Monday, January 19, 2015

Champion Homes Fills Need for Housing in Hutchinson, KS

Interfaith Housing Services in Hutchinson, Kansas is developing a plan to build modular homes on three vacant lots in the southern part of Hutchinson and possibly as many as 30 housing units in the area around Lincoln Elementary School and the Elmdale Community Center.

The goal of the larger project is to concentrate Interfaith’s efforts to create a visible and significant impact on the neighborhood.

“There’s a sense that the revitalization area needs more than just poking and prodding, but a real impact area instead of a little here and a little there,” said Ron Fisher, director of operations for Interfaith.

To get the plan off the ground, Interfaith is applying for a $190,000 grant from the Kansas Housing Resources Corp. to partially fund the three modular homes, Fisher said. He expects to learn whether Interfaith will receive the grant in late spring.

Infill housing, on vacant lots in already established residential areas, has been limited because new houses built in older neighborhoods typically will not appraise at a value equal to their cost of construction. That in turn typically makes it impossible to get mortgages and insurance.

Fisher said modular housing will reduce that gap between construction cost and appraisal value. The plan, he said, is to build three modular homes as a test to see how close they can get to closing the gap.

Interfaith has been looking at plans for modular homes built by Champion Homes. Champion builds the modular houses in sections in its factory and then assembles the sections on a foundation at the destination.

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