ALBANY - Division of Housing and Community Renewal is responding to an important need in rural communities with a new initiative to provide safer, more affordable homes for low-income individuals and families by replacing severely substandard and dilapidated mobile and manufactured homes with new Energy Star Qualified manufactured housing.
The new statewide Manufactured Home Replacement Initiative targets $5 million in NYS HOME Program funds for the replacement of dilapidated owner-occupied mobile and manufactured homes sited on land owned by the homeowner. It also increases the award limit under HOME by sixty-six percent, from $30,000 to $50,000.
DHCR's 2009 Regional Housing Needs studies of the North Country, Finger Lakes, and Western New York Regions highlighted the critical role mobile and manufactured homes play in affordable housing across the state. The studies also underscored the severe deterioration of many of these homes, particularly those built prior to 1976 when the use of tin roofs, metal siding, and inefficient windows was commonplace.
Gov. David A. Paterson said, "We are reaching out to communities at the grassroots level, listening to their concerns, and developing policies that speak directly to the issues. With this new initiative, New York State is responding to a crucial need that has been ignored for too long. As a result of the new Manufactured Home Replacement Initiative, more low-income people and families across the state will live in safer, more affordable homes, and rural areas will be revitalized."
DHCR commissioner Deborah VanAmerongen said, "In the process of conducting focus group meetings, DHCR hear repeatedly that the need to invest in improving the stock of manufactured housing is great and has been ignored for some time. More than half a million New Yorkers live in manufactured or mobile homes. Mobile and manufactured homes fill a critical gap in affordable housing for low-income people, but too many are in substandard, dangerous condition and the cost of repairs is unrealistic and unaffordable. DHCR's HOME Program funds will provide zero-interest loans to homeowners to replace the most dilapidated of mobile and manufactured housing with new, energy-efficient manufactured homes."
DHCR's MHRI will help meet the cost of the new manufactured home, site work, transportation of the new home, set-up, and removal and demolition of old home. Awards will be granted to eligible program administrators, and homeowners will apply directly to awardees. Recipients of new manufactured homes must have household earnings at 80 percent or less of Area Median Income.
Commissioner VanAmerongen announced the program at the Rural Housing Coalition's annual conference in Saratoga Springs.
Blair Sebastian, executive director the New York State Rural Housing Coalition said, "There is a real need for this program in rural communities across the state. I commend commissioner VanAmerongen and DHCR for targeting resources toward improving the quality of manufactured housing stock and the quality of life of people in rural communities."
Nancy Geer, executive director of the New York Housing Association said, "For more than 60 years, manufactured homes have provided affordable housing for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers. Over the years, new construction techniques and innovative technologies have resulted in Energy Star rated buildings and appliances. The New York Housing Association applauds the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal's initiative to replace Pre-HUD mobile homes with new Energy Star manufactured homes. These new Energy Star homes will not only provide homeowners with savings on their utility bills, they will provide them with overall improved, more efficient shelter."
Commissioner VanAmerongen said an important benefit of the program is the opportunity for low-income people to build wealth.
"This program is only available to people who own the land where the home is located," VanAmerongen explained.
"This will allow recipients of the program to build wealth because at the end of a 10-year regulatory period, the homeowner will have accumulated equity."