senior planner for Augusta County, Community
Development Department in Verona, Va. “It’s in our
comprehensive plan. About 11 percent of our total hous-
ing stock in the county is in rural areas. We also have
traditional manufactured home parks.”
In Augusta County, manufactured homes are acknowl-
edged as affordable housing and thought of on a regional
level. “The state code requires manufactured housing to
be treated the same as stick-built houses. We acknowl-
edge that and say that it’s part of what we’re doing to
meet the regional affordable housing need,” Earhart says
“We want to encourage housing development where we
have the public services designed to accommodate it.
We don’t want housing for lower income people if those
people can’t access medical services or the grocery store.”
New manufactured home parks are encouraged to locate
in our urban area, where we can accommodate more
units per acre. Our whole comp plan is to target growth
in the areas in which we have the facilities to support
In Florida, there are over 2,600 mobile home parks,
according to the Department of Business and Profes-
sional Regulation. “But these mobile home parks are
being lost at an astounding rate as local governments
say “yes” to a change in land use/re-zonings as the park
owners sell the land for high-end development,” accord-
ing to Jaimie Ross, president and CEO of the Florida
The state has been pursuing policy changes to preserve
the mobile home parks. In 2011, the Florida Housing
Finance Corporation, with direction from the Florida State Legislature, expanded its Florida Preservation
Fund ( http://www.fclf.org), which helps preserve affordable rental housing. It now serves 26 Florida counties.
The National Manufactured Home Owners Association is working with the states to “ensure policy that
gives stronger protections of new manufactured houses.”
However, Ross says, in order to get any real momentum
in the preservation cause, the states must take action.
“It’s an education process. We must remind elected officials that the people who live in manufactured homes
pay taxes. They are your teachers, nurses, firefighters,
accountants, etc. They have jobs like everyone else.
They are homeowners.” Ross explains.
Ryan agrees. “It’s important that these families get a
He adds, “A lot of us who have been around in the ‘80s
and ‘90s remember when the Section 8 contracts were
expiring. Congress stepped in and saved them. There
should be some urgency to preserve this type of housing as well. It’s the housing preservation crisis of today,
and it’s cheaper to preserve than to build.”
Tracey C. Velt is freelance writer who specializes
in the real estate industry. She has more than 25
years of experience writing for industry publications.
We want to encourage housing
development where we have
the public services designed
to accommodate it.
We must remind elected officials
that the people who live in
manufactured homes pay taxes.
Courtesy of ROC USA