The Modular and Manufactured Housing Industries and America’s Veterans – A Good Match

Every year on the Fourth of July, Independence Day, we celebrate what our forefathers went through to create this great country of ours. Every year since the beginning of the United States of America, we’ve had a standing Army and Navy as well as Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard service branches providing armed deterrence against our enemies. Many veterans of these services find themselves living in need of housing and medical assistance after a few years in the private sector.

We, as the modular and manufactured housing industry, have done a lot to help with housing veterans and their families but today, with the affordable housing crisis upon us, we need to be doing more.   

Modular and manufactured housing can offer significant opportunities for affordable, efficient, and quality housing, particularly for veterans who may struggle to secure traditional housing. 

Here are several ways the industry can help veterans:

Modular and manufactured homes are typically more affordable than traditional site-built homes. They are built in factories, where the controlled environment allows for efficient use of materials and labor, reducing costs. Lower costs can make homeownership more attainable for veterans, who might be facing financial constraints.

Despite their affordability, modular and manufactured homes don’t necessarily compromise on quality. They must meet certain federal standards, ensuring their safety and durability. They can be designed with energy efficiency and accessibility in mind, both of which are important for veterans, particularly those with disabilities.

Because they are built in a controlled environment, modular and manufactured homes can be constructed much faster than site-built homes. This efficiency could help meet the urgent housing needs of homeless veterans more quickly.

These homes can be designed with the specific needs of veterans in mind. For example, they could incorporate features to accommodate physical disabilities, such as wider doors for wheelchair access, lower countertops, or specially designed bathrooms.

Manufacturers can partner with organizations that serve veterans, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), to design and implement housing programs. These partnerships could involve the use of VA loans for manufactured housing, special programs for homeless veterans or collaborations to build veterans’ housing communities.

The industry can advocate for policies that make it easier for veterans to access modular and manufactured housing. This could include policies that allow for the use of VA loans for these types of homes or that encourage the inclusion of manufactured housing in veterans’ housing programs.

The VBC Giving Foundation is a nonprofit organization that serves as the philanthropic arm of Volumetric Building Companies (VBC). Their mission is to provide respectable, safe, and quality housing for everyone, including veterans and vulnerable communities. The foundation is launching the Bernard Spain Campus, a 47-unit permanent housing community in the Frankford neighborhood of Philadelphia.

The industry can help educate veterans about the benefits and possibilities of modular and manufactured housing. Many people are not aware of the quality, affordability, and flexibility of these housing options, and targeted outreach could help change that perception.

The industry could also provide job opportunities for veterans. Skills learned in the military, such as discipline, teamwork, and problem-solving, are transferable to many roles in the modular and manufactured housing industry.

By leveraging these opportunities, the modular and manufactured housing industry can play a significant role in helping veterans secure affordable, quality, and accessible housing.

Gary Fleisher

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Gary Fleisher

Gary Fleisher, “The Mod Coach”, has been entrenched in the offsite construction industry for most of his life. Having started his career in the lumber industry, Gary spent decades working with manufactured and modular home producers and homebuilders. For the past 15 years his blog and LinkedIn postings have introduced thousands to the benefits of factory-built construction and have served as a forum for industry professionals to share insights and perspectives. Gary lives in Hagerstown, MD with his wife, Peg.

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