Posts Tagged ‘emergency housing’

Hawaii’s First “Trailer Park” on Oahu – Civil Beat’s Report Draws Heat

April 17th, 2018 Comments off


Hawaii’s Governor David Ige issued a proclamation in 2017 to deal with that state’s growing problem with homelessness.


Affordable housing is big issue in Hawaii, as it is in many parts of the mainland United States.

Oahu Civil Beat’s Natanya Friedheim wrote a report in March about the latest effort under Gov. Ige’s proclamation to ease their homeless crisis.

That story by Friedheim drew sharp criticism from a civil rights advocate in her state.MarshaRoseJoynerDrMartinLutherKingJrCoalitionHonoluluAdvertiserDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The reason?

Nope, they are not trailer parks,” is the subheading from Marsha Rose Joyner, of Honolulu. “I find that the headline “Oahu’s First Trailer Park Just The Latest In New Wave Of Public Housing” is salacious and terribly misleading,” said Joyner, who is identified by Civil Rights Movement Vet as the “past president of the Hawaii Martin Luther King Jr. Coalition.”

Joyner makes points editors and journalists in Hawaii – and beyond – should take to heart.

Addressing Friedheim’s choice of terminology, Joyner said, “The article continues “It is in essence Oahu’s first trailer park.” That simply is not true,” in a letter to Civil Beat’s editor.

The residents of the Waianae Coast have enough problems without Civil Beat demeaning their new homes, alluding to the stigma of trailer trash and stripping them of their dignity before they move in,” Joyner chides Friedheim.

Joyner isn’t shy about her views.  Writing about America’s involvement in the Middle Eastern wars, she wrote in 2003, “A time comes when silence is betrayal.”  Nor was she silent in a more recent claim of discrimination involving a ten-year veteran police officer.

So, it is interesting to note Joyner’s unwillingness to be “silent” in the case of Friedheim’s incorrect and prejudicial terminology.

Often people use the terms trailer and mobile home interchangeably. There is a huge difference,” Joyner correctly stated.


By an act of Congress in 1974, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development was designated as the government agency to oversee the Federal Manufactured Housing, “The Office of Regulatory Affairs and Manufactured Housing,” Joyner wrote.

The small living units provide homeless families more stability than they might find in shelters or on the streets, but it is unclear how long people will live in them,” Friedheim said of the new housing option.


The photo and text above are part of Friedheim’s article, that Joyner critiqued. These are not mobile homes, or manufactured homes.  They are Japanese prefabs. Per her report in Civil Beat, the units apparently don’t meet many standards that Americans would find common in all housing, including manufactured homes.

Some of the prefab housing that Friedham described would be $120,000 for 1,000 square feet. That’s more than double what a typical single section home installed on the mainland would be.  In late 2017, the national average for a new single section home was about $50,000, and would be about that 1000 sq. feet, or perhaps larger, per U.S. Census Bureau data.  The national average for a typical multi-sectional would be under $100,000, in late 2017.


The photo and text above are also part of Friedheim’s article, which fails to make clear that these steel bin units are emergency shelters designed to sleep as many as 10 people.  But these Sukup units aren’t permanent housing in the sense that a manufactured home would be, which by federal law, must include cooking, and bathing facilities.


The Controversy Highlight the Issues

Hawaii has a population of about 1.42 million people. Gov. Ige’s efforts to fight homelessness claims there’s some 7,200 homeless in the state.

That’s down by several hundred, per the governor’s office, due to their efforts to ease restrictions on alternative housing, like the examples shown from Civil Beat, above.

On Feb 7, 2018, “the average rent for a studio apartment in Hawaii is a whopping $1,821. For one-bedroom apartments, it’s $1,903. The price jumps to $2,453 for two-bedroom apartments and $2,977 for three-bedroom apartments,” stated Smart Asset.

As of 2017 the median price for a single family home in Hawaii was $730K. Condos were $390K. Average rent in Hawaii (Oahu) for a studio will vary based on location but expect to pay around $1,670 with Waikiki studios going from $1,400 to about $1,700,” says Aim for Awesome’s housing report about the island.

Even allowing for shipping costs, manufactured homes would be a fraction of such figures.

FabMac – a manufactured home operation in Hawaii – said in post-dated 2015, that since 2006, some 20 manufactured homes had been sold and installed there. But a source in manufactured housing told MHProNews that tough restrictions were part of what kept them from doing more business on the islands.

The video posted below uses several incorrect terms, and the cost data can’t be relied upon, as much of it was not accurate, even at the time it was filmed. That said, the video reflects insights from Hawaiians who were interested in seeing more manufactured housing on the islands. Short interviews by “KentJ1” are laced together.  They paint a picture of why manufactured homes – which the video incorrectly calls “mobile homes” –  aren’t already being more utilized there.

It’s hard enough to find the truth and state it clearly, isn’t it? Even the truth is getting harder to identify,” Joynor wrote in 2003. As was noted above, her topic was different than housing. But the principles behind her words about the difficulty in finding the truth echo the thoughts of manufactured housing activist, the Rev. Donald Tye, Jr.

Tye has promoted the use of manufactured housing’s enhanced preemption, in order to provide blacks and others an opportunity to build equity that affordable home ownership provides.


Tye explained that public housing – an entitlement – often yields addiction. Ownership vs. renting or living in “projects” leads to integrity, a view he likens to those of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Hawaii, along with other states that struggle with affordability issues, would benefit significantly by an application of the enhanced preemption provided under the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA 2000 – see related reports, linked below).

But ignorance about the MHIA 2000, plus the challenges of NIMBY, zoning, and placement restrictions are only part of the problem.

A historic lack of follow through by HUD in enforcing preemption has arguably harmed the citizens of Hawaii, and other states.


That has a ripple effect in an economy. A source with deep ties to HUD told MHProNews in 2017 that an attorney there tasked with enforcing preemption made it a habit of avoiding invoking that federal power.


Every home in the photo collage above is a HUD Code manufactured home.

Will the Trump Administration and HUD Secretary Ben Carson change that pattern?

Carson’s recent comments praising the “amazing” progress in manufactured housing, and branding many of the regulations at HUD as “ridiculous” may provide a clue that change is coming.  They’ve frozen regulations at HUD.  A top-down review was ordered.  Will that review bring enforcement of federal preemption?  Or an end to “interpretative bulletins” (IB) that don’t meet the standards set by the MHIA 2000? Time will tell.

As Joyner said, there are times when one must not be silent.  ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

(Third party images are provided under fair use guidelines.)

Related Reports:

Two Great Laws Already on the Books NOW,  Can Unlock Billion$ Annually for Manufactured Housing Industry Businesse$, Investor$

“Move, Open, Live” De Rose Industries & Senator Thom Tillis’ Mobile Home Comments

Is More Manufactured Housing Coming to Hawaii?


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Housing Made of non-Biodegradable Plastic

April 11th, 2016 1 comment

pakistan___operationpakistan.wordpress__credit___bldg_made_of_non_biodegradable_plasticAn NGO (non-governmental organization) set up by Nargis Latif in Pakistan recycles non-biodegradable plastic for making temporary shelters or housing units. Gul Bahao ( “Pour or spread the roses.” ) represents a low cost alternative to tents and other prefabricated housing units, according to what operationpakistan.wordpress tells MHProNews.

The plastic waste is collected in Karachi where it is made into blocks. The silver coating reflects sunlight, keeping the interior cool. Uses include warehouses, exhibition space, marriage halls, farm houses, mobile camps, labor housing, and emergency housing in cases of earthquakes and floods.

Lfatif said she has not received any assistance from the government in the 22 years she has been making these units, only assistance from those who see the benefit of this low level technology.

While these shelters have withstood the test of harsh conditions, more money is needed for further research and development. ##

(Photo credit:operationpakistan.wordpress–building made of non-biodegradable plastic)

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

Housing Shortage leads to Modular Homes Rising in England

November 26th, 2015 Comments off

united_kingdom__telegraph_co_uk__credit_snoozebox_modular_bedroomsQuirky hotel chain Snoozebox, which provides pop-up hotel rooms for music festivals and sporting events within 24 hours, has inked a contract with Ealing Council in the United Kingdom to provide 44 modular homes for emergency housing, according to

united_kingdom__bert_&_may_modular_telegraph_co_uk_creditWith the need for 250,000 new homes annually to ease the housing crunch, and private builders only supplying half of that, Sneezebox will join interior design firm Bert & May Spaces in constructing modular homes to chip away at the chronic housing need. Home prices are rising between 4.6 percent and 13 percent because of the low supply.

Bert & May has designed three portable box homes: the smallest will be a one room-unit selling for £25,000 ($37,800); a one-bedroom unit will be available from £75,000 ($113,400); while the largest and most expensive will be the two-bedroom option at £150,000 ($226,800). The boxes are made of reclaimed wood and other materials with double glazed windows and an eco-friendly green roof to hold down energy costs.

The nature of London property prices in particular makes moving house impossible. We want to prove prefabs can be cool – if you have spare land, why not have an extra bedroom. And you can take it with you if you do move, “ said Lee Thornley, co-founder of Bert & May.

He adds that modular units are less expensive than room additions, and MHProNews has learned planning permission is not necessary for portable homes. ##

(Photo credit:— modular, portable bedrooms by Sneezebox; bottom,— modular home by Bert & May)

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

New Jersey Modular Home Factory Aims High

October 14th, 2013 3 comments

Following up on a story MHProNews posted Oct. 11 concerning a Camden, New Jersey warehouse that is being transformed into a modular housing factory, 2,000 showed up at the ribbon-cutting ceremony looking for work. ACTS Industries, LLC intends to hire 1,000 people at $15 an hour. ACTS CEO Irv Richter says, “There are more people here than we can hire, but we’re going to do our best to hire as many as we can.” He states the plant will produce 30-40 modular homes a day aimed at the emergency housing market (eventually the permanent modular home) when it becomes operational in 3-4 months, and intends to roll out 300-400 a day down the road. The facility will also manufacture Cerarmix, a polymer ceramic-metallic composite that is up to 10 times harder than steel. When Richter complained that no one from the city has contacted him about the project, according to, a spokesman for Mayor Dana Redd says ACTS has not applied for any permits.

(Photo credit: Douglas Bovitt/courierpostonline–ribbon-cutting ceremony at ACTS Ind., LLC)

Empty Building will come to Life Producing Modular Homes

October 11th, 2013 Comments off

A group of businessmen seek to turn a a long-vacant warehouse in Camden, New Jersey into a global manufacturer of modular homes, with the potential of hiring 1,000 employees. The $30 to $40 million for the project is expected to come from private, state and federal sources, with a planned opening date in nine months, according to Applications for work in the factory will be available at the ribbon cutting for the 134,000 square foot plant on Monday, Oct. 14, MHProNews has learned. The new company, Acts Industries LLC, plans to build the modular structures for emergency shelters for people displaced by catastrophes. They can also be stacked to make larger homes.

(Photo credit: Mary Frank/–modular home being sited in Monmouth Beach, New Jersey)

Joplin Housing Tornado Survivors, Rebuilding Homes

November 21st, 2011 Comments off

JoplinGlobe reports since the devastating tornado of May 22 took out one third of Joplin, Missouri’s housing, as of Nov. 16, 559 households are being served through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This includes the 24 acres of meadowland sited with 375 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) manufactured homes, numbering 1,000 to 1,500 residents, which is estimated to be Jasper County’s fourth-largest city. The temporary communities, known as Officer Jeff Taylor Memorial Acres and Hope Haven 1 and 2, were constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Missouri National Guard under FEMA contract. Another MHC set of 141 manufactured homes named Fountain Road Village and Country Acres is not far away. Other displaced persons are in apartments and rental homes. The tornado killed 159 people and injured over 1,000, and officials estimate 7,500 housing units were damaged or destroyed. As of Nov. 11, 3,600 building permits have been issued for repairs and rebuilds.

(Photo credit: JoplinGlobe)