Local News

Manufactured Homes Could Provide Affordable Housing In Older Raleigh Neighborhoods

Posted June 13, 2000

— Raleigh has opened the door to a new kind of affordable housing. The city is one of just a half-dozen in the country that has allowed the manufactured housing industry to put one of its homes in an older, established neighborhood.

The idea is to relax zoning rules on manufactured homes to allow more affordable housing. But before the city of Raleigh buys into this idea, it is giving it a test drive.

Most neighbors support the experiment because traditional homebuilders have ignored their south Raleigh subdivision for decades.

"It's a very good move. We're really excited about it," says homeowner Margaret Rose Deans. "It has become run down, and I think that's the reason a lot of them won't build out here because of the location."

Traditional homebuilders have a problem with putting manufactured homes in neighborhoods where all the other houses are built from the ground up. They say manufactured homes have to meet less stringent standards.

"We just feel it's not a fair advantage," says homebuilder Jim Wahlbrink. "They have an unfair advantage over our builders in being able to have a different standard and code to go by than what we do."

Raleigh Mayor Paul Coble says he supports using manufactured homes to infill neighborhoods as long as there is a level playing field with inspections and building codes.

"I'm not really wondering about it at all. I know there is some members of the council and members of the public who have some questions about it, but I think there's some answers here that we need to look at," Coble says. "I think we've got one more tool to use to provide affordable housing to people who need it."

The home that was just put in the south Raleigh neighborhood costs $120,000. The manufactured housing industry says it has already had a number of people express interest in buying it.


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