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Posts Tagged ‘Boston’

Residents Win the Day: “We Are the Landlord”

May 1st, 2017 Comments off
ResidentsWintheDayWeAretheLandlordcreditWickedKingston-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: Wicked Kingston.

South of Boston in Kingston, Massachusetts, residents of the Town & Country Estates had a busy day last week.

They bought their community.

According to Wicked Kingston, the residents, with help from (ROC USA) and its affiliate Cooperative Development Institute (CDI), residents of the community were able to realize a dream 10 years in the making, as members of the board for the Town & Country Mobile Home Estates Tenants Association finally signed the papers.

We don’t have to look for a landlord, we are the landlord, so that being a co-op and a nonprofit we’re not out to make any money so the only rent that we’re going to be charging ourselves is that which is enough to sustain the place,” said association President Joe Mauriello.

Mauriello says it was resident Joe Bruno that made the purchase possible, as he initially heard about ROC USA and CDI, the part of ROC USA that helped the association get organized, and contacted CDI’s Andy Danforth. ROC USA has been working with them for the last three years, he said, including the last year of actively working on the purchase.

Without ROC or CDI, we would not be owning this park [sic] today,” said Mauriello.

As Daily Business News readers are aware, ROC USA recently helped residents of the Kayadeross Acres Manufactured Home Cooperative in Ballston Spa, New York, to purchase their community, with papers being signed last Christmas. That story is linked here.

An offer to purchase the community from the previous owner provided Town & Country Estates residents the opening they needed to buy the property for $6.2 million. While there will be an increase in rents, residents say that the stability factor is huge.

ResidentsWintheDayWeAretheLandlordcreditWickedKingston2-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: Wicked Kingston.

At a celebration, two cakes were decorated with the words “We own it!” and a sign that reads “Hooray! Tis the day, to ourselves we now will pay. Congrats family!”

For more on ROC USA, including a recent study on rent rates, click here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Homeowner Survey: Location Matters

February 17th, 2017 Comments off
ModularHelpsFirstNationsSolveHousingChallengescreditBritco-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

A Britco modular mixed use development. Credit: Britco.

For most homeowners, the belief is that it’s all about location, location, location.

Now, a community preference survey from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that, along with access, is indeed the case.

According to the Lansing State Journal, the survey shows that most homebuyers say their ideal community is one with a mix of houses, stores and other businesses that are easily walkable, rather than neighborhoods that require more driving between home, work and recreation.

More and more consumers are being drawn to mixed-use neighborhoods that come with shorter commutes and more walkable areas,” said Meghan Webber, CEO of the Greater Lansing Association of Realtors.

The NAR survey also showed that a majority of Americans prefer houses with small yards and easy walks to schools, stores and restaurants, over houses with large yards that require owners to drive to schools, stores and restaurants.

While those surveyed say that they prefer walkable communities, that preference does have its limits.

A majority of consumers responded that they prefer communities where it is easier to walk and their commute is shorter, but when comparing a detached single-family house to an apartment or townhouse, the detached home wins out, even with a longer commute and more driving.

Today’s buyers want a community where they can walk to shopping, restaurants and schools,” said Webber.

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Meghan Webber. Credit: LinkedIn

Yet buyers aren’t willing to compromise on a single-family house; they want the house and the walkable community.

Overall, the survey suggests a growing momentum away from the sprawling suburban environments of the past and toward mixed-use and pedestrian-friendly communities.

Consumers’ attitudes are changing and it’s becoming evident that suburban neighborhoods – where amenities are spread out – aren’t as desirable as they once were,” said Webber.

Keeping a community attractive, livable and functioning well is a complex task.

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The Uhu modular unit, being rolled out in Boston. Credit: LiveUhu.

MH & Modular – Practical Solutions?

As Daily Business News readers already know, both modern manufactured and modular housing provide quality, easy to implement and cost effective alternatives, especially in mixed use areas where site built structures can be time consuming and expensive.

For more on how modular is being used as a solution to housing in the city of Boston, 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.

Do You Uhü? New Modular Design Tackles Housing Challenges

February 7th, 2017 Comments off
DoYouUhüNewModularDesignTacklesHousingChallengescreditUhu-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: LiveUhu.

In Boston, Massachusetts, as with many other cities around the world, housing demand is off the charts.

According to Progrss, the case in Boston has compelled the city, along with the Mayor’s Housing Innovation Lab, Livelight and BSA Space to commission the design of a modular micro house called the Uhü (Urban Housing Unit).

 

 

Pronounced “yoohoo”, the unit is a micro house prototype created to alleviate the issue of housing for singles and couples in urban areas.

Coming in at 385 square feet, the Uhü is divided into several areas, including a bedroom, hallway with storage, bathroom, living room/dining area, kitchen and balcony.

The stackable modular design can be shipped to virtually any location.

Maintaining a strong middle class is critical to ensuring that Boston continues to be a thriving, diverse city where people want to live and employers want to locate,” said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.

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Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. Credit: Google.

No city in the United States has solved the middle income housing challenge yet; I want Boston to be the first.

In a city where singles and couples make up two-thirds of the population, Boston studio and one bedroom housing inventory currently only supports about 17 percent of this demographic, creating a huge need.

The Uhü is designed to support future modifications, including wheelchair access and accommodation for larger families. The units are also part of the city’s plan for proximity to transit lines, making it easier for residents to travel and forgo the use of automobiles.

After showcasing the unit in several locations around the city and getting feedback on it as a potential solution, Mayor Walsh appears confident.

He has called for 53,000 new housing units to meet demand. ##

(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.

State Under Pressure to Count Manufactured Homes as Affordable Housing

October 12th, 2016 Comments off
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A Wareham, MA – vintage manufactured home community. Credit: Matthew Bernatt, Village Week.

A Massachusetts state law that has long allowed developers to bypass local regulations in communities where less that ten percent of the housing stock is considered to be affordable is back in the spotlight.

The issue has long troubled officials in the town of Wareham, because the state refuses to include manufactured homes in its definition of affordable housing.

According to the Wareham Week, for the second time in as many years, voters at an October 24th town meeting will be asked to petition state legislators to carve out an exception in Chapter 40B, a state housing law that was designed to boost the number of affordable units across the state by easing the permit process in cities and towns for housing projects.

The law states that if the number of affordable homes in a town is below the state’s threshold, which is 10 percent of total housing units, then developers may bypass some local zoning laws and build projects more densely than zoning bylaws normally allow.

Since 40B was enacted in 1969, the town of Wareham has never met that quota. The result has been the construction of 19 developments in town built under 40B that offer affordable housing options.

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Wareham, MA shaded in red.

Expressing frustration with the issue, town selectmen drafted a petition that was passed at a 2015 town meeting and sent to the state legislature.

It was never voted on.

State lawmakers instead sent it to a committee for study, according to the Wareham Week. That action essentially killed the bill.

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Selectman Alan Slavin. Credit: Facebook.

In theory, the petition should just go through the House and Senate without issue,” said Selectman Alan Slavin. “It got buried.” Slavin told the Wareham Week that the bill to be voted on this month is the same one that was approved at the 2015 town meeting.

The number of affordable homes in Wareham is currently 7.7 percent, according to a report by the Department of Housing and Community Development released in 2014.

With the exception, that number would climb to an estimated 11 percent, allowing Wareham to hold affordable housing developments to the same standards as any other project.

Wareham has struggled for years with the threat of 40B developers basically preying on the town because we have a lot of build-able land and we have good infrastructure,” said State Representative Susan Williams Gifford. Those are the things developers need and it’s made the town a prime target.

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Modern manufactured home interior, credit Texas A&M, and MHLivingNews.

Gifford also said that designating “mobile homes” (sic) as affordable housing would provide town officials a greater say in Wareham’s future.

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State Rep. Susan Williams Gifford. Credit: malegislature.gov.

The town has been playing a long-standing game of catch up to reach the 10 percent threshold.

As more homes are the built the town’s percentage of affordable housing essentially remains the same, even as affordable homes are added. Of the town’s 9,880 year-round housing units, 759 units are designated affordable.

When you add more housing units in town you’re never going to reach that percent of affordable housing stock,” said Gifford.

Every year since 2002, Gifford has filed the same bill with the legislature that would count mobile and manufactured homes as affordable under 40B.

And every year, it’s been ignored.

Gifford says that support from groups such as the Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) is part of the reason the exception has been shot down.

I think there’s a misconception among people as to why there doesn’t seem to be an appetite to reform 40B,” said Gifford. “Lobbyists for large urban housing champions, specifically I’m referring to CHAPA…who don’t want to see any changes to 40B because they see it as weakening the law.

The change proposed for 40B wouldn’t alter how cities count affordable housing units, Gifford says that “mobile homes” (sic)  aren’t generally found in urban areas, but are prevalent in suburban ones such as Wareham.

To include mobile and manufactured homes in 40B has nothing to do with Boston, it has nothing to do with Lowell, it has nothing to do with Springfield,” said Gifford. “I believe these large housing conglomerates are the ones pushing the resistance to changes in the Chapter 40B law. ##

(Editor’s Note: To see Mary McBrady’s thoughts on MH and affordable housing related issues in Massachusetts, 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, MHProNews.

 

 

 

 

Sunday Morning Recap–April 5, 2015 to April 11, 2015

April 12th, 2015 Comments off

Sunday_morning_recapIn this week’s news, although we did not cover it, we are reminded of the power of nature as a tornado devastated a small town in Illinois. Otherwise, H. R. 650 may hit the House Floor this week. Can Tiny Homes site in MHCs? Modular housing being weighed in Boston, Australia, and South Carolina. Manufactured homes mean big savings in the Bay Area and Kentucky. MHC review board rules in community owner’s favor in CA. Manufactured Home production rises in Feb.

Monday April 6

Modular Facility to Replace Burned-out Classrooms

Boston Considering Massive Modular Housing

Tiny House in Manufactured Home Community Sparks Legal Debate

MHCV Nudges up; Dow, NASDAQ and S&P Gain Less

Manufactured Homes a Bargain in Bay Area

Tue., April 7

Modular Building Producer Expanding into Northwest

Couple Questions Tax Increase on pre-HUD Code Home

Kentucky Collaboration will Provide ENERGY STAR Manufactured Homes

MHCV Nudges Down; Dow, NASDAQ and S&P also Fall

Single and MultiSection Manufactured Home Production up in February

Wed., April 8

Manufactured Housing Component Supplier expects Uptick

Home Prices have Risen Monthly for over Three Years

M.Scott Welch Joins Patrick Industries Board

Two Financial Titans Have Fingers in the Pie of Manufactured Housing

City Council Tables Voting on Manufactured Home Siting

MHCV Notches Gain; Fed may Extend Brakes on Interest Rates

Potential for Modular Methods Down Under is Growing

Thurs., April 9

Manufactured Home Loans Tough to Find in North Dakota

Modular Building: Front End Savings, but Long Term Sustainability?

Mobile Alabama Sites Two Affordable Modular Homes

MHCV Slips as Investors Push the Dow, NASDAQ and S&P Slightly Up

Resident wants to Challenge Manufactured Home Site Rents

Fri., April 10

Tell your Congressional Representative to Vote Yes on H. R. 650

Executive Change at Manufactured Housing Component Supplier

Opening Day is Manufactured Housing Day

MH Retailer Fairfield Homes and Land High Standards attract local media attention

MHCV Slips as Investors Drive the Dow, NASDAQ and S&P into Positive Territory

Review Board agrees with Manufactured Home Community Owner

Brooklyn’s B2 Modular Tower to Resume Minus Modular

Sat., April 11

South Carolina Town Seeking Affordable Modular Housing ##

(Image credit: MHProNews)

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

Manufactured Home Wire Supplier Presenting at Investor Conference

August 21st, 2014 Comments off

encore_wire_corporationThe IDEAS Investor Conference to be held Tue., Aug. 26 in Chicago will feature Encore Wire Corporation’s (NASDAQ:WIRE) Chief Financial Officer Frank J. Bilban presenting his company’s investment merits to an  audience of investment professionals who combined have over $200 billion of assets under management. IDEAS Conferences, which are also held annually in Boston and Houston, are sponsored by money management firms to learn how quality public companies perform, according to marketwatch.com. The presentation will also be available via webcast. Encore is a major supplier of interior wire products for the manufactured home industry. MHProNews has learned independently Encore’s sales in 2013 topped $1.15 billion; assets as of 12-31-2013 were over $525 million. ##

(Image credit: Encore Wire Corp.)

Boston Globe Extols Manufactured and Modular Homes for City

June 2nd, 2014 Comments off

Following an article MHProNews posted May 28, 2014 regarding Boston Mayor Martin Walsh’s comment that more housing for those with moderate incomes needs to be available to maintain a healthy city, an editorial in bostonglobe.com begins by saying that many manufactured and modular homes are virtually “indistinguishable in looks and quality from homes built on site.” With some officials citing the lack of middle-income housing as the biggest threat to the state’s economic well-being, Mayor Walsh needs to seek out market-driven solutions to the problem, and should consider the 10 to 20 percent cost savings of factory-built housing, and a re-zoning initiative to allow for their placement in the city.

While the building trades—which Walsh once headed– may be up in arms over off-site construction, the editorial suggests building manufactured homes in Massachusetts utilizing union labor for the 30,000 mid-priced housing units that will be needed over the coming decade. Noting steel can raise building time and expenses by ten percent or more, the Globe states other cities with high housing costs have successfully alleviated housing shortages by constructing modular homes above retail businesses, and by using wood for mid-range apartments and condominiums up to five stories tall. “It would help preserve middle-class life and keep Boston one of the nation’s most vibrant cities.” For the entire article, please click here.##

(Photo credit: Art Illman/wickedlocal.com–modular housing units being sited in Natick, Mass., just west of Boston)

Affordable Modular Housing may Rise in Downtown Boston

May 28th, 2014 Comments off

While Boston is undergoing a surge of residential construction, the majority are luxury rentals that go for $3,500 or more per month, according to bostonglobe.com. While only 22 percent of the 6,600 rental and ownership units across the city under construction are affordable to households earning between $50,000 and $100,000, most of those are also rentals, making homeownership for middle-income Bostonians difficult to attain. Mayor Martin J. Walsh says, “Property values are skyrocketing and we need to create more opportunities for home ownership. Construction of high-end units have been outpacing those for moderate income, and we have to try to do a better job of balancing that.” In downtown Boston, would-be homeowners earning the city average of $80,000 annually could only afford 1.7 percent of the homes sold.

To that end, MHProNews.com has learned, Sheila Dillon, the mayor’s housing chief, has formed a group of developers, affordable housing advocates and urban planners to consider housing alternatives for those with middle incomes, and one of the options is modular homes and apartments because of the lower construction costs and faster building. Luxury projects are highly profitable for the developers, and state and federal funds are available for low-income housing, but banks have not had much success with middle-income building, and government resources are scarce for such enterprise. ##

(Photo credit: citycountryliving.com–modular home in the city)

Cash Sales for Homes Increase 19 Percent

May 8th, 2014 Comments off

RealtyTrac reports for the first three months of 2014, 43 percent of all home sales were cash deals, up 19 percent from a year ago, and the highest level since the analysis company began tracking cash sales in early 2011. Cash buyers are more attractive to sellers due to quicker turn around time than going the finance route. “Inventory shortages, as well as lending regulations favor the all-cash buyer,” said Chris Pollinger of First Team Real Estate in Southern California. In spite of a downturn in purchases by institutional investors, cnnmoney.com reports, there are individual investors and second-home buyers taking up the slack. Miami, New York, Boston and coastal California are attracting a phalanx of foreign buyers who are paying cash. As MHProNews knows, buyers paid on average $207,668 for homes in Q1 2014, 13 percent below the properties’ average estimated value. ##

(Image credit: housingwire.com)

Modular Housing could Facilitate Olympic Bid

January 8th, 2014 Comments off

In discussing the feasibility of a possible bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics, a Boston committee focusing on infrastructure and transportation has suggested modular construction for housing the 16,000 athletes as well as for the 80,000 seat Olympic Stadium, an aquatics center and a velodrome for indoor cycling. As masslive.com informs MHProNews, the Olympic stadium could be reduced to 40,000 seats, and the modular housing could become graduate student or workforce housing. Additional challenges include 1 million square feet of space for broadcast and press centers, providing transportation for 500,000 extra people a day for several weeks as well as for the athletes to travel between the Olympic Village and the venues and practice fields.

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