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Victory for Residents or Erosion of Rights? A City Takes Action

May 22nd, 2017 Comments off
VictoryforResidentsorErosionofRightsCityTakesActioncreditKQED-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

The Winchester Ranch community in San Jose, CA. Credit: KQED.

In California, the San Francisco Bay Area is known as a technology hub and a center of activism. In the city of San Jose, the city council made a move last week that could make it known for something else.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, the council voted 10-1 against a staff-recommended “closure” policy that would have weakened resident protections for manufactured housing community closures and have a significant impact on affordable housing in the Silicon Valley.

We won a big fight,” said manufactured home community resident Davyln Jones, who also sits on the city’s Housing and Community Development Commission.

VictoryforResidentsorErosionofRightsCityTakesActioncreditJohnnyKhamisOfficialPhoto-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Councilman Johnny Khamis. Official photo.

This says it’s not OK to yank the land out from underneath people who spent their life savings purchasing the homes.”

Councilman Johnny Khamis, who was the lone dissenting vote, expressed concern that the message being sent could have unintended consequences.

San Jose is punishing property owners,” said Khamis.

It punished landlords when it passed sweeping renter protections last week.”

With the vote, manufactured home community owners who want to close properties, then sell or redevelopment them, must now follow steps outlined in a “conversion policy.” This policy includes paying relocation benefits, offering to purchase a home at its current value, and negotiating with the manufactured home community’s residents’ association.

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Margaret Nanda. Credit: Hopkins & Carley.

Attorney Margaret Nanda echoed Khamis’ comments, and also pointed out another factor.

San Jose’s housing crisis wasn’t caused by mobile home park [sic]owners,” said Nanda.

The policy is an erosion of property rights.”

 

Local housing advocates said that the proposed policy was troublesome because it had a loophole – it allowed a property owner to say that they were closing a community, meaning they would allegedly not have to pay as much in relocation benefits or draw as much attention, and then simply sit on the land and redevelop it at a later time. The policy also did not require a community closure to be approved by the city council.

Advocates say that this would provide residents with fewer safeguards.

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Mayor Sam Liccardo. Official Photo.

San Jose is home to nearly 11,000 mobile homes [sic] in 59 parks [sic], the largest number of any city in the state,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.

And, they’re viewed as one of the last affordable housing options in San Jose.”

Mayor Liccardo also recommended the exploration of creating a new land use designation just for manufactured home communities to bolster preservation. Such a designation would allow the city to set specific policies for, and control, how land is converted for other uses.

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Credit: Google.

The origins of the actions by the council last week date back to 2015, when the owners of Winchester Ranch Mobile Home Park informed residents they were planning to close to sell the land to a developer to build new apartments and a hotel.

The city blocked Winchester Ranch’s closure by adopting an emergency ban, and the community owners sued the city, but later dropped the lawsuit.

 

MH Industry Perspectives On Like Issues 

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Credit: NBC.

As scenarios like the one in San Jose continue to play out in the U.S. and Canada, the thoughts shared by ROC USA President Paul Bradley are relevant.

How can we promote homeownership and sell new homes on leased land and at the same time close communities?” Bradley questioned.

It’s like selling tickets to a zoo where ‘only 1 in a 100 are eaten by the lions!’”

One way to address this is to segment true homeownership land lease communities and differentiate it from traditional ‘parks’ where closure remains a risk, not a certainty but a risk.

For the Georgia Manufactured Housing Association’s Jay Hamilton, he sees things differently.

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Jay Hamilton, Executive Director, Georgia Manufactured Housing Association (GMHA).

One of the biggest reasons that a Manufactured Home Community Owner sells his property is that over time property taxes increase four and five-fold.  But the owner can’t economically escalate the lot rent quick enough to keep up.  Or the resident could not afford to live there if they did,” said Hamilton.

As communities become surrounded and engulfed by restaurants, Hilton Hotels, stadiums, big box stores, airports, residential and commercial developments – property taxes begin exceeding the total revenue from renting spaces.” ##

(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.

 

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Top Prize for Residential Modular Visionary

January 30th, 2017 Comments off
TopPrizeforResidentialModularVisionarycreditVancouverSun-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

A look at the award winning modular vision. Credit: Vancouver Sun.

A vision for modular housing has made a huge impact at the recent STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Spotlight Awards in Vancouver, Canada.

According to the Vancouver Sun, British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) civil engineering student Stephen Cohos won the $20,000 grand prize during the inaugural edition of the awards event for his vision of sustainable modular housing.

My main interest is in modular building systems, but we can also make buildings that sequester carbon from the atmosphere rather than create it in the production of cement,” said Cohos.

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Credit: STEM Spotlight Awards.

Cohos presented the Amoeba Building System to judges, which is a modular building system that can be used to create large multi-unit residential buildings composed almost entirely from wood, with the goal of solving the Vancouver area-housing crisis.

Cohos says that the individual living units are called “Unit Cells” which can be assembled on site from prefabricated wall and floor panels, and then stacked like Lego bricks to match the shape and topography of a building site.

It really speeds up the time needed for construction,” said Cohos.

Right now I am designing an eight-story building, but we are hoping to go up to 15 or 20 floors.

The STEM Spotlight Awards is a first-of-its-kind competition in Canada, challenging individuals aged 18 to 28 to present solutions to real-world problems in five major sectors of the British Columbia economy using STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).

 

The MH Industry and STEM

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Credit: The Daily Times.

As Daily Business News readers are aware, Clayton Homes has established the Clayton-Bradley Academy, a STEM school located on the grounds of Clayton’s Maryville, Tennessee headquarters, with the goal of preparing students for college, as well as being a community resource and part of a bigger conversation about education.

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Patricia Bradley and Kevin Clayton. Credit: Knox News.

With rapid expansion since its July 2013 opening, Executive Director Patricia Bradley believes that the school is uniquely positioned to help students and businesses alike.

Business partnerships are critical. The business community is telling us that students aren’t career-ready, and our goal is to produce students who are ready to go to college and universities and be prepared for the work force. We want to make the transition as smooth as possible,” said Bradley.

 

Clayton Homes is a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK/A), and is the largest producer of manufactured homes (MH) in North America. Vertically integrated, the company has several hundred retail centers nationwide. Through its affiliates and family of brands, Clayton builds, sells, finances, leases and insures Clayton-built manufactured and modular homes.  The operation also buys products and uses services from other producers.

For the most recent closing numbers on all Berkshire Hathaway – and all MH industry-connected tracked stocks – please click 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.

3D Printed Home Can Withstand Magnitude 8 Earthquake

January 25th, 2017 Comments off
3DPrintedHomeCanWithstandMagnitude8EarthquakecreditInhabitat-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: Inhabitat.

A company in China claims to have taken 3D printed homes to a whole new level.

According to Inhabitat, Beijing-based HuaShang Tengda printed a two-story villa that checks in at 4,305 square feet.

And they say it’s durable enough to withstand an earthquake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale.

[This technology] will have immeasurable social benefits…because of its speed, low cost, simple and environmentally friendly raw materials, [it can] generally improve the quality of people’s lives,” the company said in a statement.

While HuaShang Tengda is not the first company in China to claim they’ve 3D-printed a house, they may be the first to have printed the entire home at once, rather than printing and then assembling pieces.

The company first constructed the home’s frame, including pipes. Then they used the large 3D printer to construct the house.

The process was controlled via a software that has four systems – one for what HuaShang Tengda calls “electronic ingredient formulating,” one for mixing the concrete, one for transmission, and one to 3D-print the structure.

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Credit: Inhabitat.

The company says they envision their technology being used to build everything from homes for farmers in rural areas to high-rise buildings to houses in developing countries.

They also believe the new technology could spark a revolution in the housing industry as their 3D-printed homes can be built faster, and cheaper, than traditional dwellings.

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?” ##

(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.

2014 Louisville Manufactured Home Show Video Preview

December 18th, 2013 Comments off

louisville-show-manufactured-home-daily-business-news-mhpronews-manufacturedhomes-com-The 2014 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show is just a little over a month away. A sold out show and attendee registrations running well ahead of 2013 all suggest an even stronger event to kick off the 2014 selling season.

For those who haven’t been to this or other factory built home trade shows in recent years, ManufacturedHomes.com, MHProNews and the Louisville Show management teamed up to provide industry professionals with this video preview. Links to the LouisvilleShow website, popular business building and finance seminars, 48 model homes, 91 exhibitors, plus super networking at the KMHI-MHI mixer are all among the reasons pros say they to go.

Business-boosting branding and technology will be featured as well.


SearchCore Inc – Louisville 2014

Show dates are January 22-24th. For more information on the largest event in 2013, click here and then go to the LouisvilleManufacturedHousingShow.com website to pre-register. Most industry members can attend free with a photo ID and a business card. ##

(Photo Credit: ManfuacturedHomes.com/SearchCore)

Austria Takes Top Prize at Solar Decathlon

October 14th, 2013 Comments off

Austrian students from Vienna University of Technology won top honors at the U S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Solar Decathlon, besting 18 other entries from around the world for “designing, building, and operating the most cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive solar-powered house.” The modular wooden frame home, Austria’s first ever entry in the competition, is totally solar-powered and made to be quickly assembled as well as easily dis-assembled. The service core houses the bathroom, bedroom and all the technical equipment for the house while textile shades open and close up areas for gathering. As archdaily.com reports, a floor system regulates heating, cooling and fresh air to create a comfortable indoor environment, while a shower tray recovers thermal energy from drain water through a heat exchanger, reducing net energy consumption in the modular home. As MHProNews has learned, University of Nevada at Las Vegas took second place, followed by Czech Technical University in third.

((Photo credit: Jason Flakes/U. S. Dept. of Energy Solar Decathlon)