As the economy has rebounded from the Great Recession, housing prices have begun to skyrocket once more. In many cities, this has led to a serious shortage of affordable housing options. As a result, manufactured homes are becoming more popular and could offer a simple solution to one of America's most pressing problems. Here are five ways that manufactured homes are making a difference:
Manufactured Homes Have Faster Construction
Even when cities decide to undertake an affordable housing development, it can take years for the project to actually reach completion. In the meantime, residents are left with few options, and often the residents who need this housing are not the ones who get to make the vote for or against it. By contrast, manufactured homes can be constructed quickly and efficiently and can be placed in a wide range of open lots.
Fewer Government Subsidies Needed
Another factor influencing our current affordable housing shortage has to do with the number of subsidies and assistance programs available. Even when people qualify for these programs, the subsidy may not be enough to make up for the additional costs of keeping a site-built home. By contrast, owners of manufactured homes spend almost half as much on their monthly housing costs.
More Financing Options
Manufactured homes also offer more flexibility when it comes to financing. Since the cost of the whole house is a fraction of that of a traditional home, it can be significantly easier for low income buyers to qualify in the first place. Plus, these buyers can go outside the traditional mortgage lending process to find specialized lenders who work specifically with manufactured homes. This has led to an increase in the success rate for these types of buyers.
More Energy Efficient
It is not just the cost of the home that causes problems for low income families. These residents also need to worry about maintenance and utilities. With today's new construction materials and technologies, manufactured homes have become more efficient than ever before! The result is that even the monthly bills associated with living in these homes are more affordable, so residents can spend less of their net income on the basics.
Offering a Road out of Poverty
If you've ever studied wealth, you will be familiar with the fact that most Americans have all of their wealth tied up in owning their homes. For families who need affordable housing, acquiring an asset like a home can be nearly impossible. However, with manufactured homes, there's a path toward upward mobility. While a manufactured home may not be worth as much as some site built homes on paper, it can allow families to start earning equity and eventually move up and out of government housing options. This is a path that has been hard to forge even with dozens of programs trying to help these communities. Even stepping from a smaller manufactured home to a larger one is a step in the right direction that would be hard to come by elsewhere.
These are just five areas where manufactured homes are already helping to solve the affordable housing crisis and offering a new way to think about housing. They require less input from the buyer, the government and the builder, and they can be delivered in less time. Furthermore, once they are in place, they can stand for decades and offer a modern, efficient home environment so that residents can continue saving money. It's no wonder that manufactured homes are on the rise again, and the stigma against them is starting to fall away as society recognizes the great benefits that these houses have to offer.