the facility has been unused since June 30 of last year, and the Parish Council has put it up for sale for $2.5 million, according to theadvocate.com. Recent inquiries have centered on building modular housing on the site to accommodate the 35,000 expected increase in workers, due to the $60 billion investment in manufacturing facilities and plant expansion projects through 2016 in the Baton Rouge area, as MHProNews.com reported Dec. 25, 2013. Vacherie is located just south of Baton Rouge on the Mississippi River. ##

(Photo credit: Excel Homes–two-story modular housing being sited)

NAHB: Housing Numbers Showing Modest Rise

April 8th, 2014 Comments off

Statistics from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) indicate modest improvement this month over March, and anticipates a traditional, solid, spring home-buying season. Based on employment, permits and price data, the NAHB/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI) reports 28 percent of metro areas experienced a rise in their score this month, and 83 percent saw a rise within the last year. Baton Rouge, LA tops the list of large metro LMI areas, MHProNews.com has learned, followed by Honolulu, Oklahoma City, Austin and Houston, Texas, San Jose, CA. and Harrisburg, PA. Smaller metro areas with strong LMIs are centered around energy exploration sites such as Odessa and Midland, Texas, and western North Dakota. ##

(Image credit: etftrends.com)

Housing Market Gradually Picks up Steam

January 8th, 2014 Comments off

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI), which recently replace NAHB’s improving market index (IMI), indicates markets in 56 of the 350 major metro markets returned to or exceeded their last normal levels of economic activity, indicating a net gain of two over the previous month. Based on current permits, prices and employment data, LMI data for December indicates the nationwide market is operating at 86 percent of normal economic and housing activity. Says NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe, “Forty-five percent of metro areas are recovering at a faster pace than the nation as a whole, with smaller markets leading the way. Of the 56 markets that are at or above normal levels, 48 of them have populations that are less than 500,000, and many of these local metros are fueled by a strong energy sector, which is producing solid job and economic growth.”

MHProNews has learned Baton Rouge, Louisiana is the top large metro area with an LMI of 1.42—42 percent above its last normal market level, followed by Honolulu, Oklahoma City, Austin and Houston, Texas, and Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Kurt Pfotenhauer, vice chairman of First American Title Insurance Co., which co-sponsors the LMI report, adds, “More than 35 percent of all the markets on this month’s LMI are operating at a capacity of 90 percent or better of previous norms, which is a good sign that the housing recovery will continue to pick up steam in 2014.”

(Photo credit: Ryan Garza/flintjournal.com)

Modular Workforce Housing needed in Louisiana

December 25th, 2013 Comments off

The businessreport.com says new manufacturing facilities and plant expansion projects totaling upwards of $60 billion are planned through 2016 in the Baton Rouge area, requiring an uptick in housing demands. Al Bargas of Associated Builders and Contractors Pelican Chapter says, “The workforce is expected to increase by some 35,000 people, and a lot of those folks will be traveling from different parts of the country and the world. The need will be met first by utilizing existing housing and some sort of ‘man camps’ set up by companies. But as it grows, housing is going to be on the short end.”

Some 54,000 workers will be needed in the Lake Charles area where the South African company, Sasol Ltd., will build an ethane cracker and gas-to-liquids facility near Westlake. Ground was broken last month on $70 million Pelican Lodge, a temporary modular housing development owned by the Port of Lake Charles that could be home to 4,000 workers. Plans include recreational facilities and double-decker buses to transport the workers. The Port will receive a dollar-a-day for worker which will generate $1.46 million a year in revenue. Officials expect private developers will take care of single-family homes and apartments as needed, MHProNews has learned, but additional workforce accommodations to house 20,000 total may be necessary when demand peaks.

(Photo credit: Homark Homes–modular bunkhouses)