Energy-efficient mobile home proposal would create jobs

Written by Tom Feltner on January 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Woodstock Institute recently called on policymakers to approve funds to replace substandard mobile homes with energy-efficient manufactured homes.  These new efficiency standards and additional funding would build on successful but limited local efforts to replace mobile homes—often the housing option of last resort for many low-wealth people.

Illinois has currently has about 150,000 units of manufactured homes, representing about 3 percent of the state’s housing stock.  Of those, over half were built prior to 1980.  More than 2 million Americans, often elderly and people with disabilities, live in homes built prior to the national code for manufactured housing established in 1976. They have the highest energy burden and least resources to replace their homes.

The most recent proposal, put forth by Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana), offers energy-efficient manufactured housing as part of the current jobs bill.  According to CFED, implementation of the proposal would create 45,000 new jobs, save more than $1.8 billion in energy costs, and improve the living conditions of more than 160,000 low-income families.  This proposal would also provide a $2,500 decommissioning grant for the existing houses to ensure they are destroyed and make the replacement of substandard mobile homes eligible for weatherization funds.