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Posts Tagged ‘Takes’

Town Takes Up Manufactured Home Ordinance

May 8th, 2017 Comments off
TownTakesUpManufacturedHomeOrdinancecreditRealtor-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

A manufactured home in Kilgore, Texas. Credit: Realtor.

In Kilgore, Texas, an ordinance that has stopped the inclusion of new manufactured homes outside of specific communities is now under scrutiny.

According to the Longview News-Journal, the ordinance was front and center for officials during a council workshop last week.

In 2008, the city council approved an ordinance that restricted new manufactured homes from being placed outside of select communities. But according to City Manager Josh Selleck, manufactured homes have been allowed outside such communities during the past nine years anyway.

Unfortunately, we’re bound by state law to enforce our code as written,” said Selleck.

And city staff no longer will allow exceptions to the code.”

Selleck suggested that the council hold a joint meeting with the planning and zoning commissions to discuss clearing up zoning ordinance issues. A date for that meeting was not set.

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Credit: Google.

Aside from mobile home parks [sic] that are licensed with the city, there are at least three other locations that appear to be mobile home parks [sic] but aren’t licensed,” said Selleck.

The question is whether they can expand or replace, and that’s part of what I think what we’re going to have to go through is how are they able to replace a mobile home [sic] if one burns, and what are the rules for the permit process.”

Based on discussions at the workshop, Selleck believes that the City Council could be in a position to formally pass any proposed changes as early as their June 27th meeting.

 

A Trend?

The case in Kilgore potentially provides hope for manufactured housing, and could signal a stop to a recent trend of limiting manufactured homes to select communities.

In December, the Linton, Indiana City Council voted to move forward with a manufacturing housing ordinance, which will require all future manufactured homes to be in a manufactured home community. The Daily Business News covered this in a story, linked here.

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Too many cities and towns have an outdated view of manufactured homes, or are being pushed by residents who don’t understand the modern MH reality into taking actions like those noted in this town in IN. When more of the public understands what inspector Becki Jackson does about modern manufactured homes, the incidents of such cases will continue. To see the Becki Jackson video and interview, click here or above.

The controversial motion passed with a 3-2 vote.

Shortly after, Indiana Manufactured Housing Association (IMHA) President Ron Breymier responded.

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Photo credit: TheLegisGroup.com

IMHA sent a letter to Mayor Wilkes and members of the Linton City Council advising them that their proposed ordinance would not be permissible under Indiana law.

Breymier shared Indiana Code IC 16-41-27-32 (b) which states the following:

A governmental body other than the state department of health may not regulate mobile homes or manufactured homes regarding habitability or minimum housing conditions unless the regulation is applicable in the same manner to other forms of residential housing in the jurisdiction.

Rather than an outright ban on the future placement of manufactured homes in Linton, which would be counter to Indiana law,” said Breymier, “IMHA recommended the city enforce the existing state law and make certain any additional manufactured homes seeking placement in Linton meet the same regulations that apply to other forms of residential housing.

Obviously, Mayor Wilkes and the Linton City Council chose to ignore that advice and adopted the new ordinance. IMHA will discuss the matter with its board of directors and determine if there is anything further we can do to address this situation.”

The Daily Business News has covered a number of NIMBY (Not-In-My-Back-Yard) cases recently, including one in Hutchinson, Kansas here.

It should also be noted that a close reading of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 provides for enhanced preemption, which ought to limit such local zoning efforts.

MHARR and state associations are often raising this issue, with one example in a case linked here. ##

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

 

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RC Williams, MHProNews.

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

Super Modular? Super Tower Takes Shape

April 24th, 2017 Comments off
SuperModularSuperTowerTakesShapecreditConstructionNewsUK-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

The Apex Tower. Credit: Construction News UK.

In the U.K., modular housing continues to gain steam as a practical solution to the nation’s growing housing crisis.

But in Wembley, just north of London it’s being taken to a whole new level.

According to Construction News UK, Tide Construction and Vision Modular Systems have put the final piece in place for the 29-story Apex House Tower, which has 560 student rooms, utilizing 679 modular units. or modules.

We are delighted that both the housing minister Gavin Barwell and London mayor Sadiq Khan have made off-site construction a priority in the capital to help ease the strain on London’s housing supply,” said Tide Construction CEO Christy Hayes.

Modular construction provides a much faster alternative to traditional construction without compromising on the quality of the building, or the versatility of the design. Modular produces 80 per cent less waste, requires fewer onsite workers and provides certainty of cost and time.”

The modular units were produced at Vision Modular Systems’ factory, and were delivered with full kitchens and bathrooms. Both companies expect the build out of Apex House Tower to be completed by the time the new school year begins in September.

The project represents the fourth endeavor for Vision Modular Systems and Tide Construction in London.

As Daily Business News recently covered here, Vision Modular Systems has also been very active on the U.K. affordable housing scene, including a partnership with construction firm Donban Contracting, has completed two finished blocks of modular housing, and turned them over to Pocket Living, an affordable housing provider that only sells to first-time buyers.

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A prefab home in progress on site. Credit: Reuters.

Partnering with Pocket Living on multiple projects has allowed us to deliver vital new housing for first-time buyers and key workers who underpin the very fabric of our cities,” said Kieran White, managing director at Vision Modular Systems.

Traditional site built developments of this scale in the U.K. can take up to two years to complete, putting additional pressure on housing inventory. Modular provides a practical solution to the problem.

Getting high-quality homes built quickly is key to solving the housing crisis. Modular techniques will play an increasingly important role in meeting this challenge and, through our partnership with Donban and Vision Modular, over a quarter of Pocket’s future pipeline will be built through modular construction,” said Marc Vlessing, chief executive of Pocket Living.

For more on modular housing in the U.K., including major builders making moves into the modular space, click here. ##

 

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

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Op-Ed Takes City to Task, Advocates for MH as Solution

February 22nd, 2017 Comments off
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A home in the Crown Villa community in Bend, Oregon. Credit: Crown Villa.

Former Bend, Oregon mayor and property firm president Allan Bruckner, recently penned an op-ed in The Bulletin, which makes the case for manufactured housing as a solution to the city’s affordable housing crisis.

One of the obvious and most talked about problems in Bend is our need for affordable housing. Yet so far there has been no effective approach to solving this need. There has been some success for apartments, which require a subsidy to the developer, but very little progress for single-family dwellings,” wrote Bruckner.

Why not consider a subdivision based on factory-built housing (previously called mobile homes [sic]) that doesn’t require a subsidy. Economical factory housing is advertised for around $50 per square foot, whereas low-cost, site-built housing in Bend costs around $100 per square foot for a 900- to 1,200-square-foot house. (Costs for land, water, sewer and road are additional.)

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Allan Bruckner. Credit: Source Weekly.

Bruckner continued, speaking very strongly about the negative perceptions of manufactured housing, and how it needs to change.

While they have a historic negative image as creating slum like conditions, or depreciating like junk, that need not be the case,” wrote Bruckner.

For example, consider the successful local examples such as the Romaine Village subdivision or the Crown Villa mobile home park. Each has provided safe, code-compliant, low-cost housing for over 40 years! Each remains very attractive after these 40 years. Why not develop such a project today? And such a project could address a large number of housing units, not like a few ‘ADUs’ (accessory dwelling units) here and there.”

Bruckner went on to discuss the Juniper Ridge industrial park, and its failure over the last 10 years, as an option for the city to redesignate in parts for extensive affordable housing.

He also called for specific restrictions to make sure that it happens.

Of course, just rezoning land for housing will not guarantee its use for low-cost housing, so specific restrictions are necessary,” wrote Bruckner.

To make this truly low-cost housing, the city should make the land available free. At an average price of $100,000 per lot in Bend, combined with factory-built housing at about half the price of site-built houses, this would be a huge savings. With perhaps 10 units per acre, and developing 20 or 30 acres, this approach would have a major impact on availability of affordable housing.

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The Juniper Ridge Industrial Park. Credit: Bend Bulletin.

In closing, Bruckner pointed to the need for the housing, and for action.

The need is obviously great. If we really want to provide affordable housing, why not free land? After all, the city got the land for $1 from the county, which got it free from Bureau of Land Management. Understandably, there would have to be controls so the resident gets the benefit of free land, and doesn’t get a windfall upon resale, but those are solvable legal issues. (Perhaps the city places a lien on the property, maybe releasable gradually over time),” wrote Bruckner.

It could provide a huge increase in affordable housing with limited out-of-pocket costs to taxpayers. If this problem is to be addressed, it is time for bold action.” ##

 

(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.

Tiny Prefab Builder Takes His Show on the Road

January 27th, 2017 Comments off
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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