Realizing the importance of manufactured home communities as supportive social networks, Karen Chase helped organize the Housing Stock Upgrade Initiative—now a non-profit called ReHome Oregon—to repair, rehabilitate, and replace manufactured homes. With help from a variety of federal, state and local public and private entities, residents of manufactured homes in Curry County, Ore. will be eligible to receive loans at zero interest rates for rehabbing and, in some cases, replacing their homes. The county assessor’s office reports there are 3,876 factory-built homes in the county, 604 of which are in poor condition. A tarp covering part of a home keeps one man from being homeless; another home is accessed via a ladder through a window. Annette Klinefelter, who does grassroots work in health and economic development, says, “I have not talked to one person who lives in a manufactured home who doesn’t have an upper respiratory problem. With a small investment, the entire burden on the whole system is decreased. We can do better by them. Life hasn’t been very good to some of them, so they think that anything that is this good must be too good to be true. Many times they don’t trust government programs. We can make it in such a way there is no wrong door.” Weatherization and installing energy saving devices can make a huge difference; counselors will be available to assist people in adjusting to new homes and taking advantage of resources to improve their living situation when the program goes into high gear in January. As MHProNews has learned from currypilot.com, the program will also create jobs for many of those unemployed.
(Photo credit: thetimesnews–refurbished manufactured home)