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White House Launches Efforts To Support Production, Affordability Of 'Critical' Manufactured Housing

President Joe Biden

The White House is launching new efforts to help build more residential units and lower housing costs.

The new actions from the Biden-Harris administration aim to boost supply and affordability of manufactured homes and promote a more transparent rental market, according to a press release.

"President Biden believes that every American deserves access to a quality and affordable home," the release says. "His Administration is pursuing an all-of-government approach to build more housing and lower housing costs."

The administration is planning to release a $225M funding opportunity to create and preserve manufactured housing communities. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has opened applications for the Preservation and Reinvestment Initiative for Community Enhancements grants, which aim to support these communities. 

Support for the manufactured housing sector includes a new Federal Housing Administration financing program to preserve affordability for existing residents and increasing loan limits for the Title 1 Manufactured Housing program, the release says. 

The manufactured housing sector has begun to see more attention from investors as the demand for these homes has skyrocketed since the pandemic. Nearly 22 million Americans live in 43,000 of these homes across the country. New shipments also increased from 94,400 units in 2020 to 113,000 in 2022. 

"Manufactured housing is a critical source of affordable housing, especially for low-income, rural, and Native American households and offers a potentially lower-cost pathway to homeownership," the release says. 

The administration's plan also includes new measures to create a more transparent rental market, including clarifying nonrent fees in HUD-assisted programs, adopting a tenant bill of rights for military members, preventing unfair or preventable evictions, and promoting tenant rights during screening processes.

HUD and the Department of the Treasury are indefinitely extending the Federal Financing Bank Risk Sharing Initiative. The program has created or preserved more than 12,000 units through almost $2B in FHA-insured loans. The extension will create an estimated 38,000 units over 10 years.

HUD is also streamlining and modernizing its HOME program, which is a block grant used to support housing supply. The program has assisted over 45,000 households since 2021.

The government also plans to provide new funding to support low-income senior housing and promote Low-Income Housing Tax Credits for states affected by disasters. 

The new efforts come after the White House in October launched another initiative to produce housing through a $35B push for office-to-residential conversions. However, the months following the effort haven't gone as planned.

The approval process for these projects has been slow, and there have been strict environmental reviews and tight credit checks, Bloomberg reported. Since it was announced in October, no loans have closed through the program and three projects are in an active underwriting phase, according to the publication.