Apr 4, 2010

Manufactured Housing vs Mobile Home

Have you ever wondered why we don't have Mobile Homes or Trailer Parks in Hawaii?

In 2007, the state legislature requested the Housing and Community Development Corporation of Hawaii to investigate the feasibility of converting portions of state land into Mobile Home Parks as a Possible Option for Solving Hawaii's Affordable Housing Crisis.

Aside from the concerns about appearance, the report notes that the surrounding residential areas would object to mobile homes reducing their property values.

The report (see below) differentiates "Mobile Home" from "Manufactured Home". Mobile Homes are shown in the picture above -- houses on wheels. Whereas Manufactured Homes are factory built according to HUD standards and therefore preempts local building code (but apparently not Zoning code) requirements.
Previous attempts to establish Hawaii-based manufacturers of manufacturers were not successful. One example, Quality Homes, attempted to manufacture units for Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) properties in the Villages of Kapolei. It was unsuccessful because HUD did not approve its house package, which was modified from its original model to meet the Villages of Kapolei’s covenants and restrictions. HUD approval was needed for homestead properties. It also appears that there was insufficient capital to sustain the company.
According to the report, a traditional wood framed or stick-framed homes can be built by non-profit self-help housing organizations for approx $60,000 to $120,000 (not including land acquisition or infrastructure costs), which is less than the cost to import a manufactured home and assemble it on Oahu (approx $225,000, not including land acquisition or infrastructure costs).

The report does acknowledge that mobile homes would be a possible housing development as a Cluster Permit on Oahu. The above picture is titled, "trailer-park-taj-mahal". Interestingly, there are people who are trying to reuse stackable steel shipping cargo containers for new dwellings and offices.

2007_Report to Legislature as to feasibility of Mobile Housing to solve Affordable housing crisis in Hawaii -