Affordable Housing Crisis
Affordable housing continues to be a hot topic, especially in Chester County and other Philadelphia suburbs. While places like King of Prussia and the City of Lancaster have had multifamily housing booms, most areas lack housing to support their workforce. And when looking at development and construction costs, a solution seems further away than ever.
Opportunity in Manufactured Housing
Manufactured housing and mobile home parks (MHP) fill a critical gap. Also, they seem to be making a comeback. Did you know that approximately $20 M people (1 out of every 16) live in mobile homes? So, it makes you wonder, could the revitalization of these communities be a solution for many more people?
Reimagining the Mobile Home Park
While some developers and municipalities are zoning them out or redeveloping them into mixed-use sites, others are taking steps to ensure this affordable option remains within a reasonable driving distance of where people work.
In Western Chester County, a Lancaster-based developer sees the demand and an opportunity. He is redeveloping an existing MHP in Honeybrook Township, to create housing for employees of nearby Lancaster-based businesses. Currently, we are working with him to redevelop this 59.5-acre site into a 113-unit MHP community.
The revitalized community will have:
- A design that achieves an economically feasible yield, while respecting significant natural resources.
- A pedestrian-friendly neighborhood with sidewalks, linking active recreation areas/playgrounds and nature trails.
- Mature interior forest enhanced by removing invasive species and replanting to restore multi-layer vegetation.
- Connections to public water and sewer, eliminating health hazards due to sewer malfunctions.
- A direct connection to future Township trail that will run through the development.
- A vibrant, fully ADA accessible, landscaped MHP that will complement adjacent MHPs.
As we look for ways to create more affordable housing, MHPs can play a part. For owners and real estate developers who want to take on the challenge to redevelop, landscape, and improve existing parks, there is opportunity.
In our previous post, Affordable Housing: Where is the Opportunity? we addressed how rezoning and higher density can also help. Municipalities need to consider higher density to reduce land, approval, and construction costs.