Senators’ HUD Manufactured Housing Modernization Act Would Ensure HUD Supports State and Local Governments Wishing to Include Manufactured Housing as Affordable Solution When Applying for Federal Resources

WASHINGTON, D.C. [06/12/2019]—Today, U.S. Senators Tina Smith, (D-Minn.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), and Todd Young (R-Ind.) introduced bipartisan legislation promoting manufactured housing as part of the solution to America’s affordable housing crisis.

The HUD Manufactured Housing Modernization Act of 2019 would require the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to issue guidelines for including manufactured housing in state and local governments’ Consolidated Plans, which outline their housing and community development priorities, when applying for HUD funding. This legislation will ensure that manufactured housing, a significant source of affordable housing, is considered when jurisdictions develop their housing plans.

“We need to support the affordable housing market and increase housing availability in urban, rural and tribal areas,” said Sen. Smith, a member of both the Senate Banking and Indian Affairs Committees. “Manufactured housing is a critical source of affordable housing all over Minnesota, and our bipartisan bill would make sure that more communities across the country think of manufactured housing as a possible solution to their housing needs.”
 
“We’re in the midst of an affordable housing crisis in Nevada, and in communities throughout America. Home prices are rising fast, and Americans are spending a greater share of their paychecks to keep a roof over their heads. It’s unacceptable, and we must take immediate action,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “This bipartisan legislation recognizes that manufactured housing can be part of the solution.”
 
“Manufactured housing is an affordable housing option for over 22 million Americans, including one out of every five families in South Carolina,” said Senator Scott. “Ensuring that we keep this important option open to families puts them in a safer position and a path to affordable home ownership.”
  
“Nearly 25,000 North Dakota families live in manufactured houses, built for a fraction of the cost of a single-family site-built home. The HUD Manufactured Housing Modernization Act makes it clear that communities should consider if and how manufactured housing could fit into their affordable housing plans,” said Senator Cramer.
 
“Solving the housing affordability crisis for Hoosiers of all income levels is going to require bold and innovative changes to our nation’s housing policies,” said Senator Young. “With over 2.5 million Hoosiers already living in manufactured homes — and with Hoosier workers leading the way in construction of manufactured housing — I know it’s time to put greater emphasis on manufactured housing as a housing affordability solution.” 

Manufactured housing is a significant source of un-subsidized affordable housing, with nearly 22 million Americans living in manufactured housing. Manufactured homes also cost as little as $45,000, while a new single-family site-built home can cost $323,000. The quality of manufactured homes has improved dramatically in recent years; manufactured homes can also be more energy efficient and save families costs on utilities in the long-term.

This bill is supported by Prosperity Now, National Low Income Housing Coalition, Manufactured Housing Institute, and the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners.

As Congress considers reforms to the nation’s housing finance system, last week Sen. Smith outlined her top priorities. In a letter to the nation’s top housing finance agency and leaders of the Senate Banking Committee—on which she serves—Sen. Smith pressed the officials to make sure any changes to the housing finance system support the affordable housing market and housing availability in rural areas, including on tribal lands. Following the Senate Banking Committee’s hearings on the housing finance system earlier this year and ongoing discussions about housing finance reform, Sen. Smith is fighting to preserve meaningful gains made in the housing finance system, especially those that support the housing market in low-income, rural, and Native areas. In her letters to leaders of the Senate Banking Committee and Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria, Sen. Smith highlighted the importance of the federal requirement to serve underserved rural areas and low-income communities, and other initiatives currently in place that aim to alleviate the affordable housing crisis.
 

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