Modular Housing in the News 100928 presents Factory Built Housing Industry News at Noon with Erin Patla.

We begin with these stories:

THE SMALL BUSINESS JOBS ACT that passed the Senate a week ago has been signed into law by President Obama. The bill Small Business Administration’s floor plan financing program provides loan guarantees through SBA lenders for titleable assets including manufactured housing. The DFP Pilot Program was set to expire on September 30, 2010. The Small Business Jobs Act renews the DFP program for another 3 years and increases the loan limits to $5 million.

MANUFACTURING JOBS are on the rebound, according to the Institute for Supply Management. Since the start of this year, there’s been a 1.6 percent gain in manufacturing jobs. As reported on, even if manufacturing hiring stays flat the rest of this year, the industry is poised to post its biggest percentage gain in jobs since 1994.

THE LOS ANGELES TIMES recently ran a feature story on the recreational vehicle industry  indicating during the last few years, the recreational vehicle industry suffered along with consumers because of record-high diesel and gasoline prices, the recession and the credit crunch. Now, U.S. retail sales of RVs have risen, although by only 3 percent, to 92,974, in the first six months of the year compared with year-earlier sales. According to the article, experts and RV dealers attribute the increase to relatively stable fuel prices, the improved economy and the cautious easing of credit, especially for motor homes that sell for $100,000 and less. It’s the more expensive vehicles that are slow to move off the lot. Sales of the roomiest and most luxurious motor homes, vehicles that can cost as much as $400,000, declined by more than 45 percent in 2009. At the next level, motor homes that cost as much as $140,000 saw a sales drop of 42 percent. The article also mentioned the demise of Fleetwood and the fact that many RV motor clubs have disappeared.

Manufactured Housing in the News…

THE PRESS OF ATLANTIC CITY reports on a debate in Weymouth Township over what is and isn’t to be considered a house. The township committee is in the process of changing its municipal code after local real estate developer Wesley Bates threatened to sue because Weymouth’s mobile home regulations, similar to many others in southern New Jersey, conflict with a decades-old state law that says a municipality can’t restrict manufactured homes. A law in the local government’s code books since the early 1980s forbids “a movable or portable unit, regardless of size, design and constructed to be towed on its own chassis,” which the township says is a mobile home. The state later notified the town that it could not revoke Bates’ permit under federal law since it was built to HUD standards.

KEPRTV in Pasco, Washington reports that a mobile home park with a reputation for drugs and gangs is getting help. A $46,000 grant will bring in activities for the community center, send kids to summer leadership camp and hold GED, ESL and parenting classes.

“Up next, Modular Housing in the News”

But first, this podcast of News at Noon is sponsored in part by: – Lifestyle Driven Designs by Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber. Furniture, Decors and Model Homes designed for your budgets and your customers’ lifestyles.

Email them at, visit them on the Web at or call 214-941-8341.

Now, back to our stories.

Modular Housing in the News…

FROM NORTH CAROLINA, the Laurinburg Exchange reports on how Community Development Block Grants are helping local residents replace their homes. LRCOG helps owners replace dilapidated homes said Adrian Lowery, the housing coordinator for the Lumber River Council of Government. Lowery helped administer the Scattered Site Housing Grant that demolished the crumbling home of Creola Johnson and replaced it with a newly furnished modular home. The grant is awarded from the Community Development Block Grant program by the North Carolina Department of Commerce. Demolition costs range from $3,000 to $5,000 per home while the modular homes used cost $68,750 each.

FROM SURREY, BRITISH COLUMBIA and the Surrey Now, some seniors there are unable to sell their homes because of a zoning snafu. The problems are occurring in Braeside, a small gated seniors community that includes 22 modular homes on permanent concrete foundations. Braeside is zoned tourist accommodation, zoning reserved for RV parks, trailer courts, motels and the like. Banks won’t provide mortgages because the homes are in a commercial tourist accommodation zone.

FROM THE EDMONTON JOURNAL in Canada, an Alberta real estate and housing developer is building 24 bungalow-style duplexes in Spruce Grove, just west of Edmonton, as part of a pilot project to showcase modular homes in a city setting. Calgary-based Lamont Homes Inc is branching back into the housing market with this new home product line. Supplies for the pilot are coming from Igloo Prebuilt Inc., a modular home manufacturer in Acheson, an industrial hub west of Edmonton. When fully built, the subdivision will house 1,000 homes, of which 150 could become custom prebuilt homes in Phase 13 if the pilot becomes a development project, with an earliest possession date of spring of 2011.

FROM CALIFORNIA and the North Bay Business Journal, HybridCore Homes is taking the idea of a modular home and a traditional home and blending them to create a cheaper, faster and more environmentally sound way of home building. According to the report, the concept is that the central part of the house, the kitchen, bathrooms and master suite are built off-site in a warehouse and trucked to the building site where the rest of the rooms and the roof are added. The cores run from roughly $30,000 to more than $100,000 depending on the floor plan. They are built in Sacramento in a factory that has the capacity to put out 50 floor plans a week, said Otis Orsburn, vice president in charge of construction. The California State Department of Housing Deputy Director Kim Strange recently recognized HybridCore Homes, giving it a certificate for “Innovation in Housing Technology.”

In Business News…

A STUDY RELEASED THIS WEEK by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that 95 percent of new loans made in the U.S. in 2009 were long-term fixed-rate products compared to various other countries with a lower share including one percent in Spain, 10 percent in Canada and 22 percent in Japan. In addition, five percent of new loans made in the U.S. in 2009 were variable rate, which compares to the higher shares found in other countries, including 92 percent in Australia and 47 percent in the UK. The authors contend that comparing the performance of mortgage products internationally, many countries are experiencing lower default rates than the U.S., despite having a significant share of products such as adjustable rate mortgages and interest only loans. This indicates the problem with loan design in the U.S. during the crisis was one of a mismatch between borrowers and particular loan designs — not the existence of the loan features themselves.

PALM HARBOR HOMES announced recently that it convened and adjourned its annual meeting of shareholders to consider and vote upon the proposal to amend and restate its Second Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation to increase the number of authorized shares of common stock and preferred stock. Palm Harbor adjourned the meeting pursuant to a vote of a majority of the shares represented at the meeting. The company said the annual meeting will reconvene on Monday, October 11, 2010, at 10:00 A.M at headquarters in Addison, Texas.

THE DOW CLOSED nearly 50 points lower Monday following Friday’s rally. Manufactured home-related stocks were mixed, with All American Group losing more than five percent to manufactured home axle supplier TJT Inc gaining nearly 30 percent. The manufactured housing composite value gained .18 percent.

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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