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Owners and Renters of Manufactured Homes Lack Assistance During the Pandemic

Millions of people who live in manufactured homes were already vulnerable. The pandemic has made their housing situations even more precarious.
August 28, 2020, 7am PDT | Camille Fink
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Kev Llewellyn

Jung Hyun Choi and Laurie Goodman write about the impact of COVID-19 on people living in manufactured housing, 7 percent of U.S. households. "These 22 million renters and owners tend to have lower incomes and work in industries that are vulnerable to the pandemic, yet these households mostly fall outside the protections offered by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act."

Owners and renters of manufactured homes make up a higher percentage of workers in the industries hardest hit by the pandemic—food and accommodation, retail, construction, entertainment, and other services—compared to owners of single-family homes and other renters. They also have lower incomes than homeowners and other renters.

"Despite their greater vulnerability, most owners of manufactured homes do not qualify for CARES Act forbearance relief, because 77 percent of all new manufactured homes are titled as 'personal property' rather than 'real estate.'" For owners who are able to get forbearance on the "chattel loans" of manufactured homes, the repayment terms are generally less favorable than those for federally backed mortgages.

"Renters also did not receive immediate relief. The CARES Act eviction moratorium, which expired July 24, did not apply to most renters in manufactured homes, with two exceptions: the manufactured home parks financed with federally backed mortgages (2,400 out of 45,000) and the few investor-owned properties with federal loans," note Choi and Goodman.

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Published on Friday, August 21, 2020 in Urban Wire
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