Thanks to every one who came out on Wednesday to the Internationalist to see a presentation of This is My Home.
It was a good turn out -- enough to fill the room and then some! CRA-NC staff was
on hand, along with guests from Orange County Housing, the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, UNC Chapel Hill's Department of City and Regional Planning, and the Center for Responsible Lending.
After showing pictures, Neill Goslin from Self-Help Credit Union talked about how hard it can be to make loans on manufactured housing. Chris Estes from the North Carolina Housing Coalition underscored the significance of the issue: "Manufactured housing is essentially the main form of housing for low-income folks in rural North Carolina," he said.
Most of our attention went to talking about solutions in the context of the existing challenges. We have 4,046 parks in North Carolina. Many are located in areas with stagnant economies -- places where tobacco or textiles were once dominant sources of employment and where high tech jobs in pharmaceuticals and banking have not come in their place. Developers are not coming in to build single family site built housing subdivisions in these regions.
One member of the audience challenged the group to identify the characteristics of places where parks work in the marketplace. By my estimation, those would be in regions on the outskirts of large metro areas. Places like Rolesville (Raleigh), Kernersville (Winston-Salem), Mebane (Chapel Hill-Durham), or Weaverville (Asheville). Of course, those are also the places where the highest and best use of land is perhaps a supercenter or a new subdivision.