Help Raise the Visibility of Manufactured Housing!
Last week, Sen. Cortez Masto (D-NV), alongside Sen. Scott (R-SC), Sen. Smith (D-MN), Sen. Cramer (R-ND), and Sen. Young (R-IN), reintroduced the HUD Manufactured Housing Modernization Act (S. 1804). This bill recognizes manufactured homes as an affordable housing option for which communities can receive public funding to construct or repair. A similar version of the bill was reintroduced in the House (H.R. 926) earlier this year by Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA-35).
This is the second piece of good news for manufactured homeowners in less than a month. In late May, the Manufactured Housing Community Sustainability Act (H.R. 2832) was reintroduced in the House. This bill would help residents, cooperatives or nonprofits purchase manufactured housing communities rather than investors or other private entities.
What Exactly Does the Modernization Act Do?
When communities want funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through initiatives like the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) or HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) to help support their neighborhood development efforts, the application for these dollars requires the submission of a plan that outlines the specific housing and community development needs that exist in a particular community and the amount of funding needed to address them.
HUD has a set of guidelines that communities can consult to help put together their plans. Currently, these guidelines do not list manufactured homes as an affordable housing option. Without this explicit listing, communities may not realize that manufactured housing can be part of their neighborhood development efforts, which they could get grant dollars to construct.
While manufactured homes are not going to be the answer to every housing need, there are times and places where it makes very good sense to invest in them. They are considerably less expensive than site-built homes, and their construction must conform to quality building standards established by HUD. Having a more budget-friendly option that doesn’t compromise on quality should be on the table for communities to consider.
Essentially, what this bill does is provide more choice. Raising the visibility of manufactured housing lets people know that they have yet another beneficial tool to improve their communities. This is particularly good for the low-income, elderly and disabled households that face greater barriers to ownership of site-built housing but want the opportunity to be homeowners like everyone else.
While the reintroduction of the bill is great news, there is still more that needs to be done. For the bill to get a step closer to becoming law, it needs to be taken up for a vote by the Senate. This can only happen if we generate enough support from more Senators for this bipartisan bill.
To get other Senators to cosponsor, we need your help!
You can do this by contacting your Senators through our Advocacy Center and asking them to support the HUD Manufactured Housing Modernization Act (S. 1804). By doing this, you are giving communities more options and opportunities to address their housing needs.