Homes on the National Mall Signals Change of Perspective

2nd Annual Innovative Housing Showcase Homes on the National Mall

Industry Professionals Greet Legislators for Display of Homes on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The early June spectacle of the first-ever Innovative Housing Showcase is more than a collection of homes on the National Mall.

Our homes sit amid the iconic memorials. They’re lined by world-famous museums. The concepts that have taken lifetimes to build are situated adjacent the White House and Capitol Building. The Innovative Housing Showcase, with homes from our industry, is a signal that will flash brightly in the American consciousness.

Innovative builders are hosting law and policymakers through the week. Manufactured housing professionals who invest in and plan out affordable, safe and healthy places to live are awash in a new light.

They’re on a stage they’ve never known.

Homes on the National Mall Skyline Champion Home
A new home from Skyline Champion Corporation.

Let’s face it, many legislators have not entered today’s manufactured home. Likewise, tourists, softball teams, children playing, joggers and many other everyday Americans on the National Mall this week will have a different feel for what the industry does.

Builders, community owners, retailers, the lenders and suppliers who support them, the teams that make each operation hum, should all feel proud this week.

How Should Homes on the National Mall Be Leveraged?

Homes on the National Mall spa bathroom
The spa bathroom in a new Cavco Home.

The collection of homes on the National Mall means that the general perception of manufactured housing and other factory-built homes is in a new phase.

There should be an expectation of an easier conversation.

Industry professionals should anticipate an enhanced marketplace for manufactured homes, and what most professionals have understood for so long — There is a great place to live that a majority of Americans can afford.

Who is Showing Homes on the National Mall?

homes on the national mall congresswoman Kathleen Rice
Congresswoman Kathleen Rice of New York comes to Homes on the Hill presented by the Manufactured Housing Institute to say a few words about the value of manufactured housing.

There are a variety of builders and building solutions professionals exhibiting homes on the national mall. From the manufactured housing industry there are three homes. Skyline Champion is showing a pair of new homes, and UMH Properties has a home on display that was built by Cavco Industries.

When Sam Landy, president and CEO of UMH Properties, stepped on the National Mall and took in his first glance of our industry on a grand stage, he was nearly speechless.

“Wow…wow, wow, this is fantastic!” is what he said.

Skyline Champion President Mark Yost spoke during an opportunity for exhibitors to pitch their company or product. Rather, he spoke about what motivates him and his colleagues.

“Every night half a million people in America are homeless,” he said. “A third of American families are putting more than 30 percent of their wages in housing expenses.”

From the printing press to the farm plow to the assembly line, our nation has benefited from fearless leaders breaking the mold to meet the greatest needs of our citizens.

Now, it’s housing’s time.

“Attainable, affordable housing needs to be innovative,” Yost said. “That’s what you’re seeing here today.”

Homes on the National Mall Steve Quick Joe Stegmayer kitchen
Steve Quick, left, and Joe Stegmayer, of Cavco, in a home being shown on the National Mall with UMH Properties.

Details on the Manufactured Homes on Display in Washington, D.C.

Cavco Industries and UMH Properties

Cavco Industries, in its commitment to providing housing solutions to help families squeezed out of the market in many places, built a new floor plan that is ideal to go into a manufactured home community. The 1,085-square foot two-section home was constructed in Rocky Mount, Virg., and will go to a UMH Properties community in Pennsyvlania.

The home has two bedrooms and two bathrooms with an open floor plan and center island kitchen. The home has a spa bathroom, floating entertainment center, oversized bedrooms and stainless steel appliances. It also includes energy efficienct features such as:

  • Energy Star rated
  • Low-E vinyl thermal windows
  • LED lighting
  • Insulation is R28 (8” minimum insulation thickness) in ceiling – R11 (3 ½”  insulation thickness) in the sidewall – R22 (7” insulation thickness) in floor
  • High Efficiency rated furnace and water heater
  • Programmable thermostat
Skyline Champion Corporation

Skyline Champion brought a pair of homes with thermal efficiencies. These include ceiling insulation up to R-49 and R-21 for the wall insulation. They also have energy heel trusses and ventilation baffles, weather wrap and vapor barrier. The homes also are built with:

  • Designs to meet or exceed geographical load requirements
  • Tongue and groove decking
  • 2×4 or 2×6 wall framing
  • 2×4 or 2×6 flooring
Manufactured homes on the national mall
MHI Executive Vice President and Director of Government Affairs Lesli Gooch and MHI President Dick Jennison talk with new FHFA Director Mark Calabria (center) about what manufactured homes have to offer.

Manufactured Housing Institute Plays a Vital Role

MHI, the national association for factory-built housing, paved the way for each of the new manufactured homes to be placed on the National Mall at the Innovative Housing Showcase. Each of the homes required permitting, and clearance from HUD as well as the National Park Service.

In addition, each of the homes on the mall already has been purchased and will be routed to land-lease communities in surrounding states.

“These beautiful new homes not only serve to inform government officials and the public as to what is possible in manufactured housing today, but will be lived in by individuals and families who want to buy a new manufactured home,” MHI President Dick Jennison said.

U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice, of New York, came to MHI’s Homes on the Hill event Tuesday afternoon and toured the homes. The Congresswoman noted the need for affordable housing and praised the industry for the solutions it provides.

“Going through these homes is alike a dream come true for me,” Rice said. “Thank you for all you do in providing these quality homes.”

HUD Secretary Ben Carson Gives Opening Remarks

Homes on the National Mall
Carson arrives on the National Mall after getting a ride in a 3D printed car.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson rode onto the National Mall in a 3D printed utility vehicle designed and manufactured by Oakridge National Laboratory. It was a grand entrance with a standing applause from the 200-plus people in attendance.

Carson, too, spoke of the value of homeownership. But it was more than the idea of offering someone who wants to buy a manufactured home the quality, design and technology for nearly half of the cost per square foot compared with site-built construction.

“HUD and our partners are now clearing a road for millions of Americans to prosper by driving the development of a new generation of homes, that are both affordable, and the other thing we’re highlighting is resilience.

“But this is not just a journey of financial stability,” he said. “But one of deep personal pride.”

Carson thanked the exhibitors for coming to D.C. at their own expense to show homes on the National Mall.

“You’ve come here to display some of the things that will make the American populous aware of some of the tremendous advancements that have been made,” He said. “But also, to make our legislators aware of what’s going on too.”