Posts Tagged ‘housing crisis’

Sunday Morning Weekly Recap Manufactured Housing Industry News June 25 to July 2, 2017

July 2nd, 2017 Comments off

A look at the new home page.

As vacation season rolls on, we’ll try something just a little bit different again today for our weekly recap of .  Reader feedback, always encouraged and appreciated.  Matthew and his work are missed, but we hope his trip to the mountains will be a good one!

What’s New on

We’re testing out some new things on the Daily Business News this week too, and have had some guest writers doing reports for us.  Traffic on these reports have been good  – that’s always a positive sign – but your written feedback is appreciated. 

July 1st, 2017


June 30, 2017


June 29th, 2017



June 28th, 2017



Chet Murphree, Deer Valley Homebuilders. James McGee. Deer Valley Homebuilders, L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, Inside MH.

June 27th, 2017




June 26th, 2017

OPEC Disarray May Yield Manufactured Housing Industry Hooray

Proud Patrick Performance Perspective Spotlighted, MHCV, Markets Mixed


MHI Legislative Fly In Clouded By New Controversy

Eric Conn ‘Trailer Law Complex’ Social Security Attorney ‘On the Lam’

Putting the Cart Before the Horse—Er, House—in Montana

Sunday, June 25th.

Sunday Morning Weekly Recap Manufactured Housing Industry News June 18 to June 25, 2017


(Image credits are as shown above.)

Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News on

Billionaire Sees Shipping Containers as Homeless Solution

April 11th, 2017 Comments off

Homeless encampment residents watch it being destroyed in San Jose, CA. Credit: Bloomberg.

In the San Francisco Bay Area of California, housing, along with most everything else, is very expensive. In many cities in the region, this disparity creates a toxic combination: an affordable housing crunch and rampant homelessness.

A billionaire in the area believes that the solution lies in repurposing shipping containers.

According to HousingWire, Santa Clara based real estate developer John Sobrato recently unveiled a proposal to build 200 micro apartments for both homeless and low-income renters, utilizing shipping containers, turning them into units between 160 and 240 square feet with kitchenettes and bathrooms with showers.

I think it’s time to turn my attention to creating a very cost-effective solution to housing the homeless and very low-income people,” said Sobrato.


John Sabrato. Credit: Forbes.

Instead of sleeping in a pup tent or under an overpass, Santa Clara homeless folks will have a clean, dignified, safe place to call home.”

Sobrato plans to lease a 2.5-acre plot of city-owned land three miles from the San Francisco 49ers football stadium, which the city acquired in 2005 with the intention of creating affordable housing.

Funding for that plan fell through, and in October of last year Sobrato approached the city with his idea.

Per Bloomberg, Sobrato asked for a 57-year lease at the cost of $1 a year. In return, his group, the Sobrato Organization, would build and own the apartments, then lease them back to Santa Clara County, which would hire property management and homeless service providers.


The proposed area for development. Credits: Google, The Petition Site.

The project, called Innovation Place, would be projected to open in 2018, with half of the apartments being rented to the homeless, and the other half being made available to renters earning between 50 and 80 percent of the area’s median income.



While many see Sobrato’s idea as noble, there are those that disagree. An anonymous petition began to circulate shortly after Sobrato presented his plan, and has 852 supporters.

While some may disagree, the numbers show that the need for affordable housing is the state is dire: 17 ballot measures were on the ballot last November dealing with affordable housing.

The Daily Business News has covered a number of potential NIMBY (Not-In-My-Back-Yard) stories recently, where current residents appear to be working to keep manufactured homes or other affordable housing options for communities out.

Most notable is the case in Aiken, South Carolinawhere Councilman Danny Feagin was quoted as saying “As long as it keeps the mobile home parks [sic] out, I think the folks would be satisfied,” in relation to a proposed rezoning ordinance.

For more on shipping containers being used to solve the growing affordable housing crisis around the world, click here. ##


(Image credits are as shown above.)



RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Prefab Homes Built by Unique Source

March 8th, 2017 Comments off

Prefab home. Credit: Construction Manager.

In the U.K., the ongoing housing crisis has the nation looking for resources.

Prefab has emerged as a potentially efficient solution, and one producer is adding a unique twist that helps not only house, but to rehabilitate.

According to Construction Manager, six months ago, Manchester-based procurement consortium Procure Plus launched Osco Homes, aiming to deliver affordable houses constructed offsite at a factory based in Hindley, a prison located in Greater Manchester.

The goal for Osco Homes is to build two homes a week, and within three years reach output of 1,000 homes a year.

Select prisoners at Hindley in the final year of their sentence are being trained to build prefab homes, and they have been given construction training in plastering and kitchen bathroom fitting provided by Manchester College.

Osco pays each prisoner a salary for their work over and above what they would usually receive from the prison, which is held in trust until after their release.

Then, once released, they are employed full-time by Osco and are paid £19,000 ($23,117 USD) per year.

The operation at Hindley has been a really big success and we’re now looking at doubling the space of the factory and also setting up factories at other prisons which we’ve had confirmed by the Ministry of Justice,” said Mike Brogan, CEO of Procure Plus.


Mike Brogan. Credit: Manchester Evening News.

The MoJ has given us a shortlist of their prisons to choose from, they will most likely be in the north west or maybe the north east. We’re not looking to rapidly expand, but in the next six months we’d like to have another prison operating the scheme and its own factory and then probably another to follow that, ideally three prisons in total.

Brogan estimates that the cost savings for every inmate who does not return to prison is around $20,000 per year.

It’s not just about building homes, but providing training and opportunities to guys who may have taken a wrong turn in life but are keen to change,” said Brogan. “With the factory we’re providing this two-fold service.

For more on solutions to the U.K. housing crisis, click here. ##


(Image credits are as shown above.)



RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Prefab and Modular Front and Center in Solving Housing Crisis

January 30th, 2017 Comments off

Credit: Plymouth Herald.

As populations around the world continue to grow, a recurring theme is the need for housing.

More directly, many nations have declared a “housing crisis” and are looking for solutions.

One of the nations where the need is most pronounced is the U.K., where a report by Cast CEO Mark Farmer entitled; “The Farmer Review of the U.K. Construction Model” cited that labor shortages mean that new homes cannot be built fast enough, and studies commissioned by the U.K. Government have determined that the country will need an additional one million homes by 2020.

Tim Western of property giant JLL believes that modular and prefab is the solution.

There is likely to be a seismic shift in how and where we live and work by 2030,” said Western.

Homes manufactured like cars, in other words off-site in a factory, with the opportunity to pick and choose what goes into a basic structure, will bring ‘car quality’ to the market.

The entire story is on MHLivingNews, linked here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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


Faced With Housing Shortage, Nation Turns to Unused Containers

January 18th, 2017 Comments off

Shipping containers in Sweden. Credit: Sputniknews.

In Sweden, even with a robust and sturdy “welfare economy,” the nation is still suffering from an intense housing shortage due to its popularity as a destination for migrants.

It’s now looking to shipping containers as an option to ease the crisis.

And with imports from places like China to Europe much greater than exports, there’s a surplus of Chinese containers in the country.

Following a model used in the U.S., the UK and the Netherlands where surplus containers have been successfully converted into homes, the Swedes intend to follow in their footsteps to plug the gaping holes in their housing market.

We looked up on the Internet how homes like this are built in the United States, and were inspired by their recycling ideas to make affordable, small accommodations of our own,” said Peter Eriksson, CEO of Svenska Containerhus in Skelleftea.



A Svenska Containerhus. Credit: Twitter, Sputniknews.

According to Sputnik News, with a price tag of slightly above 400,000 Swedish Krona (about $45,000 USD) the container option is more than affordable housing by Swedish standards. However, the customer pays for additional expenditures on land, sewage and electricity.

The container concept has been tried several times in Stockholm and southern Sweden with mixed success, but attracted significant criticism of the building quality, which compelled the city of Helsingborg to scrap plans for 100 container homes.

In spite of this, Eriksson is not deterred.

We build homes adapted for the Nordic climate. Besides, the containers are designed for a serviceable life of 20 years at sea in the wind and salt water. These homes are also easy to move,” said Eriksson.


A furnished container apartment. Credit: Local SE.

According to Swedish housing portal Hur vi bor (“How we live“), nine out of ten Swedes live in a municipality that is suffering from a housing shortage. According to previous estimates by the Swedish Housing Board, a total of 710,000 new homes will be needed in Sweden, a nation of roughly 10 million, by 2025.

The lack of housing is most severe among migrants and refugees. According to Aftonbladet, Swedish municipalities currently plan to invest nearly 100 million Swedish Krona ($11.2 million USD) to secure apartments for new arrivals.

Throughout the country, various means of combatting the housing shortage among so-called “new Swedes” have been tried, from modular housing to temporary renting of villas, hotel rooms and cruise ships. In December 2016, Stockholm tried accommodating newcomers in dormitories, where up to 16 people sleep jammed in a single room.

The dormitory lacks kitchen facilities, and food has to be delivered.

​”Here I can neither study nor sleep. Everything is so difficult,” said Gidey Germay, a refugee from the African nation of Eritrea. ##


(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

The Russians Are Coming With PreFab Homes

January 6th, 2017 Comments off

Credit: Country Living.

1,184 square feet, assembled in ten days for about $80,000.

Are these Russian made prefab homes ready to go mainstream?

Moscow-based firm Bio Architects, has unveiled the latest project in their DublDom prefabricated housing line up, which offers models between 280 and 1,400 square feet.

They come with a price range of between $23,000 and $100,000.

This model shown in the photo above came in at a final cost of five million rubles ($80,000 USD), with finishing, electricity, and engineering systems included.


Credit: Country Living.

Bio Architects has focused on keeping costs low, by using inexpensive materials like metal, barn board, and glass, which, in combination with large skylights, glass walls, and exposed beams provides a unique look and feel to the homes.


Home photo credits, Bio Architects and Country Living.


Home photo credits, Bio Architects and Country Living.

The DublDom line is produced in Kazan, which is a city in Southwest Russia, and Bio Architects reports that they are now accepting preorders from the U.S.


As Daily Business News readers are aware, foreign prefab manufacturers are making moves into other countries, including China and Spain-based firms teaming up to tackle the U.K. affordable housing crisis. That story is linked here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

“Flat-Pack” Modular Homes Proposed to Help Solve Housing Crisis

December 9th, 2016 Comments off

The urban bungalow. Credit: UK Mirror.

Not unlike the U.S., the United Kingdom is the midst of a housing crisis, due in part to rising housing costs and lack of skilled construction workers. Willerby Innovations believes they have the answer.

The firm is touting their sustainable modular home, known as the “urban bungalow,” as completely constructed in the factory and can be built in a day for about £60,000 ($75,432 USD).

The urban bungalow can help the government hit its targets while providing jobs locally,” said Phil Parks, lead commercial manager at Willerby Innovations.

The latest government initiatives continue to focus heavily on long-term goals including its ambitious target to build one million new homes by 2020. But even with initiatives in place to help housing associations and developers build more homes, it still doesn’t address today’s pressure on local authorities to meet the immediate social needs. Action needs to be taken now.


Credit: Willerby Innovations.

According to the UK Mirror, there are more than 72,000 families living in temporary accommodation, including disabled or elderly residents struggling to live in high-rise buildings, with their caregivers forced into bed and breakfast accommodations.

There are thousands of people at risk of homelessness in the UK with this predicated to rise sharply creating a growing demand for housing from the elderly, the vulnerable and the temporary homeless,” said Parks.


Inside of the urban bungalow. The design is similar in some ways to single sectional manufactured homes. Credit: UK Mirror.

The homes come with the option of furniture already included, have a large kitchen, living and dining room as well as a family-sized bathroom and are built to last 60 years.

The Daily Business News has covered the U.K. housing crisis, and potential solutions extensively, including the Farmer Review, which called prefab housing the “true way forward.” That story is linked here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Prefab to the Rescue in Housing Crisis

October 31st, 2016 Comments off

Credit: The Guardian.

Ministers in the United Kingdom (U.K.) are planning to tackle the nation’s housing crisis with more than 100,000 prefab homes in a effort to meet their goal of providing one million new homes by 2020, according to The Guardian and The Construction Index.

A white paper from the government, due out next month, will include measures encouraging banks to lend to firms that construct prefab homes. Ministers have been impressed with the speed of prefab production.

The first and most obvious advantage is speeding up the building of housing,” a government source said. “There is pretty good evidence that if you did it at scale it is cheaper.

According to The Construction Index, ministers have visited Accord Group, a housing association in the West Midlands, which claims it can produce a three-bedroom house from scratch in a day at its factory.

They have also visited Pocket, a London-based firm that builds affordable flats for first-time buyers.


Housing Protestors. Credit: Manchester Evening News.

Building has continued to lag behind intended targets in the U.K., with lack of skills and permits being citied as the main reasons for the shortage.


Gavin Barwell. Credit:

Offsite construction could provide a huge opportunity to increase housing supply and we want to see more innovation like this emulated across the house building sector,” said housing minister Gavin Barwell.

Daily Business News readers will recall our recent coverage of the U.K. housing crisis and solutions put forward by Cast CEO Mark Farmer as a part of his report “The Farmer Review of the UK Construction Labor Model.” Legal & General’s recent investment in modular housing can also be found here.  ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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




Rent Control-WMA Rolls out ‘No On Measure V’ Video, Talking Points

October 14th, 2016 Comments off

Original collage credit, MHProNews – addtional logo credit: WMA. Other image credits are as shown above, and are used here under fair use guidelines.

Measure V – a proposition on the ballot in Humboldt County, California – has generated significant interest from both inside and outside the MH industry.

As Daily Business News’ Joe Dyton covered recently, Measure V proposes that:

  • Manufactured home community owners would be permitted to raise site rents once annually, and the increase would be tied to inflation via the Consumer Price Index;
  • When a home is sold or transferred, new resident site fees could only increase five percent higher than what the previous residents paid;
  • A community owner could raise rents to pay for improvements, but would first require written approval from more than 50 percent (a simple majority) of the homeowners/residents.

In a statement released this week, the Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association (WMA) is “making an effort to educate public policymakers on how mobile home parks (sic) operate and how the misapplication of rent control has contributed to California’s housing crisis.”

A public education campaign is underway by the WMA.


Sheila Dey. Credit: WMA.

There is no question that California is one of the most expensive places to live in the country,” said Sheila Dey, Executive Director of WMA.

So when the purchase price of a mobile home (sic) can be up to 30% less than a traditional home, state and local government should be creating incentives to build more mobile home parks (sic) and not less.

WMA released a video that explains how “parks” operate and how they have become a source of quality housing for scores of people from all socio-economic backgrounds.  From frugal millionaires to the working class and all in between are living in manufactured homes.

As a example, the video showcases a community with rent control in Malibu, California, where millionaires live in beachfront properties, and for some, the properties serve as a second home.

The Daily Business News has previously covered the various opinions on Measure V, in a follow up to Dyton’s article, at this link here.


Actress Betsy Russell’s Malibu manufactured home listed for 2 million 2 years ago, and prices are still rising in that same location. To see the photo tour of her manufactured mansion overlooking the Pacific Ocean, click the photo above.

According to the WMA, rent control is a reaction to local government’s failure to plan for their community’s future housing needs. When attainable housing is no longer accessible, politicians force “park owners” to subsidize a tenant’s housing costs, regardless of income.


Photo above is a still from a video on the page linked above and in the text below.


Humboldt County, CA (in red.) Credit: Wikipedia

That often leads to a reduction in park amenities and in some cases, lawsuits when site fees do not cover a communities operational costs.

In their statement, the WMA points out that California has created a regulatory environment where existing manufactured home communities are threatened by rent control ordinances that undermine a park’s economic sustainability, and cost prohibitive building regulations and fees that have stifled the construction of new parks. As a consequence, it’s been decades since a new mobilehome park (sic) has been built in California.

As the Daily Business News and ManufacturedHomeLivingNews have reported, manufactured housing presents a potential solution to the housing crisis in California and throughout the U.S. with quality homes at a lower cost that meet stringent federal standards. ##

(Editor’s Notes: The WMA’s column and resources on this issue are linked here.

  • Note too, while some use other terminology for a variety of reasons – including a number of those within the ranks for the MH Industry – as a professional publication, MHProNews strives to use the proper terminology every time, thus the (sic) inserted by RC Williams at various places above.)

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

New Housing Trust Fund has $174M to Acquire Affordable Housing

May 10th, 2016 Comments off

mhi  photo credit  mh under productionThe U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reports to MHProNews for the first time ever it has allocated $174 million through the new Housing Trust Fund, an affordable housing production program to complement existing governmental efforts—local, state and national—intended to increase and preserve affordable housing for extremely low-income families. The fund has been capitalized through contributions made by GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Today, we offer another tool to help states confront a growing affordable rental housing crisis in this country,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “The Housing Trust Fund will be an enduring resource designed to producing more housing that is affordable to our most vulnerable neighbors.”

Noting many families who work hard still cannot meet their rent, Sen. Jack Reed (RI-D), who wrote the 2008 law establishing the trust fund, said, “ A healthy housing market is key to vibrant communities and future economic growth, and these federal funds will help states expand the supply of affordable homes and strengthen our communities.”

Diane Yentel, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, added, “Today is an historic day for millions of Americans who struggle to find affordable housing. We look forward to working with the administration and our state partners as we put these dollars to work building affordable homes for the lowest income people.”

Each state will be allocated a minimum of $3 million.

ed. note: The does not indicate if funds can or cannot be used for manufactured housing (MH). One might think since HUD administers the MH program, and allegedly promotes it as affordable housing, that Housing Trust Funds could be used to acquire quality, affordable, safe MH. ##

(Photo credit: Manufactured Housing Institute–manufactured housing under construction)

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