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FEMA Manufactured Homes Finally Arrive

May 18th, 2017 Comments off
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Credit: KERO.

In June 2016, the massive Erskine Fire near Bakersfield, California displaced a number of families.

After a long wait, thirteen families, who resided in manufactured homes prior to the blaze, were finally able to move into new FEMA units this week.

According to Bakersfield Now, Kern County, which includes the Bakersfield area, received 27 housing units from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA.)

The units had been deemed surplus, donated to the state, and then transferred to the county.

Most of the units have never been used.

The county then made the housing available to low-income residents who owned their homes. If the home was destroyed in the fire, and a primary residence that was under or un-insured, they were eligible to apply for for the FEMA units.

A total of 285 homes were destroyed in the fire.

As the Daily Business News covered here, the units had previously been scheduled to be returned eastward, but a partnership with the state resulted in Cal OIS (California Office of Information Security) requesting FEMA to designate the homes as “surplus,” which allows the state to hold and distribute the units as needed.

Since the county did not receive a federal declaration of disaster (which would have allowed the use of the FEMA housing units,) the state contacted FEMA directly and asked that the homes be declared surplus, which allows the partnership to use them as needed.

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Damage from the fire. Credit: Southern California Public Radio.

While the units are usually considered interim, under the county plan, a resident would own the unit if they lived in it for three years.

The county says it plans to hand over keys to 14 more families next week.

For residents, this was a special, and long overdue moment.

Our new FEMA unit is smaller than the home we lost, but I’m very grateful for the help,” said Angela Harris.

It’s been hard. I’ve had a lot of friends, I’ve had the pastor from the Kern Valley Baptist Church, everybody, I mean, they’ve been wonderful.”

For more on the Erskine Fire and its impact on Kern County, 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, MHProNews.

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

 

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Rollercoaster Ride may be Ending for Manufactured Home Community?

April 21st, 2017 Comments off
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East End Residents attend a Manassas city meeting. Credit: Potomac Local.

A long, and often confusing rollercoaster ride for residents at the East End Mobile Home Park in Manassas, Virginia may be coming to an end.

But, as has been the case for the community, it won’t come without clearing a few hurdles.

Per InsideNova, James Turner, an Alexandria lawyer and the owner of two other manufactured home communities, has stepped up to the plate with an offer to purchase the trouble community.

I’ve reached a tentative agreement with East End’s owner to buy the property, repair its malfunctioning sewer system, and manage it along with my other parks, [sic]” said Turner.

As the Daily Business News has covered, the city of Manassas was set to purchase the community for $1.86 million from a trust controlled by Helen Loretta Clarke, who residents claim neglected the community’s sewage system to the point that unless residents took action themselves, sewage came up into their yards.

For Turner, who admits he’s been watching “the circus” from the sidelines, sees purchasing the community as a huge plus.

I look at this as an investment for my retirement days. I’m hoping to clean it up and make it a much nicer place to live,” said Turner.

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James Turner. Credit: VTW Law firm.

After one of the residents of my Alexandria properties urged me to look into it, I decided to call the seller and see what’s going on.”

Even with the positive momentum, Turner will still have some hurdles.

First, the city will need to step back from its plan to purchase the property, and that would be contingent on whether or not the buyer would be able to afford to repair the sewer system, which could cost up to $1.5 million on top of the sale price.

Turner says this isn’t an issue.

I wouldn’t invest a million dollars in this unless I knew for sure I could do it,” said Turner.

I’m ready to buy this and get started, and start spending money with the anticipation that the city will let me buy it.”

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Credit: NBC 4.

Turner has also offered to bring in workers to begin the initial clean up on the property as an act of good faith, to demonstrate he’s serious.

The other challenge is around the city’s discussions with Catholics for Housing, a Dumfries, Virginia-based nonprofit.

Jonathan Francis, the pro bono attorney representing the community’s residents, says the non-profit had managed to earn the trust of his clients by supporting several key provisions in the negotiations.

The charity was willing to offer long-term leases so residents could feel secure that a sudden sale of the property wouldn’t force them out of their homes. Keeping rents at a reasonable rate is another important consideration, since many residents only pay about $400 per month right now and couldn’t afford to pay much more,” said Francis.

Without similar assurances from Turner, I don’t know how comfortable people on the park [sic] might be even staying on the property.”

For Vice Mayor Marc Aveni, a leading opposition voice on the city purchasing the community, says that while he hasn’t spoken with Turner directly, if he’s sincere, it’s good to have him involved.

If he cleans up the park [sic] and gives the residents an affordable place to stay that’s a win to me,” said Aveni.

From my standpoint, having multiple people interested is probably a good thing. We get to pick and choose.”

Also in play is a pending litigation, in which 49 of the 58 families living at East End are pursuing “tenant’s assertions” against Clarke and her representatives.

Tenant’s assertions are a legal action that lets the residents pay their rent into an escrow account controlled by the Prince William County District Court while a judge evaluates whether the community’s owners are responsible for its poor condition.

Francis says his clients feel comfortable ending that case if Catholics for Housing purchases the community, but he’s not sure what they may do if Turner buys it instead.

Part of any deal is looking to get some sort of agreement from the residents that they won’t be pursuing action against the seller, and there hasn’t been a meeting between the residents and Mr. Turner to discuss that yet,” said Francis.

Helen Sorto, who has been working with East End residents to stay in their homes, agrees with Francis.

Some are already preparing to leave, particularly because Turner could raise rents to the point where the park’s low-income residents simply can’t afford to stay,” says Sorto.

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A home at East End Mobile Home Park. Credit: Inside Nova.

With the improvements to the quality of the community, Turner says that rents may go up by $100 or $150 per month, but points out the property’s rate would remain below what he charges in his other communities, or rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the city.

I expect that the repairs I’m planning will improve the value of the trailers [sic] on the park [sic], making it a better investment for residents,” said Turner.

This is an investment on my part, so there may be some rental increases, and the tenants are aware of it. It has to work for them and has to work for me, and I think we’ve had a meeting of the minds.”

For more on the saga at the East End Mobile Home Park, 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.

MH and Millennials: Finally Affordable

January 18th, 2017 Comments off
MHandMillennialsFinallyAffordablecreditFloridaToday-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

A home at Lamplighter Village. Credit: Florida Today.

In Melbourne, Florida, manufactured homes are getting a whole new level of respect.

From millennials.

The generation that is now attracted to manufactured homes wants all the extras and we’re giving it to them,” said Ryan Brower, general manager at Lamplighter Village.

Today’s buyers may be downsizing from a 4,000-square-foot home to a 2,000-square-foot home, but they don’t want to lose any of the amenities. They want more. They also want all the new trends.

Per Florida Today, while the baby boomers may be downsizing and interested in the possibilities of the new manufactured homes, they are not the only ones in the market for this affordable housing.

Millennials are making the move to their first house, and more of them are also choosing manufactured homes.

The data supports this.

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Credit: MHI.

Statistics from the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) show that the largest group of manufactured home owners is now between the ages of 18 and 29.

Pricing also makes manufactured housing extremely attractive to millennials, with “costs anywhere between 10 and 35 percent lower than site built homes,” read the odd phrasing of the apparent MHI advertorial, given that the Census Bureau reports manufactured homes are half the cost of new on-site construction.

Where most would agrees is that when combined with the quality and consistency of factory building, there are often no discernible differences between manufactured and site built homes.

As an example, Lamplighter Village offers three bedroom, two bath homes with 2,220 square feet for between $90,000 to $160,000.

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Richard Jennison. Credit: MHI.

The standards for manufactured housing are subject to robust compliance and quality assurance regulations, sometimes more stringent than those for traditional site-built homes,” said MHI president and CEO Richard Jennison.

The building materials used in today’s manufactured homes are the same as those used in site-built homes. 

Also attractive to millennials are sustainability, energy efficiency and technology, all of which manufactured housing delivers on in a big way.

Energy standards for manufactured homes continue to improve,” said Keith Holdbrooks, president of Clayton Home Building Group. “We’re constantly adding new options that can lower homeowner energy consumption for better, long-term savings.

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Sunshine Homes logo is their intellectual property, and is provided here under fair use guidelines. Collage credit, MHProNews.com.

The Daily Business News recently covered Red Bay, Alabama-based Sunshine Homes and their NextGen tech for retailers and manufactured home communities, including 3D virtual tours. That story is linked here.

For more on how manufactured housing continues to defy stereotypes, take a look at our recent MHLivingNews features “Oh Paradigm Shift” – Million Dollar Manufactured Homes for Rich and Frugal, and Nine Revolutionary PreCrafted Tips on Home Buying for 2017, and Beyond. ##

(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.