Not Just in the South
Seventeen million Americans live in manufactured homes
and manufactured housing makes up 7 percent of the
nation’s housing stock. They are a common sight in rural
communities, where zoning and housing codes tend to
be less restrictive than in urban areas.
There continues to be strong demand for manufactured
homes as an affordable housing option, as it remains
the largest source of unsubsidized affordable housing
across the nation. Overall, the South contains 55 percent of the nation’s owner-occupied manufactured
housing units, while the rest of the national manufac-tured-housing inventory is spread throughout the West
( 19 percent), Midwest ( 18 percent) and Northeast ( 9
percent), according to “An Examination of Manufactured Housing as a Community- and Asset-Building
Strategy Report,” by the Neighborhood Reinvestment
Corporation, in collaboration with the Joint Center for
Housing Studies of Harvard University.
The study says that manufactured housing is an especially important homeownership option in rural areas.
Manufactured housing is an especially important
homeownership option in rural areas.
Fully half of all owner-occupied manufactured homes
are located outside metropolitan statistical areas (MSA),
where they comprise 16 percent of the stock of owner-
occupied homes. By comparison, just six percent of the
stock within MSAs is manufactured.
The Issues with Manufactured Housing
So, why isn’t this housing stock on policymakers’ radar
as a source of affordable housing? It is, but there are
issues. Typically, the owner of the home does not own
the land under it. So, when the landowner finds a more
profitable use for the land, the mobile or manufactured
homes and their residents are evicted.
“These homes have always been on the margins of
homeownership,” says Doug Ryan, director of affordable homeownership for the Corporation for Enterprise
Development (CFED) in Washington, D.C. “I would
argue that it’s intentional by the industry and policymakers. We have to overcome those hurdles if we want
these homes to be a meaningful part of the affordable
Courtesy of ROC USA Photo by oatsy40
Photo by Tiki Lisa