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Evidence Matters: Factory-Built Housing


Winter/Spring 2020

Editor’s Note

The factory-built housing industry is constantly evolving to meet the changing needs of its customers. From disaster resilience technology that makes manufactured homes safer in the event of natural disasters to energy-efficient innovations that help reduce energy costs and environmental impacts to labor innovations that lower housing costs to make homeownership accessible to more people, the factory-built housing industry adapts rapidly to benefit individuals, families, and communities. This issue highlights some of the innovations in this industry as well as some of the challenges that are hindering its expansion.

The lead article, “Factory-Built Housing for Affordability, Efficiency, and Resilience,” discusses the many benefits of — and barriers facing — factory-built housing and offers suggestions for overcoming those barriers to realize its potential. The Research Spotlight article, “Effects of Market Forces on the Adoption of Factory-Built Housing,” explores market forces that may spur growth in the industry. Finally, the In Practice article, “Programs Support Energy-Efficient Modular and Manufactured Housing,” explores innovative programs and laws in Vermont and Oregon that were created to overcome some of the challenges confronting the industry.

We hope this edition of Evidence Matters sparks further interest in the potential of factory-built housing to expand homeownership and make rental housing more affordable nationwide, from single manufactured homes in rural areas to manufactured home communities owned by residents to multifamily manufactured housing in densely populated cities.

This issue was written right before the emergence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the United States. Our next issue will focus on the Federal Housing Administration, a key safety net during times of crisis and uncertainty, and we are excited to bring this very timely and relevant issue to our readers as the country faces the COVID-19 pandemic. Please provide feedback on any of our issues at