In Spite of Affordability Crisis, Richmond Rejects Manufactured Housing Plan

After declaring a housing crisis, the Virginia capital’s city council voted against a proposed manufactured home warehouse that would distribute replacements for aging manufactured housing stock.

2 minute read

June 4, 2023, 9:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Aerial view of manufactured home being dropped off or moved by red truck in mobile home park

Greg Kelton / Manufactured home park

A proposed manufactured housing project was denied a permit in Richmond, Virginia, despite a growing housing crisis in that city, one so severe it was officially recognized by the city council just two weeks prior to the project’s rejection. 

As Wyatt Gordon explains in Greater Greater Washington, “Beyond the details of the drama between 9th District Councilmember Mike Jones — a rising star in the commonwealth’s Democratic Party — and one of Richmond’s premier housing nonprofits, the impasse boiled down to whether a warehouse should be sited next to single-family housing. The lot Project:HOMES hoped to turn into a production facility for manufacturing affordable mobile homes is currently zoned R-3, not industrial.” Jones expressed concerns about industrial uses in low-income neighborhoods.

A 2016 report from the Manufactured Home Community Coalition of Virginia found that less than half of the state’s mobile home parks scored more than 50 percent on housing quality indicators. “With Project:HOMES’ plans for an innovative facility to manufacture replacement units rightly or wrongly now on ice, the problem of substandard housing across the region’s mobile home parks persists.” 

Neighboring communities could step in. “Since City Council shot down the warehouse’s initial Southside location, Project:HOMES has heard from the neighboring counties of Henrico and Chesterfield who would be more than happy to find a site for a model affordable housing nonprofit looking to grow.”

Thursday, June 1, 2023 in Greater Greater Washington

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