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Some Manufactured Homes Included, as Metro Weighs Opening Additional Land for Homes Amid Housing Crunch

August 21st, 2018 Comments off

 

SomeManufacturedHomesINcludedAsMetroWeighsOpeningAdditionalLandforHomesAmidHousingCrunchMHProNews

The Metro regional government is headed without much fuss toward a decision on whether to open more land for development,” said the Oregon Live (OL).

 

The evaluation of whether to expand the Portland metro’s urban growth boundary, beyond which development is tightly restricted rarely avoids controversy.

Metro estimates that over the next 30 years, more than 500,000 residents and 279,000 households will be added to the seven-county region, not all of which is within Metro’s boundaries,” said OL.

Elliot Njus, writing for the Oregonian, said that “four proposals would add only about 9,000 homes. That’s too few to have more than a modest effect on the affordability of homes for sale, and their effect on prices for renter-occupied housing will be negligible, the agency said.”

Metro’s forecast suggests the bulk of new homes should be built within the existing urban growth area, on already vacant land or through redevelopment.

Among the proposals on the table, only one of the four includes a mention of the most affordable kind of permeant housing, modern manufactured homes.

Here’s OL’s snippet on that specific project that includes some manufactured homes.

Beef Bend South (King City)

Acres: 528

Buildable acres: 400

Homes planned: 3,300

King City, a formerly age-restricted retirement community built around a golf course, has doubled its population in recent years, reaching 4,800 residents through annexation and new development. Its proposal would potentially double it again, and it would add a new town center on the far west side of the expansion. 

The proposal would include a mix single family detached and attached, apartments, condominiums and manufactured homes. The greatest density would be near the new town center on the west end of the expansion area, with less density on the east end.”

 

Reaction and Analysis

The Portland Metro Home Builders Association says Metro might be overestimating the development potential of land already in the urban growth area, and it might also be overestimating the demand for multifamily apartments and condos in its forecasts,” said Njus.

But the Portland area’s builders’ association routinely favors opening more land for development, and supports the four proposed expansions.

It doesn’t take a calculator and experts to realize that of the reported 279,000 anticipated households, if only 9,000 new housing units are built, then an additional quarter million unit shortage (+/-) would exist.

This goes to the heart of the upshot of the research by economists Chang-Tai Hsieh and Enrico Moretti.

 

NBER economists Chang-Tai Hsieh and Enrico Moretti said in the 2017 update that fixing land use and related issues could drive an additional $1.95 trillion dollars a year in additional economic growth. Due to enhanced preemption, manufactured homes could be uniquely positioned to address such issues at the local market level. Will HUD back that in the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000? See related report, linked below.

Overregulation is not limited to the federal government, it can be found at the state and local level of governments too, as this development plan out of Portland reflects.

“Thou Shall Not Steal,” $2 Trillion Annually Lost to Lack of Affordable Homes, Making the Manufactured Home Case

The report linked above addresses in more detail the causes and cures for this type of challenge, which is national in scope. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

Kevin Clayton, Leslie Gooch Sound-off; Left & Right Agree? Manufactured Homeland, MHI, & You

 

Case-Shiller Numbers Release make Case for Manufactured Housing

May 31st, 2017 Comments off
CaseShillerHomePriceNumbersReleasedcreditMHProNews-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

The latest numbers support the argument that manufactured housing is the answer. Credit: MHProNews.

New numbers released from the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index this week, show a 5.8 percent annual gain in March, up from 5.7 percent in February.

The numbers represent a 33-month high.

According to Builder, Seattle, Portland, and Dallas reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 20 cities measured. Seattle led the way with a 12.3 percent year-over-year price increase, followed by Portland coming in at 9.2 percent, and Dallas finished with an 8.6 percent increase.

Home prices continue rising with the S&P CoreLogic Case -Shiller National Index up 5.8 percent in the year ended March, the fastest pace in almost three years,” said David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

While there is some regional variation, prices are rising across the U.S. Half of the 20 cities tracked by the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller indices rose more than 6 percent from March 2016 to March 2017. The smallest gain of 4.1 percent, in New York, was roughly double the rate of inflation.”

CaseShillerHomePriceNumbersReleasedcreditBuilder1-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: Builder.

Prior to seasonal adjustments, the National Index posted a month-over-month gain of 0.8 percent in March, and after seasonal adjustment, the number showed a 0.3 percent month-over-month increase.

Sales of both new and existing homes, housing starts and the National Association of Home Builders’ sentiment index are all trending higher. Over the last year, analysts suggested that one factor pushing prices higher was the unusually low inventory of homes for sale. People are staying in their homes longer rather than selling and trading up,” said Blitzer.

If mortgage rates, currently near 4 percent, rise further, this could deter more people from selling and keep pressure on inventories and prices. While prices cannot rise indefinitely, there is no way to tell when rising prices and mortgage rates will force a slowdown in housing.”

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Credit: Builder.

 

The Impact… and the Opportunity 

Blitzer’s comment regarding home prices and pressure on inventories presents an interesting scenario.

Numbers from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) last week showed existing homes stayed on the market for less time in April than in any month since 2011, but tight inventory drove a decline in existing home sales over March’s record pace.

Demand from buyers is still far exceeding the available supply, leading to both the decline in existing home sales and the fact that homes are flying off the market,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

Demand is easily outstripping supply in most of the country and it’s stymieing many prospective buyers from finding a home to purchase.”

Yun continued, focused on the root of the issue.

Realtors continue to voice the frustration their clients are experiencing because of the insufficient number of homes for sale,” said Yun.

Homes in the lower- and mid-market price range are hard to find in most markets, and when one is listed for sale, interest is immediate and multiple offers are nudging the eventual sales prices higher.”

The challenges referenced by Yun show a site built housing market that is, by all accounts, upside down. Demand for affordable housing is outstripping supply, keeping those who would otherwise be able to realize the dream of home ownership from doing so.

Customers quickly discover that when home shoppers give a good, careful look at today’s residential style manufactured and modular homes, many are saying ‘yes.’

With interest rates rising, and more cities considering or being urged to accept manufactured homes as infill, the manufactured home industry’s opportunities are rising.

As the Daily Business News has covered, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform has made similar points, and is calling for a full implementation of the law – notably the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA 2000) – as a key way to fuel more industry sales to meet the demands of an affordable home-hungry public. ##

 

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RC Williams, MHProNews.

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

 

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Power Restored to Manufactured Home Community

April 14th, 2017 Comments off
PowerRestoredtoManufacturedHomeCommunitycreditKGW-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: KGW.

Just south of Portland, Oregon, residents at the Angel Haven Mobile Home Park had a wild weekend.

According to KATU, a major windstorm knocked out power to the community last Friday, leaving over 100 homes in the dark.

A major concern for officials was that more than 120 residents suffer from serious medical conditions, and they rely on electricity to power lifesaving equipment. For Lorrie and Steve Watts, the outage was particularly concerning.

Both are diabetic, and had about a thousand dollars-worth of insulin stored in their refrigerator.

The old folks here, we need your help, it’s not just me,” said Steve Watts.

I just bundle up and wait for another day.”

Luckily for the Watts, and others, Sunday was the good day they were waiting for. Work crews from Portland General Electric (PGE) showed up in force to tackle the issue, which ended up being a melted fuse after power was initially restored Saturday. A sudden overload of demand as crews restored power caused the system to fail a second time.

Crews reconfigured parts of the system to prevent this type of failure from happening again.

We realize that we have a tremendous responsibility in empowering our community,” said PGE spokesperson Melanie Moir.

We care deeply about this community and we want to get everybody up and running as quickly as possible.”

PowerRestoredtoManufacturedHomeCommunitycreditMHBay-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

A home in the community. Credit: MH Bay.

PGE also told residents that this serves as a good reminder to make sure that people have safety plans in place in case of emergencies.

I went to the store to grab a bag of ice to put in my cooler and the husband calls and says the power’s back on,” said Lorrie Watts.

I can’t be any happier to get heat in there, and I want to thank these PGE crews for coming out, doing all they can to get us back on power.”

 

Safety and Manufactured Housing

While this instance did not directly point to the stereotype of manufactured housing being a lightning rod for issues, it serves as a good reminder that officials, news agencies and the general public often specifically point out manufactured homes and communities – often identified incorrectly as “mobile homes” and “mobile home parks” – vs. site-built homes in damage reports.

On average, about 1 in 5 structures identified as “mobile homes” by the media are in fact pre-HUD code mobile homes.  They are routinely the ones that suffer the most damage, because HUD Code manufactured homes are more durable by design.

HUD Code manufactured homes that are properly installed and maintained have a similar life expectancy as conventional housing. Any housing that is not, for whatever reason, properly maintained tends to fall into disrepair and can deteriorate more rapidly, and thus, shorten its useful life expectancy.

For more on the importance of terminology with manufactured housing, click here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

rcwilliams-writer75x75manufacturedhousingindustrymhpronews

RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Manufactured Home Owner or Community – Who’s Responsible?

December 16th, 2016 Comments off
OwnerOrCommunityWhosResponsiblecreditApartmentscom-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Rainbow Villa Mobile Home Park. Credit: Apartments.

Some manufactured home community residents and advocates in Oregon feel there’s a disconnect when it comes to enforcement of the law.

There are more than 1,000 manufactured home/mobile home communities in Oregon,” says Rita Loberger, a volunteer resident advocate for the Manufactured Housing/Oregon State Tenants Association.

 

Right now, it’s a no man’s land with managers and owners writing leases, policies and contracts that might violate the state laws.

Per the Portland Tribune, Oregon lacks an agency to enforce those laws, and so the only legal recourse residents may feel they have is to file a lawsuit.

For Jamie Willey, a resident at the Rainbow Village Mobile Home Park in East Portland, she claims that she’s been in that no man’s land for over five years.

OwnerOrCommunityWhosResponsiblecreditPortlandTribune-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Rita Loberger. Credit: Portland Tribune.

Management has done nothing to prevent widespread fire and electrical hazards, an illegal restaurant at one of the mobile homes [sic], and overflowing trash at a nearby dumpster that causes a stench during the summer and provides food for rats,” said Wiley.

Loberger says that she has helped negotiate with landlords over bills passed by state lawmakers, but those laws often are ignored by community managers.

When these laws are voted in, they’re on paper and that’s it.

Loberger says that earlier this year, owners of the Oak Leaf and Lostinda Woods communities in Portland ignored a state law requiring them to notify residents before putting their properties on the market for possible redevelopment. The law was designed to give residents a chance to collectively buy the land under their homes and avert eviction.

OwnerOrCommunityWhosResponsiblecreditSteveLawPortlandTribune-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

The home at the front right is obviously a mobile home, but manufactured homes and a pair of RVs are also visible in this photo of a street in Oak Leaf community. Photo credit: Steve Law, Portland Tribune.

Mobile home and manufactured home owners often are afraid to complain or file lawsuits against their park [sic] owners, for fear of being evicted,” said Loberger.

Loberger served on Oregon’s manufactured housing landlord/resident coalition, which was formed in 1995 to forge consensus on bills before submitting them to the state Legislature. That coalition fell apart in October, allegedly when landlords reportedly adopted a tougher stance, including refusing to discuss a way to enforce laws the coalition had spawned over the past 21 years.

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Chuck Carpenter. Credit: MHCO.

The Community and Industry Perspective

As if often the case, there are two – or more – sides to every story, including this one.

We see enforcement as something like with the Attorney General’s office and oppose that idea,” said Chuck Carpenter, executive director of Manufacturing Housing Communities of Oregon.

The majority of manufactured home community residents are satisfied with their communities.  Community owner are often proactive in keeping a harmonious relationship.

There are times when a vocal minority can turn a minor or non-issue into a topic that suddenly makes local news.  Because the media may be uninformed about the responsibilities of residents, often community owners are made to look like ‘the bad guys,’ when in fact they often have done exactly what they commit to in the lease-terms with their home owners and residents.

Darby Garrett, one of the owners of Rainbow Villa, believes this is the case with Jamie Wiley.

We had the city come out, and there were no rats at all aside from Willey’s unit,” said Garrett.

The residents own their own homes, so they take care of it themselves. I visit the complex regularly and instruct residents to make sure they put lids on the trash cans.

Garrett also addressed trash pickup and additions to homes.

I have a guy that picks the trash up every day, we do police it, trust me,” says Garrett.

Garrett was referring to how they as the community manager do their part, but residents commit to the property’s guidelines for living, as their part of the ground-lease.

The string of additions built too close to neighboring units is residents’ responsibility. The residents have committed those violations, it isn’t us.

It takes both residents and management working together to keep a property clean, safe and appealing.

City, County, Bureaus Step In

OwnerOrCommunityWhosResponsiblecreditYouTube-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Chris Roberts. Credit: YouTube.

Chris Roberts, a Multnomah County public health vector specialist, told the Tribune that he’s visited Rainbow Village four times since 2008, all in response to Willey’s complaints. On his third visit in 2013, he inspected the entire complex.

On each visit, Roberts says he saw evidence of rats infesting Willey’s home, but nowhere else.

If rats were feeding on garbage at the dumpster or elsewhere, they would have left telltale signs,” said Roberts. “We didn’t find any of that evidence. It was strictly under (Willey’s) unit.

Roberts says that he suspects rats are entering the home from a broken sewer line under her home. He suggested that she hire a plumber to investigate and estimated it would cost $100 to $250.

It’s the owner’s responsibility because I don’t own the land under my home and I’m not responsible for the city sewer line,” said Wiley.

According to Roberts, the county can’t require the city or community owner to take action unless it has evidence the problem stems from the sewer before it reaches Willey’s home site.

A review of Rainbow Villa by bureau housing inspector Megan Greenauer, BDS in October resulted in a six-page list of violations including fire, life and safety. Homes – which are routinely owned by their residents – in the community were found to have structural, plumbing and mechanical work done on buildings without permits.

Willey and Loberger said they are more satisfied with the recent intervention by the city bureau, though they say it took years of complaints.

The violations haven’t been resolved yet,” said Mike Liefeld, Bureau of Development Services enforcement program manager. “But the bureau is working closely with the park [sic] management and their attorney.

Code Violations not by Management

According to Liefeld, none of the violations were directed against the Rainbow Villa’s ownership.

That’s because the bureau did not find violations in common areas,” said Liefeld.

The Portland Tribune stated that none of the violations were found in Jamie Willey’s home.

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Credit: MHLivingNews.

The Daily Business News, MHProNews, and MHLivingNews have covered similar stories, including the controversy at Cal-Am’s Heritage Village manufactured home community in Beaverton, Oregon. That story is linked 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.

OregonMetro, CFED Urges Rethinking Manufactured Housing with 4 Surprising Facts on Manufactured Homes, Analysis

September 13th, 2016 Comments off

graphic-cfed-proofmhaffordablehousingsolution-posteddailybusinessnewsmhpronewsIn a recently reported discussion about affordable housing in Portland, Oregon, four “surprising facts” were raised by OregonMetro’s Craig Bebbe.

The panel discussion at the Metro Regional Center shared hopeful signs for preserving and possibly even expanding access for manufactured housing and manufactured home communities in the future.  Bebbe called manufactured homes “Oregon’s largest source of unregulated affordable housing.”

Here are Bebbe’s four points:

  1. Much of what you think you know about manufactured homes is probably wrong.

Decades of cultural baggage have fueled a common perception of manufactured homes,” wrote Bebbe, “And much of that perception is wrong.”

Affordability, especially for those with lower incomes, was stressed. “Fully three-fifths of manufactured housing is affordable – with mortgages costing less than 30 percent of monthly household income for poorer families, compared to just one-fifth of other housing types.”

Data used in the report and supplied by the Corporation for Enterprise Development – or CFED – is linked below.

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Graphic info credit, CFED. Click here or above to download CFED report.

  1. That hot real estate market? It’s affecting manufactured homes too.

Here, Bebbe’s column echoes a report on the hot northwest housing market, and how manufactured homes are a good solution – see the MHLivingNews.com article, found linked here.  Bebbe cites “panelist Chelsea Catto, who directs a program to protect manufactured housing for nonprofit CASA of Oregon.”

Catto stresses that of the two broad types of community owners,

  • corporate players who want to expand their portfolio or
  • “mom and pop” operations,

both are willing, says Catto, to sell to developers who will shut the community down for redevelopment purposes for big enough bucks.

While community closures certainly occur, and they routinely produce sad outcomes for many residents – see Joe Dyton’s example of a saved, and lost opportunity to preserve a community, linked here – the following question arises. Are significant numbers of closures for redevelopment done by large portfolio operators?

There is no data the Daily Business News could readily find that produced a breakdown on which of these two groups – portfolio operators vs. “mom and pop” owned properties – produces more community closures due to property sales to re-developers.  But the anecdotal evidence from stories covered on MHProNews in recent years suggests that more closures tend to be from the “mom and pop” community owner category.

Further, according to an informed source in the ROC sphere, the “mom and pop” category of community owners reportedly produces far more conversions to resident-owned communities (ROCs).

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Image credit, Casa of Oregon.

  1. Fortunately, there are tools and policies that can help.

As Bebbe reports: A state law strengthened by the Legislature in 2014, requires landlords to give the community’s residents an opportunity to collectively buy the land under their homes,” said panelist Edward Brown with Oregon Housing and Community Services.

This type of legislation, and others designed to offer more safeguards for residents in communities, is becoming more common in recent years, for reasons like those cited in Dyton’s report, linked again here.

photooregonmetro-happyvalleycasaoregon-posteddailybusinessnews-mhpronews

Preserving a manufactured home community provides an arguably better option than most apartments or other forms of lower cost housing, as the details and links in this article demonstrate. Photo/text credits, OregonMetro and HappyValley, CASA Oregon.

  1. New manufactured homes could be part of future affordable housing options.

There hasn’t been a new manufactured home community in the Portland region in a really long time,” said Carolyn O’Doherty, an affordable housing developer with nonprofit Innovative Housing, Inc.,” writes Bebbe. “Most manufactured homes are older. The vast majority in the Portland region were built before 1999, with roughly 40 percent built before 1980.”

Innovative Housing, he adds, is willing to support plans for two new manufactured home communities.

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Note, the CFED logo is below the dashed line, the organization’s name was edited in by MHProNews for clarity on CFED’s meaning, and their logo is used here under fair use guidelines.

Today’s manufactured homes don’t look like the older ones many people think of, Carolyn O’Doherty, an affordable housing developer, said. “They tend to be as energy-efficient and high-quality as many traditional houses,” writes Bebbe.

Sites for possible new MHCs in their market are being sought, Bebbe says, and while more costly to develop initially than some multi-family projects, there are advantages as noted above, too.

Analysis

CFED and other non-profit organizations often wield significant influence in local, state and national politics.

A number of manufactured housing associations routinely engage with these advocacy groups, and those engagement efforts are to be encouraged.  States like Florida are seeing a reasonably good working relationship when candid, respectful discussions are held between advocacy groups, non-profits and for-profit companies under the efforts led by the Florida Manufactured Housing Association’s banner.

CFED is an organization that clearly has respect for the manufactured home option. But they routinely hold positions that take a dim view of personal property lending – for example, see the report linked here – that has a less-than-realistic take on manufactured home lending.

doug_ryan_cfed

Doug Ryan, CFED.

The tension that exists between industry companies and non-profits such as CFED requires a concerted effort, so that the gap is bridged in ways that benefit consumers, public appreciation, as well as respect for  manufactured home owners/buyers and manufactured housing professionals.

Beyond lending, CFED routinely produces interesting and often useful data on manufactured housing, as many of the facts downloadable in this report reflect.  They deserve credit where it is due.  ##

CFED Portland data snapshot, download.
CFED Oregon Data snapshot download.

(Image credits as shown.)

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L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is the publisher of MHProNews.com and MHLivingNews.com.

Submitted by L. A. “Tony” Kovach to the Daily Business News, MHProNews.com

Mobile and Manufactured Homes Dropped from HOME Program

November 26th, 2014 Comments off

Josh-Cross-GallatinNewsExaminer-Tennessean=credit-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-The Tennessean  tells the tale of the HOME program, $250,000 in federal grants going to each of three TN counties, Gallatin,Portland and Westmorelan. The program is designed to repair – or in the past, even replace – homes that had update needs, up to $40,000 per qualifying resident.

Deemed a lifesaver to those who get the funding, among the changes this year is the fact that mobile and manufactured homes will no longer be eligible.

Yet Gallatin resident Teresa White is among those who lament that their conventional house is so cold, they pile on blankets in the winter to stay warm.

(The house) needs to be up to code,” White said. “The reason why I initially built it was so we could all be together.

Housing rehabilitation funds are limited to a maximum of $40,000 per structure. In a market like theirs, that could pay for a new, green and energy efficient manufactured home that would come with a warranty. Homes that need more than $40,000 in repairs will no longer be eligible for their HOME Program.

No reason was evident why the manufactured home solution was no longer being considered. ##

(Photo credit: Josh Cross/Gallatin News Examiner/The Tennessean) 

Tiny Homes Recommended for Princeton, New Jersey

September 4th, 2014 Comments off

tiny_homes__oregonlive_com__techdwell_the_builderWriting in centraljersey.com, Anne Waldron Neumann tells MHProNews the Tiny House movement is attractive because it is off the grid—solar panels, recycled building materials, composting toilets, propane tanks—and it offers an anti-consumerism while still being community/neighborhood-friendly. She even suggests they could create more population density in Princeton, New Jersey by parking them in the driveways of affluent homes. She says, “Modular tiny houses, assembled inside factories, could provide steady construction jobs and disaster-relief housing. Tiny houses could form neighborhoods of market-rate and low-income homes. And they could easily be reconfigured as community centers, clinics, or daycare facilities.

We Princetonians can be as forward-thinking and socially conscious as Berkeley, Austin, or Portland residents. Our zoning laws don’t permit RVs parked in driveways but only in garages. But what about tiny houses? How quickly can we reconcile our ordinances with our cultural values and accommodate these eco-friendly, people-friendly, neighborhood-friendly, brave new tiny worlds? How quickly can Princeton accommodate anything new and good? ” MHProNews has posted previous stories about tiny homes. ##

(Image credit: oregonlive.com/techdwell the builder–tiny house)

Manufactured Home Teeters on Bridge

January 24th, 2014 Comments off

As the result of high winds, a manufactured home being transported along Interstate 205 between Vancouver, Washington and Portland, Oregon tipped onto the edge of a bridge above the Columbia River, according to katu.com. Oversize loads were temporarily banned from the highway, the first time Washington Department of Transportation officials can recall imposing that restriction. A crane was used to pull the home off the guardrail, MHProNews has learned, as water traffic below was halted.

(Photo credit: Dukester/katu.com)