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The House Appropriations Committee wants to spend $500 million on a new manufactured housing program as it seeks to address affordability challenges and rapidly escalating trailer park rents.
Manufactured houses, such as mobile homes, provide a more affordable housing option for some Americans, appropriators wrote in a report accompanying the Transportation-Housing and Urban Development funding bill for fiscal 2023. Manufactured housing communities can be a “last pathway to homeownership,” the committee wrote.
The program would provide $500 million in grants through fiscal 2027 that could be used for mobile home infrastructure, planning, resident and community services, resiliency, and land and site acquisition.
The Biden administration didn’t request the funds, although it included proposals to lower manufactured housing costs in a broader housing affordability plan last month.
Over 20 million people live in around 8 million manufactured homes in the US, according to the appropriations report. The average sales price for the homes increased 24% from 2020 to 2021, according to data from the US Census Bureau.
Private equity and finance firms, including Carlyle Group Inc., Blackstone Inc., TPG Inc., and Apollo Global Management Inc., have acquired mobile-home parks in recent years. The committee wrote that reports of rising rents have often followed private investment firms’ acquisition of mobile home communities.
“The Committee is concerned about the role the financing sector has played in the acquisition of these communities, particularly in instances where there is no intention to maintain the affordability of these communities,” the lawmakers wrote.
Manufactured housing residents generally own their home but lease the land it’s on.
During the markup, the committee adopted an amendment to name the housing initiative after Transportation-HUD Subcommittee Chair David Price (D-N.C.), who is retiring.
The committee wrote they are urging the administration “to examine lending practices to for-profit organizations seeking to use Federal loan backing for the purchase of manufactured home communities.” They encouraged offering more guidance for manufactured home owners to buy their communities if put up for sale.
The draft bill proposed a total of $62.7 billion for the Housing and Urban Development Department for fiscal 2023. The committee approved the bill by a vote of 32-24.
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