The Potential and Challenges of Using Manufactured Housing to Expand Homeownership Opportunities

Location: Online only

Speaker(s): Chris Herbert

Manufactured housing has the potential to reduce the cost of building good quality, entry-level homes. However, it can be hard to site these homes, particularly in cities and suburbs where restrictive regulations and a poor reputation pose significant barriers. Chris Herbert, the Center’s Managing Director, will discuss a series of papers that assess the costs, obstacles, and potential of manufactured homes to support affordable entry-level homeownership. The first paper finds that that manufactured homes are significantly less expensive than similar site-built homes. The second paper finds that, despite the cost savings, a number of factors have limited production in the US, including negative perceptions of manufactured homes, restrictive land-use regulations, supply-chain challenges, and a dearth of affordable financing options. If these obstacles can be overcome, however, manufactured housing could provide affordable homeownership opportunities for millions of renters, including many who live in large urban counties where manufactured homes are relatively rare. Herbert will also draw a new paper that presents case studies of non-profit, for-profit, and public entities that are making promising inroads in addressing these barriers.

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Manufactured housing