U.S. Presidents Carter, Nixon, and Ford Connections to Mobile Homes and Manufactured Housing

There are Americans alive today who have lived in a true mobile home for over 50 years. The production of mobile homes in the U.S. ended on June 15,1976. Starting that day, mandatory federal construction, energy, durability, and safety standards went into effect. Those standards, by law, were administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). America’s most affordable permanent housing today is known as HUD Code manufactured homes (MH).


That switch from mobile homes to manufactured homes took place during the administration of President Gerald R. Ford (R).  But the first full year of construction of manufactured homes occurred during the Presidency of Jimmy Carter (D).

President Carter’s brother Billy was periodically in the news, with respect to various controversies. In the 1980s, Billy went to work for Tidwell Industries, a producer of manufactured homes.


The photo above is of Don Tidwell, and Billy Carter.

Later, Billy went to work as an executive for Scott Housing, in Georgia. See the photo below of President Jimmy Carter, his brother Billy, with Sam Scott, his pilot and wife.




Jumping back in time, President Richard M. Nixon specifically raised the subject of helping more Americans qualify for affordable housing by providing more financing for the pre-HUD Code mobile home industry. Nixon said in part,



Later, President Gerald (‘Jerry’) Ford also supported mobile homes.


President Ford made a personal appearance, and addressed the national mobile home professional association. It was during the Ford Administration that the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards were passed by Congress into law. That’s what got the legislative ball rolling, created the modern manufactured housing industry.


This is a good place to mention that some mobile home builders prior to the HUD code built lower quality homes, while many others built homes that were third-party inspected and have proven themselves by the test of time. That’s been over 40 years ago. The photo below is a fairly recent photo of a mobile home that is over 43 years old.  Fire and wind safety, or higher energy use was more common in those pre-HUD Code mobile homes. In fact, that’s why the HUD code was passed, to mandate federal safety standards,

Here’s your short guide to proper terminology. Trailer houses, started in the 1930s. Mobile homes, in the 1950s to the early 1970s. Then came manufactured homes, after 6-15-1976.

We saw in a recent report on MHLivingNews that research by the National Association of Realtors demonstrated that manufactured homes can and do appreciate in value. Those construction standards established by federal law work. It’s a success story that proves that industry and good federal regulations can work for consumers, business, and public interests.

Proof of how effective the HUD Code regulations have been on manufactured housing has surfaced many times in recent years, including the research by CBE Scholastica Cororaton, FHFA, the Urban Institute Bloomberg, and others Each of these support contentions MHLivingNews has made for years.

Research published by the Federal Housing and Finance Administration (FHFA), the agency that oversees the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, also documented appreciation in manufactured homes.

That’s news to many, but MHLivingNews reported that some years ago, see the related articles, linked below.

Kim Capen Medville ROC – MH Appreciation and the Senior Community Lifestyle

Frankly, there are some debatable miscues and presentation changes that could be made in the Urban Institute’s recent. That said, they also stressed recently how manufactured homes can and do appreciate. On MHLivingNews and MHProNews, we’ve long said that manufactured homes go up and down in value for the same reasons as conventional housing that is built on site.

There’s been no contemporary resource in manufactured home publishing that currently exists that’s documented the evidence for MH than MHLivingNews and MHProNews.

Here on MHLivingNews – beyond facts and figures – we’ve also shared the interviews, videos, and stories of the owners of pre-code mobile homes, and post-HUD Code manufactured homes.

Numerous President’s beyond Nixon, Carter, and Ford have acted in ways that connected them to – or actively supported – mobile homes and manufactured homes (MH). We’ll do more reports in the days ahead that reflect the connections of various presidential actions by President Barack Obama and President Donald J. Trump. We’ll review how their respective actions impacted the quest for more affordable housing made possible for millions by modern manufactured homes. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Lifestyle, human interest, flashback, affordable housing news, analysis, and commentary.)

(Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines. All rights reserved. ©

FactoryBuiltCarsClothingAppliancesElectronicsCellsSmartPhonesHomesItJustFollowsLATonyKovachC2017MHLivingNews-575x170L. A. “Tony” Kovach and his wife Soheyla co-founded and publish the manufactured home industry’s two leading trade media; Manufactured Home Living News ( and for business professionals and investors. Kovach’s work has been featured in publications such as the Washington D.C.’s The Hill, Value Penguin, Chicago Sun Times, and a host of other media. He’s been involved in the manufactured home industry as a manager, retail center owner, consultant and publisher for over 25 years. Kovach has likely interviewed more industry professionals, experts, and manufactured home owners, than anyone in U.S. news media.

Related Reports:

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

Improving Resale Values: Manufactured Home Owners, Professionals, Shoppers – NMHOA & MHAction, What’s Right, Wrong, Supply & Demand – How to Achieve Mutual Victories

Elvis Presley’s Personal Mobile Home Restored, Honeymoon Hideaway Up for Auction

Affordable Housing Focus Group – Comparing Housing Options – Conventional Houses, Condo, Rentals, and Manufactured Homes – Up for Growth, National Association of Realtor, Studies

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