Modular Homes in the News 101001 presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.

We begin with these stories:

THE MANUFACTURED HOME INDUSTRY made the Wall Street Journal this week. The paper chose to use the word “mobile” in the title and then began the article by saying the builders of manufactured homes—the kind constructed in a factory and often known to the public as mobile homes or trailers—missed out on the great American housing boom. Now some of them hope their industry has finally stopped imploding. Manufactured Housing Institute statistics showing a 6.4 percent rise in shipments in the first seven months of the year were cited and the rise was in part credited to the federal tax credit from the first part of the year. The report looked at Clayton Homes, Cavco and Champion Homes, whose factory outside of Pittsburgh was used for the Clarion, Pennsylvania dateline. Phyllis Knight, acting CEO of Champion, told the reporter, “people still think of the old trailer park and the eyesores.” Don Glisson, CEO of Triad Financial Services Inc., said the industry could use an image-building national advertising campaign, but “nobody wants to pony up the money because times are so tough.” The article also touched on the preeminent issue of financing, pointing out the interest rate variations between home loans and personal property loans and noting that although 2008 housing legislation required government-backed mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to support financing for manufactured homes, the FHFA recently decided such loans should be funded only when backed by land as well as by homes. It’s the financing differential that needs to be corrected for the industry to prosper, or as Warren Buffett wrote in a letter to shareholders earlier this year, “the manufactured-home industry seems destined to struggle and dwindle.”

THE GASTON GAZETTE in North Carolina reports that the community of Mount Holly is looking at beefing up the building standards of future homes, but a local homebuilders group says the timing isn’t right. Future homes there could be required to have a front porch, garages four feet from the building line and raised front entries, according to proposed design regulations. New construction and additions must be consistent with surrounding homes and setbacks. Local builders say it’s not a good time to place restrictions on an industry in turmoil.

Manufactured Housing in the News

BUFFALO BUSINESS FIRST reports that nonprofit groups there will receive $1.1 million to replace substandard mobile home units. Cuba Community Development Corp. in Allegany County will receive $500,000, while Chautauqua [shuh-TAW-qua] Opportunities Inc. in Chautauqua County will receive $602,996. The funds are among 10 awards totaling $5 million allocation statewide coming through the federally-funded HOME program, that will help replace 146 substandard mobile homes with new HUD-certified ENERGY STAR Qualified manufactured homes. The nonprofit organizations will also receive another $3.5 million for the initiative through the State Community Development Block Grant program and the Affordable Housing Corp. See a detailed InFocus report now available at

POLICE IN MIDLAND, TEXAS are looking for victims of a recent phony home scandal. Police are asking anyone who received a manufactured home from Charles Sprayberry, Larry Spence or Charles Gilmore with Sun Valley Affordable Mobile Homes or any other of their company names and did not get proof of ownership of the home, to attend a meeting at the police department. Representatives from the State will also be on hand to help with title issues October 6 at both 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. RSVP with the Midland Police Department by calling (432) 685-7108.

“More Manufactured Housing in the News continues…”

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Now, back to our stories.

FROM NEWS·OK, the Board of Adjustment in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has given its approval to signs placed on the ends of manufactured homes by a dealer. The signs had been cited as a violation of a city sign-regulation ordinance. City inspectors told manufactured home dealer Mike Harrison that the signs required a permit. Harrison claimed they didn’t because they express religious beliefs and don’t promote a business.

SOLITAIRE HOMES recently lost Garland Gandy, 61 of Big Spring, Texas who passed away Sept. 23. Gandy spent his life working in the manufactured housing industry. He first began in the business with John Davis and Breck Homes and has worked for Solitaire Homes for the past 12 years. He married Holly Todd on March 25, 1994 in Austin.

Modular Homes in the News

FROM THE VANCOUVER SUN—approximately 40 developments are being built around the province as a result of a partnership under the Canada-British Columbia Affordable Housing Initiative, which includes funding through Canada’s Economic Action Plan and by the Government of British Columbia. These new homes – approximately 1,300 in all – will provide seniors age 55 and older who are still able to live independently an affordable option for staying in their communities. Seniors’ Rental Housing homes are either site-built wood-frame construction or single-storey modular, manufactured housing.

JETSON GREEN reports that Square Root Architecture + [plus]Design just began construction of its first prefab home in Chicago.  The C3 Modular Home is participating in the Chicago Green Homes program and will shoot for LEED Platinum certification with green elements such as Energy Star appliances, WaterSense fixtures, a mini-split HVAC system, multiple layers of insulation, high performance windows and a solar thermal system. The 2,000 square-foot home will have four bedrooms and a private interior courtyard, which will draw natural light into the interior.

ALL AMERICAN HOMES, one of the nation’s largest builders of residential modular homes, announced this week it will be building the home for the NextGen Medtrade exhibit. The 1,650 square foot, two bedroom, two bath house was designed for an accessible lifestyle, creating an environment that is barrier free. “The options and ideas this home will showcase are exciting and the cutting-edge products will show real life solutions for Americans who are looking to avoid long-term care or alternate living scenarios,” said Kevin Gaffney, CEM, group show director. Medtrade 2010 will take place November 15-18, 2010, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. The Accessible Home will be open to show attendees beginning November 16 at 10 a.m. and will remain open for tours throughout the show.

In Market News…

STOCKS CLOSED DOWN modestly Thursday losing 47 points following disappointing employment numbers. The manufactured housing composite value outperformed the market, however, rising 3.5 percent. Palm Harbor Homes lead the pack with a more than 12 percent gain followed by Cavco, which added nearly seven percent to its share price.

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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