From Iowa, the Muscatine Journal reports the town may soon be home to a modular housing development, if Jason Harder has his way. Last year this developer purchased the 43 year-old Ripley’s Trailer Court, as well as a 38-acre adjoining pastureland, changed the name to Ripley’s Affordable Housing, and is in the process of turning the pasture into a neighborhood of smaller manufactured homes. Saying the economy is ripe for affordable homes, especially for first-time buyers and retirees, Harder has already improved roads, and worked out an agreement with the city to replace the sewage treatment lagoons with a pumping station, and make sports fields for the community residents. There is already a playground, and a general store catering to the residents. The 39-year-old civil engineer native of Muscatine notes that labor rates make up only 12 percent of labor costs on a manufactured home, as compared to 50 percent for onsite construction homes. In addition, the manufacturers of his proposed homes adhere to HUD standards, using floor joists and steel frames. All the new homes will be constructed with basements, and buyers will purchase the lots as well. In the past, Ripley has offered homes by Fairmont, Dutch, Clayton and Harmony Homes. It should be noted that while the article referred to modular homes, a call to Ripley’s revealed the majority of the homes in the community were manufactured homes.