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Posts Tagged ‘Oakland California’

New York Measure Seeks Financing Parity for MH and Site-built

May 8th, 2014 Comments off

Writing in the Opinionator section of The New York Times, Andrea Levere says 18 million people with an average median income of $30,000 live in factory-built housing, making it the largest source of unsubsidized affordable housing in the U. S. Although over 70 percent own their own homes, most who live in manufactured housing communities (MHC) do not own the land under their home, as MHProNews.com knows. Noting most manufactured homes (MH) are classified as personal property instead of real estate, it makes it difficult to obtain low-cost financing. She says federal laws are needed to enact better financing options, and more local jurisdictions should embrace manufactured homes.

A proponent of MHCs becoming co-ops, Levere says 18 states have laws that deal with the transition, but most do not give people adequate time to prepare for the actual purchase. She says strict zoning laws prohibit siting MH in urban areas where they could be most helpful. In Oakland, California, MH has been used for infill lots since the 1980s, and the homes have sold for four times their original cost. The New York State Senate is considering a bill that mandates local ordinances treat manufactured housing like any other housing. She says more small lenders need to provide loans with the backing of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, just as they do for conventional homes.

As president of the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), Levere promotes co-operative ownership of communities. She is also the board chairwoman for ROC USA (Resident Owned Communities).##

(Image credit: Royal Homes of Raleigh (NC)–manufactured homes)

Rents Rise, Vacancies Drop

July 23rd, 2012 Comments off

MHProNews has learned from NBCBayArea average monthly rent in Oakland, California increased 14.4 percent over the past year, in San Francisco by 12.9 percent, and in San Jose 10.1 percent. As rents get more expensive due to improvements in the job market, and affordable housing budgets are slashed, low-income residents will be forced to find housing farther away, increasing their commute to work. Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies reports the overall vacancy rate dropping from 10.6 percent in 2009 to 9.5 percent last year, the lowest level since 2002.

(Photo credit: Zimbio)

Blu Going Green in Bay Area

December 1st, 2011 Comments off

SFGate reports a Massachusetts company is opening a factory on Vallejo’s Mare Island at the site of a former naval base just north of San Francisco. Close to the port of Oakland, and drawing on a nearby workforce of people skilled in home construction and high tech manufacturing, Blu Homes is opening a 250,000 square foot facility to manufacture energy efficient modular homes. Blu sells about a third of its homes in California, has already hired 50 workers, and anticipates its work force may grow to several hundred. Blu President Bill Haney said, “We found this really magical combination here. The notion of combining the white-collar, technology-embracing people on the Peninsula with the blue-collar workers of the East Bay is perfect for us.” Based in Waltham, Mass., a suburb of Boston, Blu has been in business since 2007, using steel for framing instead of wood, and follows green technology in cutting utility costs up to 70 percent. Once used for making submarines, the old hangar is so large that workers use blue bicycles to get around. Modular studios start at $120,000, and the largest model with five bedrooms goes for $500,000, not including the land or the concrete slab. Says Haney, “The trick is not just to do green, but to do green in a way that’s fun to live in and fits the way you live.”

(Photo credit: Brant Ward: The Chronicle)