Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Mixing of Modular and Manufactured Homes in Indiana

Manufactured housing continues trying to solve the affordable housing crisis by introducing bills into state legislatures. The Indiana Senate received the bill below and it sounds like the term “modular” in it may actually mean the new CrossMod HUD home. It’s a little confusing.

From an article in the Terre Haute Tribune Star.

A bill aimed at encouraging the creation of mobile and modular homes passed through the House of Representatives over the concerns of some calling it an industry priority disguised as a solution to affordable housing.

SB 148, authored by Sen. Blake Doriot, allows modular homes to be placed in licensed manufactured housing communities but allows for local regulations and homeowners associations to create their own restrictions. It also prohibits placing manufactured housing in designated areas such as historic districts.

In committee last week, Doriot, R-Syracuse, said that zoning related to manufactured housing moved slower than other zoning laws, especially as older units aged out. As communities closed, older homes couldn’t be moved without adequate notice so the bill makes park owners give home owners 180-day notice.

“Let’s be honest, they weren’t as nice, they weren’t built to the standards that we have today,” Doriot said in last week’s committee. “If we’re going to close a park, we need to give notice so people can arrange to get their homes out.”

This was the concern of Rep. Justin Moed, D-Indianapolis, on the floor Tuesday.

He said a mobile home park closed in his district containing mostly units from the 70s and 80s that couldn’t be moved and he witnessed a family tearing down the home for scrap metal.

“This will continue to happen as districts age out,” Moed said. “For some families, this is the best that they can do, the best to keep them from being homeless.”

House sponsor Rep. Doug Miller, R-Elkhart, said that manufactured housing homed 22 million Americans and paired with an initiative at the federal level to increase manufactured housing.

In last week’s committee hearing, Ronald Breymier, the executive director of the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association, said that the 11,000 manufactured homes built in Indiana last year employed 10,000 Hoosiers at a cost of $50 per square feet.

A “site-built” home, in contrast, cost approximately $120 per square foot, Breymier said.

“You cannot tell the difference with our new mobile homes that are designed just like site-built homes,” Breymier boasted. “It’s going to be very exciting for consumers because they’re going to have something they can afford.”

Breymier said Ben Carson, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, was a fan of manufactured housing as a potential solution to the country’s affordable housing crisis.

“Everyone in this room knows about our affordable housing crisis and today’s manufactured homes are indeed a solution to affordable housing,” Breymier said last week. “The 2019 federal appropriations [bill] includes a provision for manufactured housing with local planning commissions… [and] says that manufactured housing should be a part of that plan.”

On Tuesday, Miller connected the shortage of housing with Indiana’s workforce, saying the homes would be inspected at construction and comply with federal construction code.

“We’ve got an affordable home crisis in this state and it’s difficult to attract workers here if we can’t provide affordable housing,” Miller said.

Miller received opposition from Rep. Chuck Moseley, D-Portage, who questioned if municipalities wanted the legislation.

“Did your cities, towns and counties come to you with this or are you carrying this for the mobile home industry?” Moseley asked.

Miller said that he hadn’t been approached by local government but hadn’t received pushback from municipalities in his district either.

The bill heads to the governor's desk.


MARK WILLE said...

Price per Sq. Ft., Price per Sq. Ft. Price per Sq Ft.:

Town hall meetings and village planners are always quoted with comments on price per Sq Ft.

In my experience they are not equipped to answer or speak to the it for the experts and experienced...ask questions, ask questions, ask questions.

Restaurants do not list price per do you compare sushi, mac n cheese, toast, salad and lobster?

I wrestle with the benefits of each city/town/county/state initiating there own rules. I have witnessed the benefits as well as the drawbacks. If we sit at the table for a discussion on price and price alone being the problem then the solution is clear. Scale production and no variances. The same rule for block by block and as Mr. Ford said in so many words....any color you want as long as it's black. Many ways to pick this option apart. (Site conditions/building orientation/Climate zone, access to electric/energy, water/sewer)

Now for the other side of the story which really calls for more questions.
If a building is built beyond code does it matter whether it is:
Bricks or Sticks or Metal Site Built, Panelized, Flat-Pack, PreFab, Modified Shipping Container, Modular, SIP, ICF, CLT, Log Cabin. A home that is delivered is different than a home that is mobile. Let's not get too far in the weeds on mobile because we have experience different levels of mobile capabilities.

Homes of various sizes and qualities are needed and at varying values. How they are made should not matter. Many of us deliver homes on trailers and then they get lifted off. They can remain permanent to the site or with the right skills be removed and relocated. If we look at Insurance risk areas that have been hit be floods and fires perhaps we should keep these on trailers and the homes can be relocated before danger strikes.

If we leave the agendas in the hallway we can have a clear discussion at the table that many are without shelter, many buildings are not where they are safe, and putting more dollars into the durability and efficiency of the building brings down the monthly cost to operate and maintain. That seems like a table to sit at. Maybe the question is...should the table be built on site and how much should it cost?

Anonymous said...

The statute has two sections:
The first prohibits zoning that restricts placement of manufactured homes outside manufactured home parks but does allow zoning restrictions and definitions based on the permanent foundation design and certain aesthetics

(2) may require a manufactured
home to be located and installed according to the same standards that
apply to a site-built, single family dwelling on the same lot, including
a permanent foundation system, setbacks, minimum square footage,
and aesthetic appearance. ( This section or definition has passed several State court cases including State Supreme Court cases )

The second allows placement of an "industrialized residence" ( Modular ) in a manufactured home community - most lots in such communities do not conform to local zoning for area and setbacks -

Marta said...

Is this an accurate statement?

“You cannot tell the difference with our new mobile homesthat are designed just like site-built homes,” Breymier boasted.