One of the biggest reasons manufactured home professionals give as to why more new HUD Code MH homes aren’t sold is due to the public’s perception about durability and safety.
While there are several factors that contribute to this impression – including improper use of outdated or demeaning terminology, or data misrepresented by the mainstream media – windstorms tops many lists.
In 2017, there is anecdotal evidence that the number of mainstream media stories about manufactured homes and tornadoes, hurricanes or other windstorms has spiked.
This is where professionals should consider using the words of famous legislator, Daniel Patrick Monaghan, who said, “You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.”
The Daily Business News has reported on such issues for years. MHLivingNews and MHProNews periodically spotlight errant media accounts. The goal? To inform the industry and researchers and to provide the resources that correct the record. That includes exposing the truth about manufactured homes from “fake news” reports about manufactured homes and windstorms…
the aim to clear the air – including separating the truth from fake news – and an article that was featured within that story where data was skewed and misrepresented to suggest that manufactured housing isn’t as durable as site-built homes.
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In response to this issue, a manufactured housing executive provided MHProNews with a report that takes a detailed look at the damage done to manufactured homes (though they refer to them at times as mobile homes in the report) during Hurricanes Charlie, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne.
Part of the message read as follows, “Please see attached. The facts speak for themselves. The story line is: “Post-1994 manufactured homes performed as intended.”
Looking at a few key factors in the report you can see the difference between a pre-HUD Code mobile home and the modern day manufactured homes, many of which (in this study) were built after the 1994 enhanced construction requirements had been adopted by HUD.
“The assessments found that of the 29,275 mobile homes [sic] located in mobile home parks [sic] visited, approximately 3,583 (12.25 percent) were totally destroyed or were not repairable.
“However, mobile homes [sic] constructed post-1994 to the enhanced construction requirements adopted in 1994 withstood hurricane force winds as well as other severe weather conditions and remained intact with minor to no damage. There were approximately 4,056 post- 1994 mobile homes in these parks (None of the post-1994 homes experienced any significant damage).”
That means that roughly 3,500 out of over 29,000 mobile and manufactured homes were destroyed during these four hurricanes – and all of them were older or pre-HUD code homes.
The fact that all manufactured homes built after the 1994 update to the HUD Code were still standing without significant damage speaks volumes. The facts of the report found at the report linked above prove the durability and quality with which the modern manufactured homes are made.
“In addition to the structural damage caused by severe winds to pre-1994 mobile homes [sic], additional damage to mobile homes [sic], that was due to add-ons such as carports and verandas being blown away.”
That dove tails with the information found in this popular MHLivingNews video, shown below.
The report suggests that even a number of the homes that were built before 1994 were just as structurally sound – and that it was add-ons that caused the damage. Add-ons such as carports, porches, sheds and more are not built under HUD Code standards.
“Since the add-ons are not subject to the HUD mobile home construction standards, any improvement in their performance will have to result from changes to state laws.”
“There were some mobile/manufactured homes built in accordance with HUD’s Manufactured Home Construction and Safety standards that were severely damaged. Typically this involved an add-on being blown off such as a carport, screen room or veranda. When these add-ons were blown off, they tended to engage other parts of the home, especially roofs which caused further damage to the home. They also caused damage to other homes when they were blown into them.”
These same hurricanes cost insurance companies some 41 billion during the same reported storm season. Most of those loses were due to damage or destruction of conventional housing, or commercial construction.
This data confirms the fact that manufactured homes built to updated HUD-Code standards and are installed properly are just as safe – if not safer – than a traditionally site-built house.
In the ‘fake news’ report published earlier this month at this link here, the North Carolina Manufactured Housing Association’s (NCMHA) executive director made an important and memorable point.
“Publishing hand-picked information can be worse for the impression it makes on manufactured homes and our industry than stating entirely false information.” – Brad Lovin, NCMHA. # #
(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)
Submitted by Julia Granowicz to Daily Business News for MHProNews.