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‘Manufactured homes’ may be key to affordable housing in Mass.

Boston real estate

Boston real estate

The Globe has an editorial calling for the Walsh administration to re-think construction codes and other city ordinances in order to make it easier to build more affordable “manufactured” homes in Boston. It’s a long over-due idea and suggestion that applies to all of Massachusetts, not just Boston.

First of all, many people need to get over of their 1970s and 1980s mindsets about “modular homes,” also known as “manufactured homes,” or structures that are mostly pre-made at a factory and assembled together on site like a huge model.

The image of such homes is that they’re dull, cheap variations of trailer homes. See image below. And, yes, they’re still making homes like that.

But the manufactured-home business has come so far in the last 20 years, making actually very attractive homes, some of them simple (see above) and some of them quite sophisticated and large. They don’t have to be boring eyesores. And they’re often extremely comfortable and ingenious in their uses of spaces.

With the arrival of 3-D manufacturing in general, this concept is where most all industries, not just housing, are going these days — and if manufactured homes can cut the costs of housing and bring in more developers, the city and state need to be open to these 21st century concepts about construction.

File under: Model idea.

UPDATE: Apparently lawmakers are mulling major zoning-law changes to make it easier to build within city/town squares. The Globe is also pushing that bill’s passage.

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Boston condos