Monday, February 15, 2021

Virginia Looks To Manufactured Housing to Solve Affordable Housing Crisis

Virginia isn't the only state that is looking for more affordable housing. It's a problem shared by just about every state and municipality in the nation. This article in the Virginia Mercury tells the tale of how VA is looking at HUD manufactured housing as a solution.

Could trailers be the new face of affordable housing?

Tacky trailers or the new face of affordable housing? That’s the debate policy-makers and advocates are having across Virginia as they work to figure out what role manufactured units should play in addressing the commonwealth’s affordable housing crisis.

So far the biggest challenge has been that no one knows exactly how many mobile homes exist in the state, where they are and what condition they are in. However, that uncertainty could come to an end if an obscure budget amendment survives the 2021 session of the General Assembly.

Counting them all

“I couldn’t tell you how many mobile home parks are in Virginia,” said Jonathan Knopf, executive director of the Manufactured Home Community Coalition of Virginia. “There is no record. We know how many units exist, but we don’t know if they are in parks or on single lots. They’re the largest source of unsubsidized affordable housing in the country, but it’s the one that we know the least about.”

CLICK HERE to read the entire Virginia Mercury article

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1 comment:

Kevin said...

The issue with Mobile Homes/Manufactured Homes in Virginia is in how they are titled in Virgina differently from Cars and Trucks.

I am a retired Assessor in Virginia and locating, assessing and classifying MH/Mfg Homes was a nightmare. I wont go on a rant of how many issues were uncovered however I will provide the highlights.
1. MH/MFg Homes titled in Virginia are not a record of how many homes exist in Virginia, homes have been destroyed, relocated or sold many times and the ownership database is years, decades old in data that it fails to resemble the actual inventory, geographic location, current ownership name and address and whether the home still exist.
2. Each locality in Virginia for many years had a differing standard of classifying MH/MFGH as "Personal Property" or "Real Property" and the change codified by Section 46.2-653.1 of the Code of Virginia identified even more issues of homes classified as real when in fact liens still existed on the title and were never cleared by 3 generations ago ownership.
3. Real Property sales discovered many other issues, in that lenders refused to close without clear "title" to the home separate from the real property and many MFG Plates and/or serial numbers were nowhere to be found due mostly to remodels. The current owner of the Real Property was not the original purchaser of the Personal Property or Mobile Home so no one knows who is the titled owner and/or does the home still have an existing lien.
4. Real Property with existing homes were sold at auction, tax or otherwise, only to find out the Mobile Home Owner was not the owner of the single parcel sold, they rented, and they had a lien on the home in their name.
5. Hundreds of ownership's were discovered titled by FIPS code where the owner nor the home were never located.
6. Unlike a car or truck where the title must be updated as ownership transfers and/or liens are cleared, manufactured homes do not have the same process of title reconciliation in Virginia.
7. An additional issue in Virginia is the Federal HUD regulations never addressed fully how localities Zone as in "Use by Right" or "Grandfathered Replacement" as many localities restrict mobile home placement in the far east corner where no one lives or as a replacement home in a Park. Affordable Homes need to be in convenient locations for it's occupants financial survival otherwise locating a home 20+ miles from public conveniences and/or employment serves no one, especially those most in need.
8. Last issue, I promise, Mobile Homes/MFG Homes are permitted by most Virginia localities to add on "Real Property" IRC additions or enclose entirely the MH with a "Real Property" IRC code add on enclosure as to never identify the MH by appearance.

The Codified change in 46.2-653.1 was one step in the right direction, and other statues exist to identify when homes are moved, the issue is they are not being enforced. And no process exist when a home is destroyed to remove it from the state database.

Step 1, scrub the data, then scrub it again, then fix the state code requirements that will ensure all Mfg Homes are updated as they change ownership, liens are cleared and/or location is changed.

Good Luck.