Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco’

You Can Earn HOW Much in San Francisco, and Still Qualify for Affordable Housing?

July 18th, 2017 Comments off

Modular housing, San Francisco, credit, Pinterest.

Depending on where you live, the definition of what is affordable housing might change.

For example, in San Francisco, the cost of living is higher than in most of the United States. That leaves not just very-low and low-income families in need of affordable housing, but moderate to middle income singles or households as well.

The City of San Francisco decided to address the issue by adjusting a previously voter-approved amendment, Proposition C, which increased the requirements for affordable housing.

Proposition C required builders to include at least 25 or more units to be considered ‘affordable housing.’

With the new changes in place, they will now be required to include 25 percent of new developments  to be considered affordable 2- and 3-bedroom units.  10 percent of those projects are also required to be 3 bedrooms, per Hoodline.


To see definitions of Affordable Housing, click the article, in the hot linked graphic above.

The revised plan also increases the amount of income that allowed for affordable housing assistance – permitting families of 2 making up making as much as $138,000 a year to qualify.

What that means is that instead of allowing families making up to 55 percent of the median income to qualify, the changes will allow households to make up to 150 percent of the median income – and still be eligible.


A previous Daily Business News report about more affordable factory-built housing options in process.  Panoramic Interests Unit. Credit: SF Chronicle.

The Problems Not Addressed by the Proposed “Cures?”


San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, credit, the Verge.

While local officials are celebrating, do their solutions get to the heart of the problems that cause housing to be unaffordable in places like the famous “City by the Bay?”  Does tinkering with the formula for housing subsidies really qualify as the “solution?”  Isn’t that like tinkering with the minimum wage?

According to SF Gate, the changes have not yet been finalized, since revisions to the amendment were added as recently as last Tuesday. Those reportedly would be the first variations to the city’s affordable housing policy made by city officials since 2002.

Construction Technology vs. Tinkering with Subsidies


As Daily Business News readers know, this trade-media platform recently reported Google’s announced plan to bring modular housing to the area for temporary employee residence, and Facebook is entering the affordable housing market – and could go prefab or modular – as well.

While those company proposals may not be the complete solution, they at least attempt to move closer to one by addressing the housing costs vs. income equation. 


Update, about 45 minutes after we first published this article.

How and when will prefabricated housing and manufactured homes – where possible – become the trend of the Bay Area? When will land-use issues be addressed that drive housing costs up? ##

(Note: Oakland, CA has had scattered lot manufactured home placement successes, see that story linked here.)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

JuliaGranowiczManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews-comSubmitted by Julia Granowicz to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.


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.

A 3D Home in Record Time? What the Future Holds

March 16th, 2017 Comments off

The Apis For home. Credit: Metro.

The innovations in 3D printed homes continue at a break-neck pace. Beijing-based HuaShang Tengda, which printed a two-story villa that can reportedly withstand a magnitude eight earthquake, and PassivDom, a Ukrainian startup, has now come up with a stand-alone, energy-efficient 3D printed house, ideal for off-the-grid living.

And now, a San Francisco, California-based Apis Cor claims to have taken the process to a whole new level.

According to the Daily Mail, they unveiled a 400-square-foot house in a town outside of Moscow, Russia that was constructed using a mobile 3D printer.

In just 24 hours.

The Apis Cor technology printed walls, partitions, and other items, and appears to be the first company to develop a portable 3D printer able to print whole buildings entirely on location.

Construction took place in December 2016, and the company reports the materials used should last at least 175 years.


The home in progress. Credit: Daily Mail.

This project was selected specifically, as one of the main purposes of this construction is to demonstrate the flexibility of equipment and diversity of available forms,the company said in a statement.

A distinctive feature of the printer is its design, which is reminiscent of the tower crane, allowing the printer to execute the printing process of constructing the building both inside and outside.


The crane in action. Credit: Daily Mail.

Apis Cor says that this was the first time in the Russian construction that a house was printed as a whole, rather than assembled from pre-printed panels.

Impacts this Technology has upon the Manufactured Housing Industry?  

The company says that the cost for the model described above is $10,134. However,  buildings can be printed in various shapes and at a larger size, with the only restrictions on designs being the laws of physics.

When one of several mainstream news articles, reporting on that 10k figure, were shared with industry professionals with production connections, one source told MHProNews that “It could be a game changer and has the potential to eliminate thousands of manufactured housing factory jobs…. but that would be way down the road.”

The ramifications were shocking enough, that the source would only speak off the record.

There is a big ‘however,’ here.

Before investors, developers and others go bailing on manufactured housing, and stocks take a dump, there are likely several caveats to this report by Futurism and from others in the mainstream media that need to be properly understood,” said industry consultant and publisher, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

We contacted the 3D producer directly, and they have yet to answer numerous questions that relate to interior finishes, what building codes this may or may not meet, total cost with all finish work, etc.  Because some in the mainstream media may not get it about all that goes into the total costs of a home, details like:

  • cabinetry,
  • flooring,
  • tape and texture,
  • electrical,
  • windows,
  • doors,
  • plumbing, etc.

they can easily be wowed by a claim – that when scrutized – doesn’t quite hold up. Think Jim Walters housing – shell homes sold at a lower price, but with signficant finish costs.”


Joe Dyton, for the Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Another example of a story that drew media hype – but was missing key details – was a report out of Europe covered for the Daily Business News by Joe Dyton.


Original photo credit, Inhabitat and provided under fair use guidelines. Text credit, MHProNews.

Click the image above for facts the original story in the mainstream media missed.  “These are examples of why the industry needs an independent trade media, one that does some digging,” Kovach said.

MHI was contacted about the topic above – and the broader issue of potentially disruptive technologies negatively impacting manufactured housing – and they had no comment.


Is MHI unprepared for issues that could disrupt the industry? Are they properly prepared to engage the mainstream media on topics that could at first blush seem to be harmful to manufactured housing interests? What lessons does the recent – and largely negative – NPR reporting hold for the industry at large, and what does it say about MHI’s engagement strategies? To learn more about such media and related questions – and what Frank Rolfe and other industry professionals have to say about them – click here.  MHARR has taken the position that the industry has a historic opportunity and can sell hundreds of thousands of homes a year, but must capitalize rapidly on opportunities that the Trump administration has made possible – to learn more about MHARR’s views, click here.  Pam Danner at HUD…is she one of those MH Industry roadblocks? For MHI award-winner Doug Gorman’s view on the Danner/HUD issue, click here. 

Possible Disruptions Are No Joke…

An association veteran told MHProNews that failing to adapt could result over time in manufactured housing’s associations becoming “the associations of mobile home remodelers.” It was a tongue-in-cheek way of saying – there would be widespread industry business failures, and that only remodeling work would be left – if the correct steps aren’t taken by members of the industry.

We are several years into our industry’s recovery. That’s good news.  But 3D, prefab, containers and tiny houses are all reminders that


L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

manufactured housing producers and others can’t rest on their laurels,” Kovach said. “Manufactured housing is an amazing option, that’s highly sustainable, so long as we grow more rapidly towards our potential.  There is a high cost – and risk – to low volume sales, which is why we’ve repeatedly said that aiming for hundreds of thousands of new home sales a year in a sustainable way is a must.”

“Some companies are taking steps to grow in a responsible way.  That’s good news. But absent such growth,” Kovach cautions, “our source is sadly but likely correct – in the next 5 to 10 years perhaps, technologies are emerging that could disrupt the manufactured housing industry.  Communities, production, lending, retailing – it could all change unless more of the industry’s members and leaders take the proper steps, now.”

The Daily Business News has covered the rise of 3D printed homes extensively, including other Chinese, Russian and Dutch 3D home projects, and asking the tough question: “Is America losing the 3D Technology race in housing?

In several off-the-record comments by professionals with community, production, association, retailing and other industry interests, say that the industry needs to pay attention.

For more on 3D printed homes, including the story of The BigDelta, the world’s largest 3D printer and its year-long mission to print a mud house, 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.

Zell Speaks on Economic Opportunities

February 24th, 2017 Comments off

Sam Zell, ELS Chair, credit, MHProNews.

Sam Zell, a name familiar to the manufactured housing industry, spoke to TheStreet recently at a conference in Boca Raton, Florida, about the “staggering economic opportunity” for the U.S. under President Donald Trump.

Trump’s vow to cut government regulation could lead to one trillion of (economic) stimulus without spending anything, while Obama added $1 trillion to U.S. debt to prop up the U.S. economy,” said Zell.

The business magnate and chairman of Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) said that eliminating a number of rules that hurt businesses needing help, will cut down on unnecessary expenses and create confidence for entrepreneurs who would otherwise be fearful of the federal government stepping in to suffocate their investment.

If the U.S. just reverses what it stopped during the Obama administration, the stimulative effect will be extraordinary, said Zell.

While Zell tends to agree with Trump on immigration, he’s had strong words regarding  anti-immigration sentiment by some in the U.S.

The United States has been the leader in the world for 200 years because it’s had a very aggressive immigration policy,” said Zell.


Credit: Seeking Alpha.

I think that this current period of anti-immigration is very dangerous to the future of our country.

But, he’s a staunch opponent of so called “sanctuary cities,” which he believes are a threat.

I’m a rule of law guy. If immigration and other laws aren’t enforced ultimately, you’ll destroy the society,” said Zell.

How does San Francisco justify writing its own version of the constitution?

With his extensive investments both inside and outside of the U.S., Zell remains a fan of free trade, but he supports the Trump Administration moves to renegotiate some of the trade deals.

Many of our free trade agreements are a combination of free trade and foreign policy pacts that don’t optimize economic benefits for the U.S. and instead are designed to improve diplomatic relations with trading partners,said Zell.

Before NAFTA we didn’t have a trade deficit with Mexico, afterwards we have a $60 billion deficit. Mexico, by the way, post-NAFTA has a $60 billion trade deficit with China. The U.S. thus helped Mexico’s trade picture while worsening its own. We are putting a price on the back of free trade.

New agreements must be good for the U.S. and, ultimately, that will be what is good for the free world,” said Zell.


To see an exclusive interview with Sam Zell, click here or the image above.

As Daily Business News readers are aware, leaders in business, including Zell, clearly understand the significant business opportunity in manufactured housing.

Warren Buffet and Berkshire Hathaway, which owns Clayton Homes, and independents such as John Bostick with Sunshine Homes are “doubling down” on the industry, with Zell being quoted as saying during this interview “Everyone calls them trailer parks. Pencil head, it’s not a trailer park.

ELS and Berkshire Hathaway are also two of the manufactured home industry connected stocks tracked every business day by the Daily Business News, with the most recent reportlinked 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.

As Community Floods, Residents Prepare to Leave

February 10th, 2017 Comments off

Residents at Balls Ferry Fishing Resort & Mobile Home Park wading through flood waters. Credit: Record-Searchlight.

The residents of Balls Ferry Fishing Resort & Mobile Home Park in Anderson, California, were dealt a blow by heavy rains this week, which caused the nearby Sacramento River to crest and flood the community.

According to the Record-Searchlight, heavy rain slammed into the area on Monday and into Tuesday, flooding countless areas throughout Shasta County, including the community.


I slept in this morning and management notified us the water level was coming up and we should get ready to leave just in case,” said resident Jonathan Williams.

Water continued to creep up to the skirting of at least a dozen homes, rising 14 inches in less than 12 hours.

I’ve never seen it do this,” said Richard Bremer, 75, who has lived in the community for about 11 years. His home was safe from the flooding, just a few feet from the water’s edge.

It crested one time about 10 years ago but not like this.


Credit: Record-Searchlight.

Even with sandbags lining the entrances of most homes in the community, some still had damage.

For Williams, whose home sits at a high point away from the floodwaters, he said that management has made a real effort to help residents out.


Credit: KRCR.

I’ve lived in a lot of trailer parks [sic],” said Williams.

This park [sic], because of management’s efforts and the owner’s efforts, is a really tight-knit community.

Neighbors also pitched in on Tuesday, helping those who could move their homes and belongings away from floodwaters to higher ground.

When this started happening, a lot of people don’t have trucks that will pull their unit, their RVs. So it’s kind of important we all pull together,” said Williams.

We’re kind of like a family here. It’s not a trailer park [sic], it’s a family park [sic].”

Heavy rain is in the forecast for the area through Saturday, with 24 areas under advisories, watches or warnings for flooding. Winter storms in the region have delivered heavy rains and flooding from the San Francisco Bay Area to the Nevada state line. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Tiny Prefab Builder Takes His Show on the Road

January 27th, 2017 Comments off

Inside of a MicroPAD. Credit: Berkeley Side.

Patrick Kennedy, owner of Panoramic Interests, a San Francisco, California based developer specializing in prefab homes, believes he has a partial solution to the Bay Area’s chronic homelessness problem.

Now he’s invited the East Bay city of Berkeley to take a look at that solution with a prototype installed next to City Hall.

According to Berkeley Side, Kennedy, whom the Daily Business News covered recently in his quest to solve the homeless challenge in San Francisco, believes the answer lies in the MicroPAD — a fully furnished, 20 by eight foot steel box, reminiscent of a shipping container that’s designed to house one person, or possibly a couple.

The formula? Stack many of them on top of each other, and they become a building of small housing units.


Patrick Kennedy. Credit: Biz Journals.

Homelessness has reached a boiling point, and it’s going to get worse,” said Kennedy.

This is a way of creating fast and effective permanent housing for people without homes. And many people are just one paycheck away from being homeless.

Kennedy hopes to build micro housing in Berkeley and nearby Oakland, with an overall goal of providing housing for 5,000 Bay Area homeless people in the next five years.

The Berkeley city council appears to be open to the idea. Council members Ben Bartlett and Linda Maio put an item on the council meeting agenda recently to discuss the units.


Berkeley, in red. Credit: Google.

The recommendation is that the city identify public land where such housing could be erected, obtain zoning and permitting approval for a 4-story, 100-unit building, identify a housing nonprofit to manage and operate the property, and establish criteria to determine who would be eligible to live there.


Linda Maio and  Ben Bartlett. Credit: Official photos.

I ran across micro-units about a year ago and I was really excited,” said Bartlett.

Having people on the street is a huge concern for me and my constituents. The waiting time for housing for many of the homeless is over a decade and the funding sources for supportive housing is drying up. This could be a way to build housing rapidly and cheaply — it looks like a silver bullet.

As was the case in San Francisco, Kennedy is aware his proposals will be met with some scrutiny, and perhaps resistance, in Berkeley.

He also believes there is an urgency to address the ongoing housing crisis, and that there are options for funding.

Paying for housing city by city is problematic,” said Kennedy.

Why should Berkeley fund it all? Homeless people are not citizens of any city. It would make sense for the county, or even the state to fund it, to spread the burden, use some creative financing.


A view of the MicroPAD. Credit: Berkeley Side.

At least one member of the homeless community is already scrutinizing the idea.

Me and one of my friends have seen the MicroPAD and it doesn’t look very well built,” said Mike Zint, founder of First They Came for the Homeless.

Zint and other advocates support building “tiny homes” as a solution.

Homeless advocate Mike Lee said that he believes tiny homes can be built for $10,000 each.

As Daily Business News readers are already aware, the rules governing tiny homes vary greatly by county, as we covered in the case of a Washington State builder recently. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Harvard Study, Baby Boomers to Spark Affordable Housing Boom

January 17th, 2017 Comments off

Credit: FOX Business.

As “baby boomers” eye retirement in large numbers, builders believe that they could jumpstart an affordable housing boom.

Per FOX Business, a report by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing finds that by 2035, more than one in five people in the U.S. will be aged 65 and older and one in three households will be headed by someone in that age group.

The report, entitled “Projections and Implications for Housing a Growing Population: Older Adults 2015-2035,” notes the growth will increase the demand for affordable, accessible housing that is well connected to services beyond what the current supply can meet.

Current census data shows that incomes drop significantly after the age of 75, from an average of $54,000 per year to $36,000 per year. Data also shows that this segment spends more than one-third of their income on housing.

Right now, more than 19 million older adults live in unaffordable or inadequate housing, and that problem will only grow worse in the next two decades as our population ages,” said Lisa Marsh Ryerson, president of AARP Foundation.

When asked what these numbers mean for the real estate industry, Lukas Krause, CEO of Real Property Management provided this response:


Lukas Krause. Credit: Real Property Management.

People currently over the age of 55 have saved only $150,000 for retirement, per Fidelity and Vanguard estimates. This savings amount will generate only $500 per month in income, if the recommended 4% withdrawal standard is followed,” said Krause.

Social Security pays an average of $1,294 in benefits to retirees, so average monthly income will be $1,794 or $21,528 per year. If 34% – 38% is spent on housing, the average retiree will have a housing budget of $610 – $682 per month – half of todays average apartment rental cost of $1,100 per month. This means cohabitation and new forms of housing will be needed in the future.  It also means that retirees who have not already purchased a home, will be unlikely to afford one.


Manufactured Housing to the Rescue

As Daily Business News and MHLivingNews readers are already aware, manufactured homes provide the ideal solution to the challenges of affordable housing by delivering high quality quickly, and at significantly less cost than traditional site-built houses.


See the video and report by clicking the image above. Photo of Lois Renquist. credit: SFChron. Text credit, MHLivingNews.

Overcoming the challenge of the stereotypes that plague the industry are now front and center in light of the rapidly retiring baby boomer population. Lois Renquist, a poet laureate who resides in the San Francisco Bay Area, has had to deal with those stereotypes in response to her recent downsizing.

I’m downsizing for the second time, and some folks think I’m ‘stepping down,’” said Renquist.

Rancho Benicia is a highly rated and gated retirement community (55 and older only), very well kept, with a pool and hot tub, a clubhouse and many activities for the residents. It’s almost crime free. It’s a mobile home park. A block from the Benicia Marina, it’s often seen as another world.

‘Trailer trash? Is that what you’ve come to?’ someone asked.

‘That’s really stepping down,’ my brother, who lives in Idaho, said.

You can find the full story, along with the story of Terry Reynolds, whose home is located in a development with conventional houses that he says range from $300,000 to $400,000, double or more what he has invested in his home. Yet visitors to his home can’t tell the difference between his residence and that of others in the same location, linked here. ##

(Editor’s note: those same stereotypes that hamper manufactured home acceptance with boomers are slowing millennials from accepting manufactured housing too, see a report, linked here.

Fortunately, their are industry leaders who seek to change those realities.  For some examples, see the new report, 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.

Billion-Dollar Micro-Modular War – Housing Homeless, but Unions Balk Over Importing Units From Abroad

September 21st, 2016 Comments off

panoramicinterestsmicromodularhousingsfchron-postedmanufacturedmodularhousingindustrydailybusinessnewsmhpronewsThousands are homeless in the storied city by the bay, and cardboard boxes are a clearly undesirable option. Developer Patrick Kennedy of Panoramic Interests has his sights set on developing inexpensive, modular supportive housing for the throngs of homeless, which he will then lease back to the city, according to sfist and The San Francisco Chronicle.  But labor unions are understandably unhappy with the idea that the micro-modular container housing units aren’t made in the U.S.; rather, they would be coming in from China.

The Daily Business News has covered this trend extensively over the years. Editorially, MHProNews publisher L. A. “Tony” Kovach has warned on the Masthead blog periodically for some years that cheap, imported units from other nations could undercut domestic modular and manufactured housing producers. Is that day now upon us?

Kennedy has been pitching San Francisco City Hall on his plan for the past year, citing that his units can be built far faster than conventional structures for half the cost. His proposed location is above a publicly owned parking lot at Highway 101 and Caesar Chavez Street.

The Community Housing Partnership is also looking to build a 100-unit complex of modular units made of wood-framed components in a separate development.

San Francisco mayor Ed Lee has also pledged to spend $1 billion dollars over his second term to house 8,000 homeless people. While he likes the concept of modular housing, he mentioned that details needed to be worked out. This is where the hurdles begin.


The main construction unions that would be involved have taken issue with the fact that Kennedy’s metal boxes would be built in China, not made by American workers.

Local unions also believe building-code requirements are less stringent for modular construction.

Jeff Kositsky, head of the newly created Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing also questions Kennedy’s proposal to build on city-owned land, saying there are already too many demands being made on scarce public property. While he takes issue, he’s not against the concept.


I love the idea,” said Kositsky.

The city is interested in finding ways to lower construction costs and the length of time it takes to build, and modular housing is certainly a promising development — and not just for homeless housing, but all housing.”

We’ve been kind of holding back on pushing the subject further until we have something concrete for people to come see and experience,” said Kennedy. But after we get this unit in front of my office, I want to talk more.”

carolgalnte-twitter-ucberkley-manufacturedmodularhousingindustrydailybusinessnews-mhpronewsKennedy also shared that he will pay for construction himself, then lease the complex to the city for $1,000 per month, per unit. If he has to work with private land, as opposed to public land, the lease cost would then rise to about $1,200 per unit.

 We should be able to work things out,” Kennedy said.

I’m willing to sit down and talk if it meets code, provides good jobs, and if he’s not talking about using public land — that land is precious, and we have to be good stewards of it. We’re already master leasing from private landlords (of residential hotels). Why not this, too?” Kositsky said.


The head of the Community Housing Partnership, Gail Gilman, said that the organization’s wood-framed units would be constructed in Idaho.

We should really have the city rally and come together to say, ‘Let’s try a couple of modular projects and see how it goes’because homelessness is a crisis here, and we need to try things.” Gilman said.

Kositsky shared that modular construction is not by definition low-quality housing — there is plenty, used for hotels and dorms and more, that has been high-quality.”

The final word comes from Carol Galante, a UC Berkeley professor who specializes in affordable housing and urban policy.

Modular construction saves time and money — at least 20 percent in construction costs and 40 percent in time — that’s been proven,” she said.

We can do this.” ##

(Image credits are as shown.)


RC WIlliams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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


Modular Apartment Complex will be Bay Area’s First

March 10th, 2016 Comments off

calif__san_francisco_modular_houing_project__kalw_dot_org__creditWith the cost in San Francisco to build a new home running around $700,000 to $800,000, thereby pricing many middle-income and working class people out of the market, one company has begun building modular apartment buildings.

BRIDGE is a non-profit developer, and as such can receive government funding and tax credits to built affordable housing, and it is partnering with the Zeta factory in Sacramento to build the modules, as informs MHProNews.

Howard Koenig, ZETA’s CEO, said, “I actually believe that we are a central solution to the affordable housing crisis.” He has seen a lot of modular builders come and go, often put off by banks that are reluctant to finance something unfamiliar.

Real estate, we’re a conservative industry, we move slow,” says Adhi Nagraj, director of development at BRIDGE housing. However, he said, “We felt like there were enough case studies of smaller modular projects that we could jump in and take the risks.” The two firms are partnering on an affordable development in San Leandro, the first of its kind in the Bay Area.

While developer Patrick Kennedy says, “There’s a large graveyard of bankrupt developers that pursued (modular),” he acknowledges the concept has a bright future but it is now in its infancy and mistakes are bound to happen. “When modular projects go wrong, they go wrong in a very big way and usually a very expensive way,” he says.

Meanwhile, the San Leandro project is moving forward for people who make half of the median income in the area. The housing will be home to families earning $40,000 a year. So far, 18,000 people have applied to live in this new development, which translates into thousands and thousands of residents in the Bay Area who continue to seek affordable housing. ##

(Photo credit:–modular apartment building in San Leandro, Calif.)

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

Homeownership still Less Expensive than Renting

May 19th, 2015 Comments off

home buying   firstbanktrust  creditAccording to a report by Trulia, on a national level homeownership is 35 percent cheaper that renting, up from 33 percent last year. While home prices have risen a little more than rents, lower mortgage rates provide a financial advantage to home buyers.

The top five markets where buying provides the least advantage over renting are Honolulu, San Jose, CA, Lancaster, Penn., Sacramento, CA and San Francisco. In fact, six of the ten markets where buying has the least edge over renting are in CA, reports CNNMoney.

In general, there is more financial advantage to buying versus renting in the South. In Sarasota, Florida it is 55 percent less expensive to buy than rent. However, if mortgage rates begin to rise, renting may have a financial advantage over buying, as MHProNews understands.

Ralph McLaughlin, housing economist at Trulia, notes that a down payment may remain the biggest obstacle to homebuyers. He says, “Even though we are a few years out of the recession, it can still take quite a while to save up for a down payment, especially when rents are high.

It should be noted that buying a manufactured home has a distinct advantage over renting when weighing finances. ##

(Image credit: firstbanktrust)

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