Pittsburgh Convening Reveals Opportunity to Test Manufactured Housing Done Right

On July 17, CFED’s Innovations in Manufactured Housing (I’M HOME) team convened a first-of-its-kind convening in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland-Pittsburgh Branch, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, Penn State University and ACTION Housing. Forty-five leaders of varied backgrounds—from community development to health to regional planning to the environment—gathered at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s Pittsburgh branch to talk about manufactured housing and to discuss the potential for creating a new, multi-year regional initiative targeted at improving financial, health and environmental outcomes for residents in manufactured housing. At the end of the day, there was a consensus that manufactured housing is “a vital part of the solution” to the region’s pressing challenges of affordable, healthy and energy-efficient housing for all types and ages of households.

Though the proportion of manufactured homes varies significantly by county, units in this region are typically older than homes elsewhere in the United States, making Southwestern Pennsylvania an ideal community for this initiative as older manufactured homes can have negative impacts on their owners’ health and wealth. Participants agreed that a vital first step must be to inventory units in their communities and to determine which units can be rehabilitated or replaced cost-effectively. In an effort to test an approach to manufactured housing done right in Southwestern Pennsylvania, CFED will convene working groups that will address issues including finance, fundraising and more.

Participants in the meeting hailed from eight counties (Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Washington and Westmoreland Counties), representing developers, academics, lenders, foundations and service providers, plus CFED partners Next Step and ROC USA. A number of the collaborators have experience with manufactured housing, and nearly all demonstrated enthusiasm to find ways that manufactured housing can help meet the needs of low-income families in their communities. Through this slate of committed partners, CFED hopes to glean powerful insights about the intersections of health, housing, aging and financial security, and we look forward to updating you as we learn more.

Calistoga (CA) Leverages Data on Mobile Home Parks

Excerpt from the latest article about this issue from the Napa Valley Register:

Results of a study conducted on the demographics of Calistoga’s mobile home parks will be useful in securing future assistance programs for the seniors who occupy the parks, officials learned at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

Read the complete article here.

See the previous post about the article on this issue (see here).

CFED Membership for State Organizations

To: State Associations of Manufactured Home Owners

From: National Manufactured Home Owners Association (NMHOA)

Below is a great offer for manufactured home owners’ state associations who are members of NMHOA to become part of an even bigger network of manufactured housing advocates. CFED, one of NMHOA’s funders, is offering an unique opportunity for state association members of NMHOA to become lead organizations which will give them access to technical assistance from CFED as well as scholarships to attend CFED events. I encourage all State Association members of NMHOA to contact CFED and become lead organizations.

– Ishbel Dickens, Executive Director, NMHOA.

Lead Organizations

Network membership has two tiers—General Membership and Lead Organization Membership—and often partners with a group of key social ventures, policy advocates and funders. General Membership is open to any individual interested in staying informed or contributing to the national dialogue about manufactured housing as a source of affordable housing. Lead Members include an invitation-only, core team of organizations with a demonstrated commitment to and experience developing manufactured housing solutions that build financial security for homeowners.

Lead Organizations include a core group of organizations with a demonstrated commitment to I’M HOME’s mission. In addition to the benefits accessible to General Members, Lead Organizations may access responsive technical assistance from CFED and other national partners, heightened visibility on the national stage, scholarships to attend CFED events. Lead Members may also influence and shape the direction of the I’M HOME Network through working groups and one-on-one interactions with CFED staff.

Lead Organization Benefits & Opportunities to Contribute

  • Access to responsive technical assistance. All Lead Organizations can access responsive phone and email technical assistance on issues such as using CFED’s online resources, locating data, developing communications materials or analyzing policy. In addition, through CFED’s partnership with the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC), Lead Organizations may access direct technical assistance from legal staff at NCLC with extensive experience developing and advocating for state-level manufactured housing policy reform.
  • Influence CFED’s programmatic and policy agendas. Lead Organizations are eligible to participate in working groups, such as the monthly Manufactured Housing Policy Partners conference calls, to inform the I’M HOME policy agenda and contribute to strategy development. Other working or learning groups may be developed based on demand from the needs of the Network.
  • Priority consideration for partnership opportunities. In every area of the I’M HOME initiative—policy, finance, community preservation and new or affordable development—we often pursue special projects in partnership with practitioners on the ground. As they arise, such opportunities will be reserved for I’M HOME Lead Organizations.
  • Be eligible for scholarships to attend I’M HOME events. Lead Organizations are eligible for special pricing and to apply for scholarships or stipends to attend in-person events such as the annual I’M HOME Conference. Scholarship availability will depend on
  • Connect with other Lead Organizations by participating in a Lead Members listserv. Lead Organizations can ask questions of peers, suggest working group ideas and share information on the listserv.

What is required of Lead Organizations?

The only requirement of Lead Members is that they submit a brief annual summary of their manufactured housing-related activities to help shape I’M HOME’s understanding of the field and the contributions to its development made by key network members. On a case-by-case basis, we also expect Lead Organizations to respond to requests from other Network Members or National Partners for peer advice or insight from the field.

There is no cost associated with Lead Organization Membership.

How do Lead Organizations join the Network?

Periodically, organizations will be invited to join as Lead Members by CFED’s I’M HOME team and asked to complete a summary of their activity over the past year.

How long is the membership term? How does a Lead Organization renew?

Organizations commit to joining as Lead Members for one year. At the end of that term, Lead Members will be invited to renew by submitting a brief update about their activity over the past year.

Questions? Contact CFED’s I’M HOME Team at imhome@cfed.org.


Tuscon is Improving Parks

From an article in the Arizona Daily Star:

If unsafe and unsanitary trailers were condemned, if salvageable trailers were renovated, if park owners had an incentive to maintain their premises, trailer parks could become a lifeline for thousands of the area’s poorest residents, advocates say.

But that area’s shortage of affordable housing gets in the way of all those possibilities.

Read the entire article by clicking here.