It remains an eternal mystery why it costs in the realm of $250,000 or more per unit to build apartment buildings for the poor in the Richmond region. The Danville Redevelopment and Housing Authority is delivering five new houses on their own lots near downtown Danville, for a sales price as little as $130,000.
According to a feature article published by Virginia Community Capital (VCC), which helped finance the project, the homes sit on large lots and have brick foundations, covered front porches, driveways and carports. The houses have low operating, maintenance and utility costs. Buyers can choose finishing touches such as granite countertops and hardwood floors, which could push the sales price up to $150,000.
The cost of housing in this project is still far cheaper than anything that public housing authorities can deliver in Virginia’s major metropolitan areas. The secret: Danville is using manufactured housing.
The homes are built through a partnership that includes the Danville housing authority, Virginia Housing, and Next Step, a Kentucky nonprofit that connects builders, developers, lenders and housing advocates to expand manufactured housing options. Clayton Homes is constructing the units to the CHOICEHome standard set at the federal level to ensure that manufactured homes meet similar standards to site-build homes.
“Officials at Danville Redevelopment seek to prove that when manufactured homes are built to the same standards as their stick-built counterparts, they will not only retain their value but increase over time,” says the VCC profile. “Banks are also more willing to lend to quality manufactured home buyers.”
Bacon’s bottom line: There is no excuse for unaffordable housing in Virginia. the private sector can deliver quality housing at low cost. The main obstacles are government regulation, institutional barriers for long-term financing, and the availability of lots. Hey, Danville, how about this as a next step? Work with Clayton to build manufactured multifamily housing that can put more housing units while economizing on acreage. Show the Big Boys how it’s done!There are currently no comments highlighted.