Archive for August 21st, 2018

Why Affordable Housing Crisis Remains a Crisis

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, & ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

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Why Affordable Housing Crisis Remains A Crisis

National Association of Home Builders (‘NAHB’) says builders will begin 900,000 new homes during 2018; that’s 400,000 short of what’s needed to keep up with U.S. population growth. And it’s estimated 100,000 of those 900,000 new homes will be of the HUD-Code manufactured housing variety. So, what might it take, over time, to address this 400,000 new housing shortfall in 2019 and beyond?

Leadership & United Perspectives

National Association of Realtors (‘NAR’) University, in Washington, DC., last week hosted a luncheon and lecture featuring Dr. Katrin Anacker, of George Mason University. Dr. Anacker held forth on the ‘Regulation of Accessory Dwelling Units (‘ADUs’).’ And my host, Scholastica (Gay) D. Cororaton, CBE, of the NAR staff, had recently prepared a research study titled, the Market for Manufactured Housing. Well, this two hour session, along with conversations before and after the luncheon, reaffirmed observations first realized at, and articulated following, the National Housing conference, also in DC, last Fall. Specifically,

First

As long as government agencies, regulators, and research organizations meet like this – for good reason, but without the balanced presence of, and input from, businessmen and women, and other pertinent (e.g. housing-related) NGOs (non governmental organizations), even national advocates for various types of housing, little to no progress will be made solving this nation’s perennial affordable housing crisis! The ‘problem’ (challenge)? It’s one thing to have knowledge of ‘public policy & funding’ where certain types of (low income) housing are concerned; it can be – and oft is, an altogether different perspective where ‘private sector business model & funding’ is concerned. And never the twain shall meet, unless a purposeful effort is made to address and bring disparate perspectives together in search of practical, workable solutions to the affordable housing crisis! So, in the future, ‘let’s get together to work together’!

Second

Then there’s the question of leadership. I’ve been fussing around this business of affordable housing for more than a decade, penning HOUSING AFFORDOGRAPHY back in 2008 (now out of print). To this day, if my life depended on it, I could not identify any one or two individuals who truly stand out as leaders of the supposed Solve Affordable Housing Crisis Movement. Oh sure, there’re ‘names’ out there, associated with one or another aspect of affordable housing, even ‘think tanks’ they’ve bankrolled. But nary a leader who inspires, and aspires to bring ‘housers’ together to address this challenge! And until THAT happens, U.S. housing, in my opinion, is ‘dead in the water’!

Third

One thing we did accomplish, kinda, at this NAR University luncheon, was to identify some of the affordable housing variants by type, and not necessarily public funding. I’ve expanded said list since the luncheon, to include:

• Storage buildings or sheds. Think ice fishing villages in northern climes.
• Tiny Houses, the shelter fad of the early 21st Century & ‘bait’ to sell larger homes
• Accessory Dwelling Units, or ADUs, a.k.a cottages, Granny Flats, and more
• Container Homes. Large steel shipping container houses & or duplex apartments
• Park Model RVs less than 400 sq. ft. in size; common in Sunbelt regions
• Recreational Vehicles. Though not intended as housing, certainly used as such
• Modular Homes per local building codes with utility core; simple & sophisticated.
• Manufactured Housing. Singlesection & multisection; Community Series Homes.
• 3D Houses. 409 sq. ft; 24 hour fabrication via software-driven liquid concrete

The point in sharing this ‘Third’ point with you? To demonstrate how little the ‘left hand’ of affordable housing knows about the ‘right hand’. And until we start having public and private sectors of housing supply and finance meet together in search of common ground, goals, and means to achieve same, we will continue to be one big fragmented, inefficient housing supply industry. Expanded list of nine housing types available upon request via gfa7156@aol.com

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George Allen, CPM, MHM
COBA7, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247