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Tara Reardon, ROC’s-On Sharing Manufactured Home Solution with Thousands

November 2nd, 2018 Comments off

TaraReardonROCsonSharingManufacturedHomeSolutoinWithShousandsDailyBsuinessNewMHproNews

 

It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”

– motto of the Christopher’s

 

There are good reasons to be open to concepts from across the left-right divide, as pro-free enterprise, pro-Constitutionally limited government MHProNews has exemplified for years.

Among the stronger voices for successfully promoting manufactured homes in a positive light has been those coming from the ROCs, or Resident Owned Communities.

Resident ownership isn’t the only solution for affordable quality living, as Paul Bradley has told MHProNews, but ROCs are a proven one.

As one reads this op-ed by Tara Reardon, consider doing your own letter-to-the-editor, at least once a year in your own market(s).  Don’t make it a plug for your business, or the odds are good it won’t be published.

Do make such a letter educational, as Reardon has done.

 

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Finally, ask yourself.  Why is it that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has for some 15 years failed at this same task, a point that their own prior president, Chris Stinebert has made, among others.

Reardon’s letter was originally posted at this link here.

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Manufactured (or mobile, as most people call them) homes represent the largest stock of unsubsidized affordable housing in the United States, with nearly 18 million Americans calling them home.

Their modern amenities and affordable prices make them an attractive option for people wanting to own their first homes, or to downsize.

But despite their clear economic and lifestyle advantages, some people consider manufactured homes a last resort, rather than a great choice. That’s because of outdated notions about the quality of the houses, the communities where they’re located and the people who live in them.

The mention of manufactured homes often conjures visions of old dilapidated trailers, and it’s true that they still dot New Hampshire’s landscape. It’s also true that you’ll find broken-down and neglected site-built homes along many a country road.

Modern manufactured homes are built to federal code, in a controlled environment, and can contain all the modern amenities that we HGTV-watchers dream of. These homes are not only well-built and attractive — they’re also affordable. The average cost to build a manufactured home is 50 percent less expensive per square foot than a comparable site-built home, excluding land cost.

My family recently moved from a big home where we raised kids and held large-family gatherings, with plenty of space and bathrooms, and a large lawn that required lots of upkeep, to a smaller downtown home on a 0.11 acre lot. I, like many empty-nesters, am relieved not to have to heat and light all that
extra space, not to mention the yard work and the clutter we accumulated just because we had the room.

My neighbors are just feet away, and we happily coexist in the dense urban block. I see and greet my neighbors far more often. I knew when Frank got a new knee and what time the kids leave for school. Chester and his dog, Honey, greet me on my way by. If they needed help, or something were amiss, I would know instantly. We now walk to our jobs and to Main Street. That is what I love about living in my neighborhood.

So why do we have this vision in our heads that living in a manufactured-home community is undesirable?

I work with folks in New Hampshire’s 126 resident-owned communities (ROCs). Their homes are small, but more than adequate for their needs. Their utilities are affordable and their space comfortable, on one level and easy to maintain. Their car is quickly accessible, parked right next to their homes. They own their homes and pay taxes on them just like I do.

These homeowners collectively, as a cooperative, own the land under their homes and manage their communities. They know if an elderly person’s shades aren’t raised in the morning, help might be needed. Their streets are private and more narrow, perfect for walking or bike riding.

My experience has shown me what a great housing option this is for more than 7,200 New Hampshire households. Yet some towns’ zoning ordinances include their manufactured-home regulations in the section that deals with campgrounds!

Worse yet, some towns require that manufactured homes be located at least 25 feet from the property line (a typical restriction) unless the adjacent property is zoned residential. Then the setback requirement doubles to 50 feet!

We have an affordable-housing shortage, and folks way smarter than I have pointed to manufactured housing as one solution. It makes sense, and for this housing to realize its potential, professionals who sit on planning and zoning boards, city councils and select boards owe it to their communities to understand the realities of modern manufactured homes. They’re likely to be surprised that they’re not the “trailers” they remember.

Manufactured-home communities combine the practical aspects of the tiny house and cluster development trends that have drawn a lot of positive attention. It is time to honestly consider all housing options, and not only consider manufactured housing as a component of the solution we are looking for, but to start planning our communities to include this common-sense housing choice.

Tara Reardon is director of ROC-NH, a program of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund.

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To give a fuller understanding of the ROC pitch, see their video below. Note that the ROC video below uses some outdated statistics.  More accurate information will be found on the infographic, immediately below.

 

InfographicMobileManufacturedHomeManufacturedHousingIndustryFactsDataResearchMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNews

 

That’s this morning’s “News Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Due Credit, Warren Buffett, Media, and Manufactured Housing’s Historic Achievement

 

 

 

Factory Goes Modular – Plans Thousands of Homes

April 12th, 2017 Comments off
FactoryGoesModularPlansThousandsofHomescreditTheTelegraph-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: The Telegraph.

In the U.K., a prefab bonanza is taking place, and another company has decided to get in on the action.

According to the Telegraph, a Docklands factory will be the first of its kind in London, and will eventually provide 3,000 new modular homes.

As the Daily Business News covered here, the U.K. Government has been focused on prefab housing as a practical way to solve the nations housing crisis. Modular homes can be built in sections and then assembled quickly on site. Currently, around 15,000 new homes are produced this way each year.

Developer First Base has announced that it has brought on the global engineering consultancy firm Aecom to help with plans for modular homes, and the factory would deliver homes up to nine months faster than traditional site built homes in the country.

The company says that their factory is expected to become operational later in the year, producing two-bedroom homes.

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Credits: Companies, England Net.

The Daily Business News has covered modular and prefab housing in the U.K. extensively, including China National Building Material Company (CNBM), Barcelona Housing Systems and U.K. housing association Your Housing Group (YHG) joining forces to build six prefab factories that will deliver 25,000 energy efficient homes per year by 2022. That story is linked here.

Also active is insurance giant Legal & General, which owns a modular housing factory capable of building 3,000 homes per year in Leeds, U.K., and has been active in the manufactured, modular and prefab industries, including increasing its stake in builder Cavco Industries.

Speaking on the Farmer Report by Cast CEO Mark Farmer in November, which called out modular housing as a solution to the U.K. housing crisis, Paul Stanworth, managing partner at Legal & General, commented on the company’s plans.

This review sets out a clear way for the construction sector to reinvent itself in order to meet the ever-growing demand for homes and infrastructure,” said Stanworth.

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Paul Sanworth. Credit: UK Infrastructure Investment.

Legal & General is helping to address this problem by investing in a modern factory to produce homes using manufacturing processes seen in the production of cars and other consumer goods.

This construction method is safe, clean, and fast, providing a high level of consistency and durability. We sincerely hope that Farmer’s review galvanizes the entire sector to invest in innovation and secure its future.

For more on Legal & General’s plans, 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