Friday, August 7, 2015

Can Modular be the Answer to 54 Million Americans' Housing Needs?

I have toured dozens of modular home factories and met with a ton of modular home builders and not one, zero, zip, nada, none of them have even a partial program or series of home plans that address the needs of 54,000,000 Americans. That’s 54 with 6 zeroes.

Who are these people? They are the people that live with disabilities.

In most cases they aren’t asking for much from home builders. Wider hallways and door openings, modified bath fixtures, accessible kitchens, maybe a ramp into the home or lowered switches and windows. Very few need all these on one house.

Some just need a bathroom with a walk-in shower and handicap bars. Some may only need a 4’ wide hallway with 36” wide door openings. Others may need their entire home ADA designed.

Whatever they need, modular construction can accommodate them. In most cases we shy away from going after this special market but I believe that if even one modular builder in your area were to market to this huge niche market, the rewards would be great for both the special needs home buyer and you, the builder.

Are you the builder that can help some of these 54,000,000 Americans have a home they designed and built for themselves?

Here is an article recently posted in the Chicago Tribune that puts this same question to Realtors.

Survey Finds Homebuyers' Needs for Accessible Housing are Unmet

Research shows that the overwhelming majority of homebuyers with disabilities have a strong need and desire for real estate agents who are trained and knowledgeable about accessible housing options. But despite the need for adequate help, one in five homebuyers who have a disability say they do not get the proper assistance, according to a recent Century 21 Real Estate survey conducted by Harris Poll.
In a country where more than 54 million Americans live with disabilities, advocates across the nation recognize the importance of fostering inclusive communities that enable people with disabilities to live as fully integrated members of society. This includes helping people find accessible housing in the communities of their choice.


Anonymous said...


A Built for Living option is available from a couple of manufacturers but the options are not marketed by either the factories or builders that I have seen on any websites or marketing materials.

Like most things with modular we seem to keep our candle of illumination under the bushel basket or defer to the marketing machines of the major NHBA players.

Harris - Finish Werks said...

Coach, our friend Ken Semler at Express Modular has created an entire division dedicated to Age In Place modular: