Union Springs is located in Alabama. According to Wikipedia, “Union Springs is a city in and county seat of Bullock County, Alabama, United States. The population was 3,980 at the 2010 census.” The population, per at least two online sources, appears to be trending down. “Total Population: 3,785,” in 2018, per Suburban Stats.
The Census Reporter estimates the town at 3640.
Google maps says it is about a 50-minute drive into Montgomery, AL, which is 45 miles away by the more direct route.
Alabama is one of the top 10 states in the U.S. for the production and sales of new manufactured homes.
Bearing those points in mind as a brief introduction, let’s dive into a letter to the editor of the Union Springs Herald, found at this link here and reproduced below. A collage of their header is reproduced, along with the letter, under fair use guidelines for media. It will be followed by commentary and analysis.
I recently attended a public hearing assembly held by the Union Springs planning commission and I was dismayed by the number of requests to install mobile housing units within the city limits. Union Springs has an affordable housing shortage and providing a means to relieve this problem is needed. However, it seems as if these mobile units will be squeezed into any available space with little regard to the impact they will have on their neighbors. One proposal was to bring in a minimum of four to six mobile units on 5 acres of land on Industrial Park Rd. This sounds like someone is interested in building a trailer park.
There are other remedies that can be used to relieve our housing issues. Many of the vacant buildings in our downtown would be perfect as condominiums with retail space on the ground level. Centrally located to the major thoroughfares, this would be quite attractive to young singles or newly married couples who cannot afford to live in Pike Road.
An effort to build two or three-bedroom single family homes would also attract families with children or elderly parents for the same reasons.
One indicator of neighborhood stability and viability is the number of owner-occupied homes in the area. If the City of Union Springs wants to attract high paying jobs and reduce the number of residents who move out looking for modern homes and conveniences, then we need to encourage building single family homes vs. mobile homes.
When I use our highways to travel to the surrounding cities, I am awed by the newly built homes that dot the countryside. Let us not limit ourselves to a vision of who we will be in the future by who we are now. If someone can afford to rent, they can afford to buy. There are many programs which will educate and assist renters into becoming buyers.
Finally, let us consider the age and code requirements of these proposed mobile units before granting approval. Do these older units meet the current standards of insurability? Changes to existing structures must meet current building standards; the same should be required for new mobile units.
In the same newspaper last year, “I am a Highly Qualified History teacher,” in announcing her campaign for the Plainfield Board of Education, “I am Darlene McGawasking for your prayers, support and your vote on June 05, 2018.” The Union Herald also said that she has a “B.A. in Psychology.” A LinkedIn profile reflects that “Cheryl Darlene McGaw is a Teacher at Plainfield Board of Education.”
Safe to say that she is an intelligent, educated woman who had the confidence to run for public office and to speak her mind openly on civic issues. She has apparently earned a significant level of public confidence.
One might wonder, why hasn’t the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), or the state association responded to this letter to the editor?
We waited about 19 hours, nothing. Yet, MHI has a full-time public relations person.
In another letter to the editor in Buffalo, New York that MHProNews did a detailed analysis on yesterday, has since had one posted response as of this morning. The letter and a video with others that feel similarly is found at this link here, or by clicking the text-image box below.
Here below is the lone posted comment to that recent letter and prior video commentary by Gail Travers. The typos that follow are in the original. Reminder to new readers, often MHProNews takes direct quotes and turns the text bold and brown to make it pop, but otherwise does not change the words quoted.
keep fighting to keep scum like these peple under control we wanted to buy there but because of the situation with this company there we changed our minds i feel so bad for the residents there i hope N.Y. will do the right thing and give these folks a worry free nights sleep and place heavey restrictions on these investors rather fron out of town or here if the folks there dont win this battle where would many of them go its shameful”
In fairness to the ‘Linda Tower,’ there are times that comments posted by smart phone can result in some ‘fat finger’ errors. That noted, Tower’s comments, Travers’ and that of Ms. McGaw are indicative of the way that much of the public reacts to manufactured housing. It helps explains why the Zillow research below reflects the point that only 8 percent of housing seekers even admit to considering a manufactured home.
Thousands of manufactured home professionals know better. But let’s be candid. There are also scores who work in our industry that believe similarly. The level of true ‘education’ in the industry is pitiable.
These kinds of public comments – or industry realities, in numbers of cases – are educational and public relations issue, not just a marketing challenge. That’s why speeches and addresses like HUD Secretary Carson’s, prior HUD Secretary Julian Castro’s comments are useful. But only to the degree that they are made know.
HUD Secretary Ben Carson Speech on Manufactured Homes, “Manufactured Housing…Active Ingredient…Medication…for a Stronger America.” – manufacturedhomelivingnews.com
The text that follows has one edit, Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Joe Stegmayer’s name was misspelled, and we’ve edited in links to other reports that we’ve published that HUD Secretary Carson’s comments confirmed. Those links have an * at the end of that hotlink. Otherwise, the text is as shown.
Last week, in under 400 words, the case was made that “Enhanced Preemption” must be a mantra of HUD and MHI. It has already been promoted for years by MHARR, and our publications. See the report, via the linked text-image box below.
The proper application of “enhanced preemption” would make local opposition moot. The combination of enhanced preemption and articles like the one below would ease the fear that so many fear that property values will be diminished. HUD and other third party research demonstrates that is not the case.
FEAR, a Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis, and the Manufactured Home Dilemma – manufacturedhomelivingnews.com
Fear affects decision-making every day. But often, ” F.E.A.R.” is an acronym for ” False Evidence Appearing Real.” Our research indicates that the solution to the affordable housing crisis is hiding in plain sight, but fear and prejudice have kept it from being widely embraced.
The article cites numerous third party research that debunks several concerns that McGaw and millions of others have been led to mistakenly believe.
Union Springs isn’t Seattle or Los Angeles. But which is worse? Tents or people living in cardboard boxes living outside of your housing unit? Or is it to have a properly installed manufactured home next door? Which will help or harm housing value more?
Why is Seattle Dying? Affordable Housing, Misplaced Compassion, and Manufactured Homes – manufacturedhomelivingnews.com
In just over three weeks, this video below entitled ” Seattle is Dying ” by KOMO, a local ABC TV affiliate there, has broken 2.1 million views. It is an hour-long and compelling documentary that ends with hope based upon some promising solutions. But it first lays out one troubling fact and example after another.
There has been reams of nonprofit and university level research for over 2 decades to debunk the vast majority of the public’s concerns, based upon facts, third party research, unpaid expert or home owners statements. Why is so little or none of it on MHI’s website? Why is it that some that MHI promoted before is now missing?
More. on these and other industry focused topics soon. See the related reports for more.
That’s this morning’s first installment of “News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)
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“Time to Investigate Fannie And Freddie’s Mishandling Of DTS” | Manufactured Housing Association Regulatory Reform
It’s been more than ten years since Congress enacted the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) and its “Duty to Serve Underserved Markets” (DTS) mandate. DTS directs both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to “develop loan products and flexible underwriting guidelines to facilitate a secondary market for mortgages on manufactured homes for very low, low and moderate-income families.”