Sending Office: Honorable Norma J. Torres
Earlier this summer, financial research firm Standard & Poor’s released their city home price index – confirming the concerns of many that housing prices are rising at the twice the rate of wage growth. One of the primary reasons they cited was a lack of
homes available to buy. “Over the last year, analysts suggested that one factor pushing prices higher was the unusually low inventory of homes for sale,” said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. While
the American dream was once owning a house, many Americans struggle to simply make ends meet due to the exploding housing costs.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has long aimed to promote affordable housing options in communities through grants and economic development programs as part of Consolidated Planning. According to HUD, the Consolidated Plan
is designed to help states and local jurisdictions to assess their affordable housing and community development needs and market conditions, and to make data-driven, place-based investment decisions. However, while these programs have assisted many communities
around the nation, they have ignored manufactured housing as a viable, targeted solution for certain communities. The
HUD Manufactured Housing Modernization Act of 2017 would direct HUD to update their Consolidated Planning Guidance to states and local jurisdictions to simply consider manufactured housing as an option.
Despite outdated stereotypes about dilapidated or unsafe ‘‘trailers,’’ modern manufactured housing that is well built and maintained can be indistinguishable from site-built housing. Manufactured housing can be built in a fraction of the time and at far
lower cost – while producing 40 percent less waste than traditional housing options. In addition, modern manufactured housing can actually save homeowners more than 25 percent on total heating and cooling costs. To bring down housing costs and alleviate
the current housing shortages, it’s time we challenge ourselves to think beyond traditional options.
The HUD Manufactured Housing Modernization Act is a targeted improvement to how HUD helps communities address housing needs. This small change will give communities more options to determine what may work best for them. To join me as an original cosponsor
(deadline COB Wednesday, September 13) on this legislation or if you have any further questions, please contact my legislative director at
Justin.Vogt@mail.house.gov or 225-6161.
Norma J. Torres
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0