The affordable housing crisis in the United States is worsening, with experts calling for a multi-pronged approach from local, state, and federal officials to address the issue. One of the strategies that is being increasingly adopted by states is to rezone to allow manufactured housing in residential neighborhoods.
Manufactured housing is a type of housing that is built in a factory, built to the Federal HUD code, and then transported to its final location. Manufactured homes are typically less expensive than site-built homes, and they can be a good option for people who are looking for an affordable place to live.
However, manufactured homes have traditionally been excluded from many residential neighborhoods due to zoning restrictions. Zoning is a set of regulations that govern the use of land, and it is often used to control the type of housing that is built in a particular area. In many cases, zoning restrictions have been used to prevent manufactured homes from being built in residential neighborhoods, even though they are a type of housing that is affordable and accessible to many people.
In recent years, however, there has been a growing movement to rezone to allow manufactured housing in residential neighborhoods. This movement is being driven by a number of factors, including the increasing affordability of manufactured homes, the growing need for affordable housing, and the recognition that manufactured homes can be a good fit for many residential neighborhoods.
Rezoning manufactured housing can help to reduce homelessness. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, there are over 553,000 people experiencing homelessness on any given night in the United States. Rezoning manufactured housing can help to provide these individuals with a safe and affordable place to live.
As a result of this movement, a growing number of states are rezoning to allow manufactured housing in residential neighborhoods. In 2022, for example, the state of Oregon passed a law that requires all cities and counties in the state to allow manufactured homes in residential neighborhoods. This law is expected to help to address the affordable housing crisis in Oregon, and it is likely to be emulated by other states in the future.
There are a number of reasons why states are rezoning to allow manufactured housing in residential neighborhoods. One reason is to increase the supply of affordable housing. Manufactured housing can be a more affordable option for low- and middle-income families.
Another reason is to provide more housing options for people with disabilities. Manufactured housing can be more accessible than traditional site-built housing.
Finally, some states are rezoning to allow manufactured housing in residential neighborhoods as a way to revitalize communities. Manufactured housing can help to bring new residents and businesses to communities.
On The Flip-Side
There are a number of arguments against rezoning manufactured housing to allow it in residential neighborhoods. Some people argue that manufactured housing is less safe than traditional site-built housing. However, studies have shown that manufactured housing is just as safe as traditional site-built housing.
Others argue that manufactured housing is not as aesthetically pleasing as traditional site-built housing. However, there are many manufactured homes that are designed to look just like traditional site-built homes.
Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to rezone manufactured housing to allow it in residential neighborhoods is a local one. However, the benefits of rezoning manufactured housing are clear. Rezoning manufactured housing can help to increase the supply of affordable housing, reduce homelessness, and revitalize communities.