A new report issued by Pew Research documents a trend that millions are all too familiar with. Namely, that renting households are up in the U.S. What the report doesn’t do is point out the solution that’s hiding in plain sight.
Pew reports that it isn’t the desire to rent that is driving the trend towards a record number of renters. Rather it is circumstances that leaves millions from all ages, educational levels and ethnic groups into thinking they have little or no other choice, if they want to live independently.
Here’s how Pew summarized it, with the bullets added for clarity, but the text is otherwise all theirs.
“The increase in U.S. renters over the past decade does not necessarily mean that homeownership is undesirable to today’s renters. Indeed, in a 2016 Pew Research Center survey,
- 72% of renters said they would like to buy a house at some point.
- About two-thirds of renters in the same survey (65%) said they currently rent as a result of circumstances,
- compared with 32% who said they rent as a matter of choice.
When asked about the specific reasons why they rent, a majority of renters, especially nonwhites, cited financial reasons.”
To rephrase Pew’s points – the vast majority don’t want to rent – they simply don’t feel like they can own at the present time.
But is that notion accurate?
Actively Retired Businessman and Minister, Donald Tye, Jr.
“Affordable home ownership is Human Capital Investing as opposed to warehousing humans like cattle in a corral,” said the actively-retired minister and long-time businessman, Donald Tye, Jr.
Tye believes that however well-intentioned public housing projects may be, they’ve cost billions upon billions of dollars, while routinely producing a sad legacy of rapidly deteriorating housing conditions, drug or alcohol abuse, crime, and poor levels of educational achievement.
By contrast, he points to a project his parents did in the Cincinnati, OH metro, some decades ago.
His parents dubbed the business Able and Able, using factory-built homes that were placed on previously vacant lots. Those homes were welcomed, he said, not treated as ‘trailers.’ Tye strongly rejects that word as a pejorative, and an inaccurate term.
Those homes his parents sold provided:
- home ownership instead of renting,
- pride of ownership,
- lower housing costs and
- other benefits for their owners, neighbors and the city.
“As we think about housing in today’s world, the most important aspect should start with affordability. When home ownership is affordable, it has ancillary benefits,” said Donald Tye, Jr.
“Ownership builds character, competence and integrity,” Tye said.
“One thing that is completely missed by politicians and prejudice towards manufactured housing is the tax benefit.”
Tye and his family grew up in the days of the emerging civil rights movement. They lived in and benefited from the appreciation in value in the homes his parents sold. What his father sold for $24,000 in the early 70s today sells for some 4 times that price, per Zillow, says Tye.
“Someone needs to step out and be an advocate for people living in manufactured housing,” says Tye. “Because this to me is strikingly reminiscent of black people moving into areas, and those who were already living there would say, “there goes the neighborhood.” This is shameful.”
The facts dovetail with points made by HUD Secretary, Dr. Ben Carson.
Carson, says Tye, would quickly understand the value and importance of his points.
Indeed, Secretary Carson has said that the average owner has about $200,000 in net worth, while the typical renter has only $5,000 in net worth.
Carson has also spoken favorably about manufactured homes, but he has not yet pointed out their value in urban settings, which Tye is advocating for and insists is so needed. Especially so, he says, because how else could someone earning $15 an hour buy a new home?
Mark Weiss, MHARR Speaks Out
The problem, as millions of manufactured home owners and thousands of industry professionals know, is a lack of a proper understanding of the facts today. Those home owners overwhelmingly enjoy their homes, as third-party studies document.
Speaking about specific cases of misinformed or biased local media coverage of manufactured housing, Mark Weiss, JD, the President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) said, “This report reflects the type of uninformed bias that harms the industry and its consumers.”
“The industry must confront this head-on, and counter such misinformation with the real facts about today’s manufactured homes,” said Wiess. “This begins — but does not end — with making sure that the media uses the proper terminology to refer to the industry’s homes and is fully informed about the safety and quality of modern HUD Code homes.”
Tye Decries Selective, Targeted Reporting
“Selective Target Reporting” has a recent Harvard study saying 65% of Americans don’t trust the media. Gallup’s similar poll said only 32% trust the media now,” Tye said in texted comments to MHLivingNews, adding the word, “Sad.”
The actively retired minister/business professional and his family lived the days of the emerging civil rights movement.
“Someone needs to step out and be an advocate for people living in manufactured housing. Because this to me is strikingly reminiscent of black people moving into areas, and those who were already living there would say, “there goes the neighborhood.” This is shameful,” Tye said.
“It’s just as wrong to use the N-Word to describe a black as it is to use the T-Word to describe a manufactured home,” Tye stated matter-of-factly.
“Seriously, most people should know that today’s manufactured homes are constructed to look as good as site-built homes, if not better,” said Bob Crawford, President of Dick Moore Housing, in Millington, TN – who was also commenting on biased or misinformed media coverage. “This is more of NIMBY discrimination. How can Americans achieve ‘affordable’ housing if it is continually blocked? One also has to wonder how many site-builders are on that commission now-a-days.”
Tye added, “Someone needs to do something about it. Someone has to stand up, and be an advocate for the people who own or want to buy a manufactured home. Someone in the manufactured home industry needs to stand up and organize on behalf of millions of our fellow Americans, regardless of their background.”
Not All Media are Misreporting on Manufactured Housing
A few examples, are found in the story linked here.
There are also those industry professionals – a sampling shown in the quotes above – who are stepping up by providing educational or ‘infotainment’ videos.
Such videos demonstrate the modern appeal and reality, while providing video interviews of home owners and experts that know the differences between the outdated misconceptions and modern truths.
But Tye wants to see more done.
He believes that:
- manufactured home owners,
- affordable housing advocates,
- and public officials must work with people of good will to get beyond the prejudices and ignorance that keep potentially millions of Americans from leaving the trap of ever growing rents, for the benefits of factory-built home ownership. ##
(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)