I read this story in Fast Company Magazine about our housing crisis.

“A new report from Apartment List calculates that one in 18 Americans, or 17.7 million people, live in a manufactured home nationwide; the average monthly housing cost is $564, versus $1,057 for a typical house or apartment. In the 100 largest metro areas, people living in mobile homes spent around 40% less, on average, than others.”

Most manufactured homes are found in the south and the west. I know growing up in eastern Washington farm country, mobile homes were very popular in the 80’s as my grandparents lived in one. Thus, I don’t see manufactured homes with the same stigma as others do.

I believe manufactured homes can provide a more affordable housing solution for people. But, we need to get past the stigma that only “rednecks” or that only poor people live in manufactured homes. This isn’t true. My parents until May lived for 8 years in a new home community that featured both stick built homes and manufactured homes in the same neighborhood in Richland Washington. My parents bought one of the new stick built homes for $180k; but my parents could have afforded a home over $1 million if they wanted to.

A second benefit for manufactured homes is we can create more blue-collar jobs to build these homes in abandoned factories in the Midwest. Third, manufactured housing can be built much more quickly. For example, in metro Denver we know from the State Demography Office that builders are behind by 62k housing units. If we just rely on traditional stick built homes it will probably take at least 12 years for builders to catch up. But, with manufactured housing we could catch up with demand much quicker, getting our real estate market back in balance sooner.