Democratic lawmakers in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives are introducing a new bill to the legislature today designed to both “preserve” and “revitalize” manufactured home communities across the United States.
Spearheaded by U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.), U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.) introduced the bicameral legislation in the House.
Following up on the 2022 creation of the Preservation and Reinvestment Initiative for Community Enhancement (PRICE) grant program that has a similar goal to the new proposal, Sen. Cortez Masto’s bill would make the PRICE program permanent and provide funding for home improvements and neighborhood upgrades for eligible Americans on an annual basis.
“Manufactured homes are critical for many families, and my legislation would help communities keep lot rents affordable and make vital infrastructure improvements,” said Sen. Cortez Masto in a statement provided to HousingWire. “I’ll keep working with my colleagues to address the affordable housing crisis and keep families in their homes.”
The program could also help to address critical housing inventory shortages across the nation, one factor contributing to affordability challenges for American families, according to Rep. Bonamici.
“Manufactured homes are often more affordable than other housing, but many manufactured housing communities do not have funds to upgrade and repair basic infrastructure such as water and sewer systems, and they typically do not own the land beneath their homes,” she said.
“I’m pleased to work with Senators Cortez Masto and Shaheen to introduce the PRICE Act, which will make the PRICE grant program permanent and protect a crucial source of funding for preserving manufactured housing,” Bonamici added.
If enacted, the bill would ask the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to implement “a competitive grant program to award funds to eligible recipients to carry out eligible projects for improvements in eligible manufactured home communities,” according to a draft version of the bill obtained by HousingWire.
Grant funds would “assist in carrying out a project for construction, reconstruction, repair, or clearance of housing, facilities and improvements in or serving a manufactured home community that is necessary to protect the health and safety of the residents of the manufactured home community and the long-term sustainability of the community,” the draft bill reads.
“U.S. Sens. Cortez Masto and Shaheen and U.S. Rep. Bonamici have heard the voices of low-income homeowners in ‘mobile’ home communities,” said Resident Owned Communities (ROC) USA President Paul Bradley in a statement to HousingWire. “These are the stories of hardworking families and retirees who simply want to live in resilient and healthy communities, which is something that most Americans take for granted thanks to public investment.”
Last week, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) updated appraisal requirements for the valuation of manufactured homes certified under Fannie Mae’s MH Advantage and Freddie Mac’s CHOICEHome programs.