White House Releases Affordable Housing Plan

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Long List of Policy Desires Draws in HUD, Includes 13 Mentions of Manufactured Housing

The White House on Sept. 1 sent out a detailed explanation of its plan to push for an increase in affordable housing, with multiple specific mentions on the value of manufactured housing and how off-site built homes provide a ready part of the solution to the U.S. housing crisis.

“The large and long-standing gap between the supply and demand of affordable homes for both renters and homeowners makes it harder for families to buy their first home and drives up the cost of rent,” the White House communication stated. “Higher housing costs also crowd out other investments families can and should make to improve their lives, such as investments in education.”

Manufactured Housing in White House Plan

The Biden-Harris plan for increasing the stock of affordable housing included 13 references to manufactured housing and its viability as a ready solution for lower- to mid-market homebuyers. Below are a pair of references that show consideration toward manufactured housing.

  • Work with state and local governments to boost housing supply by leveraging existing federal funds to spur local action, exploring federal levers to help states and local governments reduce exclusionary zoning, and launching learning and listening sessions with local leaders.
  • Boost the supply of manufactured housing and 2-4 unit properties by expanding financing through Freddie Mac. Along with Fannie Mae’s and the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) existing policies, these steps will enable more Americans to purchase homes, and increase the availability of rental units throughout the country.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge has been relatively quiet on manufactured housing in comparison with her predecessor, Dr. Ben Carson. Shortly after the announcement of the White House plan, HUD also put out an email in support.

“President Biden promised the American people that his administration would dramatically expand our nation’s supply of affordable rental housing — and the actions announced today represent a significant down payment toward that commitment,” HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge said. “These actions will expand access to critical capital for state Housing Finance Agencies, empower local communities to build more affordable housing using the historic investments contained in the American Rescue Plan, and advance equitable housing policies such as inclusionary zoning practices. Moving forward, HUD and the Biden-Harris Administration will continue to pursue bold actions to create and preserve affordable homes for all Americans.” 

The White House intends to work with HUD on re-emphasizing federal housing partnerships to bolster Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and to better support and incentivize Community Development Finance Institutions. It also will look to prioritize sales of FHA-backed housing toward homeowners rather than to investors.

“Even before the pandemic, 11 million families — or nearly a quarter of renters — paid more than half of their income on rent,” the White House communication  stated. “Rent should be affordable for working families. That’s why the President’s Build Back Better Agenda calls for the historic investments that will enable the construction and rehabilitation of more than a million affordable housing units, reducing the burden of rent on American families.”