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Manufactured and modular homes could become neighbors

David Anderson with All Parks Alliance for Change, left, testifies before the House Jobs and Economic Development Finance Division Jan. 31 on a bill sponsored by Rep. Mohamud Noor, right. Photo by Andrew VonBank

A wider range of homes could find their way into manufactured home parks across the state.

Sponsored by Rep. Mohamud Noor (DFL-Mpls), HF282 would allow modular homes to be placed in manufactured home parks. Both types of home are built in factories, though the final assembly of modular homes is done onsite.

Approved Thursday by the House Jobs and Economic Development Finance Committee, the bill was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee with a recommendation that it be re-referred to the House Housing Finance and Policy Division. Sen. Justin Eichorn (R-Grand Rapids) sponsors a companion, SF239, which awaits action by the Senate Agriculture, Rural Development, and Housing Finance Committee.

House Jobs and Economic Development Finance Division 1/31/19

Manufactured and modular homes are the state’s “largest source of non-subsidized affordable housing” with about 50,000 home sites statewide, said Mark Brunner, president of the Manufactured and Modular Home Association of Minnesota.

HF282 would also decrease licensing fees for manufactured home installers to the levels recommended by the Department of Labor and Industry — $180 for a three-year period instead of $300 – and increase the balance cap on the Minnesota manufactured home relocation trust fund from $1 million to $3 million.

This change would help to ensure that when parks close, people who lived there can relocate, Noor said.

The program is privately funded by payments from manufactured home park owners and homeowners, though the state helps collect and disperse the funds along with local governments, said Dave Anderson, executive director of the All Parks Alliance for Change.

Anderson and other stakeholders expressed some concerns with the bill, including demolition credits and how fees are invoiced, but they are optimistic those issues will be resolved with Noor’s help before the bill moves to the housing finance division.

“This promotes an important source for affordable housing that’s obviously needed,” said Rep. Jon Koznick (R-Lakeville).

The bill is considered noncontroversial and its language was part of the 2018 omnibus bill vetoed by former Gov. Mark Dayton, Noor said.

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