(StatePoint) With the cost of housing continuing to rise faster than wages, itâ€™s no wonder that many Americans nationwide are struggling to make ends meet. Luckily, solutions already exist to address the affordable housing shortage, say experts.
For example, more than 22 million people in the U.S. now live in manufactured housing -- homes built to a federal standard in factories and placed on a homeownerâ€™s land or on rented lots in manufactured home communities, according to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). In many parts of the country, homes like these are the least expensive kind of housing available without a government subsidy. The cost to buy a manufactured home averages about $70,600, compared with $286,000 for a single-family site-built home, not including land costs.
In response to growing market demand, almost 93,000 new manufactured homes were built in the U.S. in 2017, an approximate 15 percent increase over 2016, according to MHI, but this is still not nearly enough to meet the nationâ€™s affordable housing needs, according to experts. Advocates say that zoning restrictions and other rules and regulations in many areas are preventing manufactured housing from closing the gap -- as certain jurisdictions only allow manufactured housing in locations far from town centers and other jurisdictions have considered banning them altogether.
â€œPart of this bias may be based on the negative stereotype of earlier generations of manufactured housing, however, today, our homes are built with quality construction materials to meet rigorous federal standards for safety, installation and construction,â€ says Richard Jennison, president and CEO of MHI.
Whatâ€™s more, todayâ€™s manufactured housing includes features that todayâ€™s homebuyers want, such as luxury bathrooms, vaulted ceilings and state-of-the-art kitchens with energy-efficient appliances. Often situated in communities with swimming pools, playgrounds and clubhouses, they can be a very attractive option for families and retirees seeking affordability. To learn more visit, manufacturedhousing.org.
â€œAt a time when there is a great need for high-quality, affordable housing, todayâ€™s manufactured homes are an effective solution for many American families and communities,â€ says Jennison.