Esther Sullivan – TRANSCRIPT
Right now, there is no state in the nation where a person working full-time for minimum wage can afford rent for a fair-market, one-bedroom home. In fact, affordable housing is so hard to find you’ll actually spend less of your income if you can afford to buy a house rather than rent.
But even an entry-level home, the cheapest homes on the market, will cost you $370,000 in LA, $245K in Boston, $222K in Denver. What if instead you could buy a brand new, three-bedroom, two-bathroom home for $45,000, which would put your total housing costs somewhere in the range of $400-700 per month? Right, exactly! It seems like you’d be crazy not to jump at the opportunity. Well, 18 million Americans are already in on the secret.
They’ve achieved the American dream of homeownership and they’ve done it on a budget. How? You’re totally hoping I’m going to say “tiny home.” Mmmm Alright. Well sort of.
Enter the mobile home. Okay, it lacks all the hype, but 18 million Americans live in one. In fact, one in every five new single-family homes sold is a mobile home, and that’s a serious statistic. It’s serious because homeownership has long been a source of stability and a principal source of wealth in the US.
And mobile homes are a primary way that low-income households break into homeownership and start building that wealth. Mobile homes provide a massive source of owner-occupied affordable housing at a time when the US has a major affordable housing problem. We hear that a lot, right? We’re in an affordable housing crisis.
But what does that really mean? It means we don’t have enough housing to meet the needs of millions. At the lowest income levels, the people who really need housing help, we’re short 74 million units. That’s just 35 affordable units for every 100 households that need it. The good news is that cities have begun to recognize that access to quality affordable housing is good for everyone, not just those that need it, but larger communities as well.