How To Boost Modular Home Construction

Modular housing can be built faster and at lower cost than traditional homes, but the industry is stymied by regulatory and other barriers.

1 minute read

February 7, 2024, 12:00 PM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Modular home under construction with crane dropping in components.

lawcain / Adobe Stock

A report published by the Center for American Progress outlines the benefits of modular home construction and how, with some support, the industry could help bring more housing to market in the United States. “Modular homes are constructed off-site, but in contrast to manufactured housing, they are assembled on-site and attached to a permanent foundation,” the report explains.

“Modular construction has many potential benefits, including cost savings, shorter development timelines, and an overall safer and more efficient development process.” However, modular construction is growing slowly in the United States due to barriers that include “financing and payment schedules; scarcity of manufacturers; lack of consistency in local jurisdictions’ building codes, zoning regulations, and state transportation requirements; and labor shortage.”

The report makes several suggestions for boosting modular building. These include:

  • Expand financial resources for the modular construction of affordable housing
  • Standardize building codes and land use to facilitate production and project approvals
  • Support a more diverse workforce and higher wages in modular construction jobs
  • Expand the capacity of modular building

The report concludes that “Modular building, if brought to scale, has the potential to reduce construction costs and make it more affordable to build new homes, especially in areas experiencing severe affordable housing shortages.”

Tuesday, February 6, 2024 in Center for American Progress

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