Following a retreat for Next Step and its Partners, I was privileged to participate in the CFED I'm Home Retreat in Denver. Imagine a “for profit” mind immersed in a “non profit” retreat. It would have been easy to allow your head to spin if the topics discussed were not so familiar.
The Retreat was fully immersed in the role manufactured housing (MH) could play for the working poor as an answer for initial and replacement housing.
George McCarthy, from the Ford Foundation, gave some great statistics about those living in MH and the percentage of those populations in communities. These stats further magnified the continuing role MH communities’ play in general housing and manufactured housing specifically.
However, energies soon were redirected to the discussion on funding, both for inventory and retail; appraisals; placement, yadda yadda yadda.
As Barry Noffziger, from CU Factory Built Lending suggested – if you close your eyes, you could have sworn you were in any MH association meeting. The concerns and challenges seemed to be the same as the “for profit” side of the industry. The plea was to unite in order to facilitate change.
It was an interesting juxtaposition to find myself in the middle of a segment of the industry I knew/know little about; but yet I could appreciate their passion.
Their energy was unbelievable. Positive – glass seemed to be half full everywhere I looked.
Paul Bradley from ROC was there and talked about their success and plans for the future.
There was a testimonial about efforts to re-house victims in a MH community affected by Hurricane Sandy; flood victims in Colorado and other locations.
Architect Bruce Tolar, of the Katrina Cottage fame, provided an overview on the lessons learned and how the Cottage is morphing for long term housing solutions. It was noted that long after the national news crews left the Gulf area, there are still victims of Katrina struggling to cope with inadequate housing – 8 years following the hurricane – FEMA gone, almost everyone else as well.
Heck, that was only the first day and sadly, I had to leave. How often do you leave a meeting saying, “I can’t go, I want to hear and learn more."
Curious, the effort in the room was focused on the resident/owner and how MH can deliver more value and provide life with dignity. This, for a segment of the population most writes off as un-qualified buyers.
It was refreshing and left me wanting to know more about what I could do to help. Hopefully, I will get the chance. ##
9052 Legends Lake Lane
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