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Mobile Homes: A Solution to the Housing Crisis?

A new study from ApartmentList.Com says mobile homes can be an affordable solution for low-income families, but across the country, there has been a recent decrease in mobile home purchases.

Posted: Jun. 21, 2018 6:33 PM
Updated: Jul. 4, 2018 9:41 AM

CHICO, Calif. -- A new study from ApartmentList.Com says mobile homes can be an affordable solution for low-income families, but across the country, there has been a recent decrease in mobile home purchases.

The average cost to live in a mobile home nationwide is $564 per month. Despite the fact that mobile homes provide low-cost housing, the study says, they are rarely considered as an option for addressing the housing shortage.

A new study shows mobile homes may be one of the more affordable ways to provide housing for low-income households.

"Houses sell for $100,000 plus to where these are more $30,000 to $50,000 depending on what you want," said Lynnette Stone, On-Site Manager, The Meadows Mobile Home Park.

Mobile homes offer a better solution to the affordable housing shortage in rural areas compared to dense urban areas.

"Unlike in an apartment, you can't paint it, you can't change the carpet, put a fireplace in, these homes you can, they're your home," said Stone.

In Chico, 12.8% of homeowners lived in mobile homes. This is a 17.5% decrease from 2000 when 15.5% of homeowners lived in mobile homes.

"I haven't seen anyone moving in here in quite a while, but there is probably more older people than younger people, but there is a lot of families too," said Wanda Verdugo, a Chico mobile homeowner.

A mobile home developer in Chico said business has been less in Chico because the land prices, site development and permit costs are expensive, but for those who do live in mobile homes, they don't quite see it this way.

"The space is quite high, we pay about $145 for it to just sit here, but if we went and bought, rented a place, it would probably cost us $1,200 at least," said Verdugo.

The mobile home developer said the mobile home business outside of Chico is booming. About 4 to 5 homes are sold each month.

"I've already talked to people who are spending $1,400 a month for what I've got, you know a month. And I own what I have," said Kirk Ellsworth, a Chico mobile homeowner.

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