Sunday, September 11, 2011

Manufactured Homes - A Delmar Housing Style

Manufactured Homes, rather you call them trailers or mobile homes or Manufactured Homes you either love them or hate them. Over 20% of the housing units in Sussex County are Manufactured Homes (Manufactured Home is a more politically correct name).

In Delmar our ordinances only allow Manufactured Homes in mobile home parks.

Mobile homes offer housing ownership within the means of people who might otherwise be required to rent, and this mode of housing should not be excluded entirely from the Delmar Planning Area. However, due to their basic incompatibility with areas developing with conventional housing, mobile homes should be carefully controlled.

It is recommended that mobile homes be permitted on an individual basis as accessory to farms in rural-agricultural areas or in mobile home parks in areas carefully selected and provided for in the zoning code. Areas for mobile home parks should be selected on the basis of the ability to serve the area efficiently with public services and compatibility with surrounding development.

Mobile home parks should be developed at a density appropriate for conventional dwellings; 7,000 to 9,000 square feet per dwelling unit is recommended. Mobile home parks should be excluded from established, conventional residential areas and zoning regulations should provide standards to assure greatest compatibility with the character of the area.

In the town limits of Delmar there are about a 110 units in Colonial Mills Estates on the Maryland side of town and about a 150 units in Holly Oaks on the Delaware side of town. Certainly less than the number of apartments in Delmar, however Manufactured Homes should not be compared to apartments because apartments are rental units and Manufactured Homes are 70% plus owner‐occupied. The difference between owner occupied housing and renter housing is significant to the makeup of a town. In most cases an owner occupied housing unit will participate in town events and organizations more often than the renter. A look at people who live in Holly Oaks park will show they are active in the town compared to the people who live in Pond's Edge apartments who aren't even aware they live in Delmar. Altho there are a wide array of reasons for owning a mobile home from affordability to life style changes the vast majority of manufactured homeowners, once their manufactured home is in placed, will remain there for a long period of time so the owner will be in Delmar a high percentage of their life, creating a stable environment for the town. Since they are only allowed in Delmar when in a manufactured Housing park it affords an opportunity for people of modest income to live close to the center of town and enjoy the benefits and services offered people in the town of Delmar.

Usually when mobile homes are thought of a image of a rectangular shape, made from pre-painted aluminum panels that is very long comes to mind and yes although they may have additions built on to them that is the most occurring shape but look again at manufactured homes and you will find them to come in single wide, double wide, triple wide and shapes that look like rancher style homes. They have come a long way from the days when the "trailer" was hauled behind a car (Think of that interesting 1953 movie Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz made called "the Long Long Trailer") to being called mobile homes (A factory‐built unit constructed on a chassis and completed before June 15, 1976) to today's Manufactured Home (A factory‐built housing unit designed and constructed to meet the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Code after June 15, 1976. A manufactured home is built on a chassis that supports the structural integrity of the home and to allow transport to the site). The poor mobile home has suffering from the negative stereotypes of the quality of the housing, its benefit to the consumer, and unfortunately often about consumers themselves.

They are affordable, at about half the square footage price of a stick built home, and as with a stick built home the way you keep it up determines how long it is going to last and how well it will look.

1 comment:

Jack K Richards said...

I reside in a manufactured home here in Florida It is in a community that has golf course, tennis courts, a restaurant/pub. Some of the homes are better than 2000 sq ft and until the economay drop, they were going for better than $100,000 We have lived here for better than 15 years and love.