Right at Home: Twitter Town Hall

Thank you to everyone who joined our Twitter town hall yesterday, with a special thanks to our partners at Next Step, ROC USA and Family Promise! This was an opportunity for anyone to ask us questions about manufactured housing, as part of our Right at Home anti-stigma campaign. For those of you who missed it, here’s the exchange:

Answer: Manufactured homes are built with the same materials as site-built homes in a controlled environment with skilled workers. See this video from Clayton Homes to see it in action.

Answer: The perception of manufactured homes as “chattel housing” stems from the early 20th century, when recreational trailers became more widely used to house the domestic workforce during World War II. This history is explored further in the 99% Invisible podcast.

Answer: Yes it can! New research from the Urban Institute suggests that manufactured homes appreciate just as well as site-built homes in certain circumstances.

Answer: Mobile home is actually a misnomer. Over 82 percent of manufactured homes are never moved once installed, and moving them can be costly and damaging to the home.

Mike Bullard, Communications and Marketing Manager for ROC USA, added:

Answer: Nationally, manufactured housing makes up just under 7 percent of overall housing stock. That's over 22 million Americans living in manufactured homes! For a great primer on manufactured homes and who lives in them, check out this article from Curbed.

Answer: The low cost per square foot and energy efficiency of modern manufactured homes means that families spend less on overall housing.

Answer: (From ROC USA.) Manufactured homes are the largest sourced of unsubsidized affordable housing in the US. Add resident-ownership in and you help residents achieve security and affordability for generations to come. Learn more about the ROC difference here.

Answer: The best way to look at this is per square foot, absent land. Manufactured housing costs about 60 to 75 percent of site-built housing. The average manufactured home is about $65,000.

Answer: (From ROC USA.) Check out this story from a leader in Oak Hill Taunton in Taunton, Massachusetts, who talks about her love for her community.

Answer: Yes, one good example of newer loan products is MH Advantage from Fannie Mae. However, state and local titling laws can sometimes restrict access to traditional financing.

Answer: No, and in some cases they can actually be safer because they are regulated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to withstand 120-130 mph winds!

Answer: The short answer: Too many parks are in flood plains, and too often states fail to account for them in disaster planning. These issues should be addressed. New homes are better prepared for fire, but this remains a concern for older homes.

Answer: Talking to your neighbors and organizing your community is an important first step, as is engaging with local government (here's a resource to help with that). Here's a great advocacy success story from our partners at ROC USA.

Some key policy issues we need to be looking at are zoning prohibitions, land use and consolidated planning for HUD funds.

Answer: Absolutely! You can: 1) Join the I'M HOME network to keep up with the latest news and trends in manufactured housing, and 2) Register for our annual I'M HOME Conference, which brings together a variety of stakeholders in the manufactured housing space.

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