Bipartisan support for bill to marry HUD and manufactured homes

don't call them trailers
[CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

don't call them trailers
[CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
After the 2018 election, the big hope — or so both the White House and members of Congress said — was that both sides might be able to come together accomplish something on … infrastructure?

Maybe?

Yeah, not so much.

But one piece of albeit much smaller legislation has been attracting support from both Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Senate: A bill designed to extend local affordable housing strategies to include more manufactured homes.

In terms of available units per low-income household, Nevada’s dearth of affordable housing is the nation’s worst, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

“We’re in the midst of an affordable housing crisis in Nevada,” Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, one of the sponsors of the legislation, said in a statement Wednesday. “This bipartisan legislation recognizes that manufactured homes can be part of the solution.”

Under the HUD Manufactured Housing Modernization Act of 2019, the Department of Housing and Urban Development would issue guidelines so local governments could include manufactured housing in plans when seeking HUD funding.

Along with Cortez Masto, the bill is sponsored by Sens. Tim Scott (R-SC), Tina Smith (D-MN), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), and Todd Young (R-IN).

The sponsors note that manufactured housing is less expensive than other housing, while its quality has improved over the years.

The legislation could be particularly helpful in rural Nevada, according to William Brewer, executive director of the Rural Nevada Housing Authority. Manufactured housing comprises less than 10 percent of U.S. housing, but it accounts for about a third of the housing stock in rural Nevada, Brewer said.

The bipartisan bill is supported by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, as well as the economic development non-profit Prosperity Now, the Manufactured Housing Institute, and the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners.

Hugh Jackson
Editor | Hugh Jackson has been writing about Nevada policy and politics for more than 20 years. He was editor of the Las Vegas Business Press, senior editor at the Las Vegas CityLife weekly newspaper, daily political commentator on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, and wrote the then-groundbreaking Las Vegas Gleaner, which among other things was the only independent political blog from Nevada that was credentialed at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He spent a few years as a senior energy and environmental policy analyst for Public Citizen, and has occasionally worked as a consultant on mining, taxation, education and other issues for Nevada labor and public interest organizations. His freelance work has been published in outlets ranging from the Guardian to Desert Companion to In These Times to the Oil & Gas Journal. For several years he also taught U.S. History courses at UNLV. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and then assistant managing editor at the Casper Star-Tribune, Wyoming’s largest newspaper.

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