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Manufactured Housing Proposed As Source Of Affordable Home Ownership

Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform
Affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families can take many forms. Low-income housing generally is understood to mean single- and multi-family rental units, refurbished or renovated homes in neighborhoods that are being revitalized, and first-time home buyer programs for low- and middle-income individuals and families.

However, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) is recommending that the government take a closer look at manufactured housing as another source to boost the housing industry and provide low-income housing to more people. As it stands currently, manufactured housing is the only area of the housing industry that is regulated by the federal government.

Many of the government policies continue to relegate manufactured housing to the status of trailers, which are viewed as personal property. For example, it is required that manufactured homes have the wheels removed before they can be properly installed. But in many states, they are viewed as still having the potential to be mobile. So buyers often have to pay annual vehicle license fees.

It is also difficult to find financing on a manufactured home. Interest rates are higher, loans are only offered for 10-15 years, and the two largest lenders control about 30 percent of the market, with the top ten lenders controlling 65 percent of the industry.

MHARR is recommending that the government review and revise these restrictions to make it easier for more people to take advantage of manufactured housing as an affordable housing option. More than 19 million people are currently living in manufactured housing. More retirees are looking at them as affordable options, and the homes being built now are much more residential looking.

MHARR continues to appeal to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), who regulates the industry, and other federal agencies to include manufactured homes as a component of housing and home ownership programs. They believe that manufactured housing can not only help more families achieve the American dream of home ownership but also represent a source of affordable home ownership for millions of lower and moderate-income American families.

For more information, visit www.fhfa.gov/webfiles/14877/7_Manufactured_Housing_Association_for_Regulatory_Reform.pdf

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