The “Need For Quality Affordable Housing Has Never Been Greater,” Says LT

The headline is missing two words from the original that was provided to MHLivingNews by Lending Tree (LT), via a news media release.

Those missing two words? “In Miami.” While that was accurate, it is equally accurate for the vast majority of the U.S. today, thus our edit of those two words.

Let’s see what Lending Tree had to say about contemporary HUD Code manufactured homes, and then we will unpack a few related points.  We added the Lending Tree logo, plus photos above and below from their website.  That should not be considered as a plug. Rather, it is shown as an honest acknowledgement of the source of their thoughtful article, which they wanted published, and which we are happy to share with our readers, because it is thoughtful and informative.




Today’s manufactured homes can deliver outstanding quality and performance at prices that are up to 50 percent less per square foot than conventional site-built homes. These savings allow more and more Americans to own their own home, even in the face of an ever-widening housing affordability gap.

The affordability of manufactured housing is due to the efficiencies of the factory-building process. Manufactured homes are constructed with standard building materials, and are built almost entirely off-site in a factory.

The controlled construction environment and assembly line techniques remove many of the problems encountered during traditional home construction, such as weather, theft, vandalism, damage to building products and materials, and unskilled labor. Factory employees are trained and managed more effectively and efficiently than the system of contracted labor employed by the site-built home construction industry. Much like other assembly line operations, manufactured homes benefit from the economies of scale resulting from purchasing large quantities of materials, products and appliances. Manufactured home builders can negotiate substantial savings on many components used in building a home, with these savings passed on directly to the homebuyer.


Production Last Year in The US

The manufactured housing industry produced about 93,000 new homes in 2017, approximately 9% of new, single-family home starts. The average sales price of a new manufactured home without land is $70,600. 66% of the homes are located on private property and 34% are in manufactured home communities. All aspects of construction are continually inspected by professionally trained third-party inspectors.

Manufactured homes are constructed to adhere to the federal HUD Code since 1976. The HUD Code, regulates home design and construction, strength and durability, fire resistance and energy efficiency. HUD revised the building code in the early 1990’s to enhance energy efficiency and ventilation standards and to improve the wind resistance of manufactured homes in Miami prone to hurricane force winds.



Floor plans are available that range from basic to elaborate — vaulted or tray ceilings, fully equipped kitchens, walk-in closets and luxurious bathrooms. A variety of exterior siding is available — metallic, vinyl, wood or hardboard and stucco. Homes have pitched roofs with shingles and gabled ends. Upgrades include awnings, patio covers, decks, site-built garages and permanent foundations.



The building materials in today’s manufactured homes are the same as those in site-built homes. The homes are engineered for wind safety and energy efficiency.

Manufactured homes are among the safest housing choices available today due to federal laws requiring smoke detectors, escape windows and limited combustible materials around furnaces, water heaters and kitchen ranges.


Anything that can help us to move forward with a greater knowledge of how we can produce housing more effectively is something we’re interested in,” said John Igoe, director of design and construction at Google. “We absolutely are confident that it will work. Hopefully it doesn’t become false bravado.”


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While there are a few items above that could be refined in their article above, the Lending Tree post is arguably far better than any article that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has published via their sadly paid, problematic advertorials, or which they wrote themselves.

Why? How is that possible?

Good questions, which will be addressed in more depth another time.

Meanwhile, the New York Times reported today that some 81,000 housing units of all types has been destroyed in California as a result of their wildfires.

The NYTimes correctly said, that California already had an affordable housing crisis, prior to these fires.



Where is MHI on that challenge? Why don’t they mobilize whatever is needed to use existing laws – like the federal enhanced preemption found under the Manufactured Housing Act of 2000 – to allow new HUD Code manufactured homes to be built?

MHI postures and provides photos of activities that they tell their members and others represents their efforts.  But sadly, they are debatably either incompetent, or working on an agenda that causes them to make little or no headway.

Evidence is found in the latest new manufactured home shipment data, which MHI admits took a dip.




How can there be a dip in new manufactured home sales when there is an affordable housing crisis, and:


  • Lending Tree,
  • Bloomberg,
  • The Urban Institute
  • Fannie Mae
  • Freddie Mac
  • The National Association of Realtors

and a host of others outside of manufactured housing that have praised the industry’s homes in a similar way in 2018 that Lending Tree did above?


The improved qualify, safety and value of manufactured homes has been known for decades, based upon research like the one cited by Harvard’s Eric Belksy. How is it possible that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) doesn’t beat that drum so much, and so often that the truth breaks through?

If you’re looking for a new home, don’t let the new home numbers mislead or concern you. Don’t let the surprisingly low cost make you think there must be something wrong, it’s just the benefits of factory building which makes everything cost letter than what’s built one-at-a-time.



A key issue is what controversial manufactured housing firebrand Frank Rolfe said about MHI. In his own words, Rolfe has said a key issue is MHI’s routine failure to address the media and others in ways that are useful, proper, accurate and good.



Keep in mind that critique from Rolfe, because he and his partners are and were an MHI member when he said it.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.

(Third-party images are provided under fair use guidelines.)

Learn more from a third party media report, linked here.

See Related Reports, further below.







Related Reports:

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, a Novel Yet Proven Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis That Will Create Opportunities, Based Upon Existing Laws

Realtor University ® “The Market for Manufactured Homes,” Research by Scholastica Cororaton, Certified Business Economist, Highlights

Compelling Information for Renters and Manufactured Home Owners



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