ECObitat: A Lush Modular Prefab With Living Green Walls presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.

Coming up, Central Florida firm plans $14M-$15M

affordable housing project

But first…these stories:


ECObitat: A Lush Modular Prefab With Living Green


by Bridgette Meinhold, 07/23/10

Felipe Campolina’s ECObitat is a modular housing system designed specifically to provide emergency or disaster relief housing. Easily transported and made of off-the-shelf materials, the one-bedroom home can be constructed easily and delivered to wherever it is needed. We especially dig ECObitat’s modular living wall and green roof system that gives the prefab a lush, organic exterior.

ECObitat is constructed using standard OSB sheets, and everything is scaled using 1.22 m x 2.44 m dimensions. A steel frame makes up the structure, while SIP panels are used for the walls and floor to define the rooms and provide support and insulation. The resulting modular system has dimensions of 2.44 m x 3.10 m x 12.20 — roughly the size of a standard 40′ shipping container. The bedroom sits at one end, the bathroom is in the middle, and the kitchen and living areas are at the far end. Long vertical slits in the green wall act as windows, and the two ends fold down like a drawbridge to provide additional outdoor living space.

The whole system sits on telescoping legs, which make it easier to place on varied ground without needing to level out a flat area. A metallic roof holds a series of solar panels as well as a small-scale wind turbine, which produce enough power for the small home. Modular plant boxes are mounted on the exterior and are planted with vegetation, which provides extra insulation. Depending on the types of plants used, the prefab’s walls could even produce food. Each modular system can be delivered on a standard flat bed truck for easy deployment.
Read more: ECObitat: Lush Modular Prefab With Living Green Walls | Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World

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“Up next, At Home with Marni: An old house can be new again”

By Marni Jameson
Contra Costa Times correspondent

But first, this podcast of News at Noon is sponsored in part by: Tap into Excellence, your ONE-STOP Resource for the Manufactured Housing Industry, the Leader in Land Lease Communities information!

Tap into Excellence – on the Web at or call 317-346-7156.

And now, back to the news…”

At MHI Urging Chairman Barney Frank and Ranking Member Spencer Bachus Send Letter to Secretary Shaun Donovan Seeking S.A.F.E. Act Clarification

By MHI (Manufactured Housing Institute

MHI is pleased to inform its members that we received the final letter from the US House of Representatives, Committee on Financial Services to HUD. MHI’s efforts are reflected in this letter. The letter, signed by Barney Frank and Spencer Bachus addresses, S.A.F.E. Act implementation date, the unreasonable application of the S.A.F.E. Act to the manufactured housing industry and a de minimis standard. Specifically, HUD must provide the states with clear guidance on whether certain individuals, such as retail sales agents, are subject to S.A.F.E. Act licensing. Click here to view the letter. We believe Congress is encouraging HUD to consider a delayed implementation. This bolsters MHI’s long-standard argument that HUD and the states are not in a position to enforce a law where there is recognized “debate and uncertainty as to the need for the registration and licensing of certain individuals.” The letter assists retailers and lenders in our industry. HUD is instructed to provide guidance on whether certain retail sales activities are “administrative or clerical” and therefore not subject to licensing and to clearly define “compensation or gain.” Congress directs HUD to work with NMLS and the states to reduce the licensing, education and testing burden placed on personal property finance lenders and retail sales entities and to allow such entities to sponsor their individuals on NMLS without obtaining additional licenses. Congress gives HUD the authority it has been lacking to create a de minimis exemption for seller financed or personal investment loans.

Currently, HUD has regulatory authority over the S.A.F.E. Act, but the S.A.F.E. Act is one of many laws for which jurisdiction will be transferred over to the new Consumer Financial Protection Agency. MHI will be following-up with HUD and the Conference of State Banking Supervisors to ensure the effective date of the S.A.F.E. Act for our industry will be delayed until clarification is provided. In the meantime, states can use this letter to demonstrate the congressional intent of the S.A.F.E. Act with their state banking regulators.

MHI Submits Comments on Duty to Serve; Grassroots Effort Garners Thousands of Responses

This week, MHI submitted formal comments in response to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) Enterprise Duty to Serve Underserved Markets notice of proposed rulemaking (75 FR 32099.

In its comments, MHI points out that there is a long history of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac failing to serve the needs of the manufactured housing market. Ultimately, this hurts consumers and those most in need of affordable housing. This is why Congress, through the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA; P.L. 110-289), specifically established a duty for the GSEs to serve underserved markets, including manufactured housing.

Unfortunately, as previously reported, FHFA’s proposal only considers “manufactured home loans titled as real property for the purposes of the duty to serve the manufactured housing market.” Despite dozens of meetings with industry members and MHI over the past 18 months stressing the importance of personal property home loans, and despite a Congressional mandate to consider such loans, FHFA continues to ignore the needs of millions of home buyers who rely on these loans. A manufactured home financed with a personal property home loan is among the most affordable forms of homeownership as no land is involved in the loan transaction. Today, the industry estimates that personal property home loans account for at least 60 percent of manufactured housing lending.

In its comment letter, MHI also urges FHFA to amend the proposed rule for land/home or conforming mortgages transactions, as well as broadening existing business in the financing of entire land-lease communities.

As a result of the grassroots efforts of many MHI members, including state associations and land-lease community owners, thousands of retailers, community residents, and other manufactured home consumers submitted comments to FHFA stressing the need for increased participation by the GSEs in the manufactured housing sector, particularly in regards to personal property home loans.

Thank you to all industry members who submitted comments and helped make the consumers voices heard. In particular, thanks to the leadership of the MHI National Communities Council for pushing this suggestion at the MHI Summer Meeting and Legislative Conference last week and getting their residents involved.

On behalf of Production and IT Manager Bob Stovall, Editor L.A. Tony Kovach, Associate Editor Catherine Frenzel, INdustry in Focus reporter Eric Miller, and the entire writing and support team, this is Erin Patla. Gday!

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