Urban Fold

Why is Prefab Impossible to Get Built?

A new study out in JAPA this week details the fire codes, zoning codes, subdivision regulations, etc., that prevent manufactured housing from being built.

Casey J. Dawkins and Theodore Koebel of the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University argue that manufactured housing could very useful in creating affordable housing, but the deck is stacked against it.

From JAPA: "The potential for manufactured housing to expand the affordable housing supply in metropolitan areas depends on a variety of factors, several of which planners influence. Many places adopted restrictive or exclusionary regulations because manufactured housing units were perceived to be temporary structures that could be moved from site to site and to be suitable for rural areas or trailer parks but not for city neighborhoods. Despite improvements in the quality and visual appeal of manufactured housing, restrictive land use and design regulations in urban and suburban jurisdictions limit the number of locations where manufactured housing can be placed, impose additional onsite installation standards and other design requirements that do not pertain to site-built units, and, in some cases, continue to prohibit the use of manufactured housing units altogether."

Full Story: Overcoming Barriers to Placing Manufactured Housing in Metropolitan Communities



Healthful housing is critical

Prefab housing is acceptable if the materials used to build it are health supportive, and not harmful as traditional pre-fab homes have been in the past. Those traditionally constructed used materials like fiberboard that outgassed toxic VOC's like formaldehyde.

This has been a problem in trailers also, including the Katrina trailers.

I like the idea of people being involved in the construction of their own home, being part of the building process if they desire. That is more meaningful that pre-constructed housing.

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