Thursday, August 25, 2016

Can Idaho’s modular-home builders help with affordable housing?

“Modular or manufactured homes cost roughly half as much as conventional homes and can be built quickly. I’ve snobbishly dismissed this form of shelter as flimsy or unworthy. It serves 18 million Americans having an average income of $30,000.” 

“I can’t do that any longer. If you dream as I do of home ownership for Idahoans, many of whom spend as much as half their income on shelter, we must consider building many units in one place at a low cost.”


This article does make some valid statements but when you begin your article lumping modular and manufactured homes together and saying that modular homes cost about half of what a real conventional home costs, this is an injustice to every modular home builder and factory in the US.


There are only three associations for modular housing, the Modular Building Institute (MBI), the Building Systems Council within the NAHB (BSC) and the Modular Home Builders Association (MHBA) and unfortunately the story of what modular housing really is all about just isn’t getting out there fast enough.

The MBI focuses on commercial modular construction and showcases this industry so well that it’s shows and meetings are some of the biggest in the housing industry.

On the other hand, the BSC, which should have the clout of the entire NAHB behind it, has been struggling over the past decade to get noticed. I just learned that it is about to, once again, become a powerful voice for the modular industry and that is the best news possible.

The MHBA is another association that fell on hard times after the 2008 housing crash but the good news, the really good news, is that it is becoming a very vocal champion for modular housing. With new marketing efforts in place, a stronger board of directors and management team having been installed along with a rapidly growing national membership, the MHBA is now the flagship for modular housing.

Our industry is in good hands. Now it’s time for them to start promoting modular as the best way to build new homes and differentiate modular from manufactured housing.

2 comments:

Tom Hardiman said...

Thanks Gary. I cringed when I read that article. It was written by someone who clearly does not know the difference between modular and manufactured. To suggest a modular home is half the cost just is not accurate nor helpful.

As you mentioned, MBI's focus in commercial and multi family and I don't expect that to change.

MHBA did recently launch a more aggressive campaign aimed at end users, but it is still heavily targeted in the regions where our membership base is located (mainly the NE US, Mid Atlantic, North Central, and SE). We do have a handful of members west of the Mississippi and plan to grow nationally.

I would strongly encourage ANYONE interested in what MHBA is doing, or anyone wanting to help shape our direction, to come to our annual meeting Oct 19-20 in Harrisburg PA.


Harris Woodward said...

ANNUAL MEETING: http://www.modularhousing.com/HtmlPage.aspx?name=2016_annual_conference&utm_source=Homepage&utm_medium=leaderboard_ad&utm_campaign=AnnualMeeting2016

CONSUMER AWARENESS PROGRAM ("CAP")(the writer should have visited here first!): http://www.modularhousing.com/HtmlPage.aspx?name=future_home_owners