How mobile home parks could solve the affordable housing crisis
Understanding how modern manufactured housing communities work could lead to new solutions
Manufactured housing communities (mobile home parks) have provided affordable housing to individuals and families since the 1950s. Manufactured homes meet the needs of those who want to live in the comfort of a single-family home but often cannot afford the associated mortgage or rent payment.
Manufactured homes and communities today are not like those of your grandparents’ and will surprise anyone laboring under the stereotypes and stigmas that originally developed decades ago. Investors, bankers, city planning managers, regulators and others are consistently surprised by the modern age of mobile home parks.
The industry has worked to provide better education to the public about modern manufactured homes and the communities where they are located. Industry leaders are passionate about revitalizing mobile home properties into communities that residents are proud to call home. Many community owners have replaced old homes with new manufactured homes to transform communities, in addition to providing beautiful and well-lit streetscapes and landscaping with parks and playgrounds. Plus, owners regularly host community events so neighbors can meet each other and hire management teams that pay close attention to the needs of their residents.
New manufactured homes cost approximately $50,000 to $70,000, and typically offer three-bedroom, two bathroom, 1,200-square foot layouts. These homes often include open floor plans, vaulted ceilings, modern appliances, composite paint grade siding, asphalt shingle roofing, hand textured drywall interiors, spacious exterior decks and two parking spots. Since a new home mortgage may not be attainable for some residents, many property owners have initiated rental programs. These rental rates are typically below the rent of comparable apartments in Denver and provide families with a larger living space.
Many potential mobile home residents share the same positive surprise after touring a new home for the first time. These homes and communities can offer comfortable and affordable lifestyles to those who need it.
Affordable housing is and will continue to be a major challenge in Colorado and throughout the country. However, the mobile home industry is providing residents a readily- available solution, once they overcome their own questions and doubts.
Marko Vukovich is the vice president of asset management for Ascentia Real Estate Holding Company, an owner and operator of 39 mobile home communities in seven states. He can be reached at 303-730-2000 or MarkoV@Ascentia.us.