MHMSM Responds to Texas Gubernatorial Candidate Bill White 102510

MHMSM Responds to Texas Gubernatorial Candidate Bill White reached out to Texas Governor Candidate Bill White, thanking him for agreeing to make a manufactured home his home should he reach the statehouse in Austin. In the letter we also took the opportunity to correct White’s use of the word “trailer.” The letter reads:

Those in the manufactured housing community were undoubtedly happy to hear you announce the intention to forego the rented executive offices for a manufactured home should you be elected Governor of Texas. We fully expect should you have the opportunity to live in a manufactured home, you’ll find it to be to your liking. Because manufactured housing is an important industry providing both jobs and affordable housing in Texas, your public support of the industry is and will be very welcomed.

I would like to challenge your use of the word “trailer,” however. Use of this word, many in and outside of the industry would agree, may be taken as a purposeful denigration.

It’s also not literally accurate. The word stems from the origins of both the recreational and manufactured home industries and referred to campers of a sort that were pulled around by vehicles. While a manufactured home today is built on a steel frame, it is a home placed on a lot, whether it be rented or owned. It is not a camper or travel trailer pulled around from site to site.

Likewise the use of the word “mobile” is incorrect for similar reasons. In addition, the term “manufactured home” is defined by federal legislation. Manufactured homes are homes built to the HUD code, which was implemented in June of 1976.  Only homes built before this date are by definition “mobile homes.”

I write for the most widely-read manufactured housing trade journal, and we’ve created a document that helps further explain the proper usage. It’s available at this link:

Again, thank you for bringing the manufactured housing industry into the spotlight and agreeing to make one of our products your home in Austin.

Manufactured Homes Could Help Provide More Affordable Housing in Cities

An article in the Journal of the American Planning Association earlier this year argues that manufactured housing could solve the affordable homes crisis in urban areas, but only if planners help local people to overcome their prejudices. Two leading urban affairs and planning experts—Professor Casey Dawkins and Professor Theodore Koebel from the Center of Housing Research at Virginia Tech—urge urban planning officers to support proposals for manufactured homes. Most manufactured homes produced today are destined for suburban and rural location.  Experts say, however, an increasing amount of residential development in the coming years will be in urban areas and inner suburbs on brownfields (land that has previously been developed) or on infill lots. Even within the suburbs, development will not be of the ranch-style-home-on-half -acre-lot most manufactured homes emulate, but of the new urban sort with sidewalks and a mix of retail office and residence. That may present a problem for the manufactured housing industry. Or it could be an opportunity. Look for an upcoming InFocus article today on that discusses the results of the new research and how manufactured homes have been successfully used as infill and brownfield development in America’s cities.

Jersey Seniors Enjoying Modular Complex

The Courier News in Somerville, New Jersey reports that seniors there are taking warmly to a new modular housing complex. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Thursday at Robert Noble Manor, a new senior-housing complex on Gordon Street behind McCarthy Towers. Dozens attended the event, including city and county officials. Gary Hirsch, executive director of the South Amboy Renaissance Corporation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing affordable housing for low- and moderate-income senior citizens, told the paper the 37,000-square-foot modular building cost $9.6 million to construct and includes 40 one-bedroom units with parking, Amenities include walk-in showers, a meeting room and a community garden.

New York Exhibit Provides Glimpse of Mobile Home Life Circa 1972

A mobile home from 1972 is currently on display in New York’s meatpacking district. The home comes from Sullivan County and is currently serving as a contemporary art exhibit. According to the web site, “The Other End of the Line,” created by artist Francis Cape, aims to provide a window into life in upstate New York, the world the High Line was once linked to through railroad tracks until the last train left in 1980.

Inside the unit, a collection of mixed media works by 13 upstate artists that highlight the diversity of life beyond the five boroughs are on display.

Good Things Come in Small Packages

The Wall Street Journal ran a story Thursday about a company in Spain called Infiniski, that’s building individually designed homes out of recycled material at affordable price points. According to the article, the company’s designs are based on what could be called a building-block approach in which the basic structure of each house is created out of recycling de-commissioned maritime shipping containers. A typical Infiniski house can take just two months to build from start to finish and the cost is 50 percent less than a conventional home of an equivalent size.

Dow Closes Down, Some MH Stocks Outperform Market

The Dow closed down 14 points or a little more than a tenth of one percent percent, on Friday and the manufactured housing composite value was down nearly two percent. While Skyline and Cavco were down more than two percent each, some manufactured housing and related stocks outperformed the market. Drew Industries was up nearly four percent, Palm Harbor Homes was up more than two percent and penny stock Global Diversified Industries was up almost 59 percent to close at four cents a share.

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