Offsite Constructions

Key insights:

This Small Housing guidance paper presents research findings from interviews, focus groups and a multi-stakeholder roundtable, including the participation of industry experts, building officials and key government representatives to unpack current barriers to adoption and explore approaches to accelerating the use of offsite construction to grow gentle density supply.

This guidance paper provides background information, identifies key barriers and offers recommendations in seven areas:

  1. Government Initiatives
  2. Industry Collaboration and Knowledge Building
  3. Municipal Toolkits for Offsite-Ready Local Governments
  4. Offsite-Ready Construction Financing
  5. Pilot Studies for Modular Streamlining
  6. Standard Design Catalog and Design Competition
  7. Enterprise Zone Incentives

Key insights:

Manufactured housing holds promise as an affordable form of housing that could expand homeownership opportunities for low- and moderate-income households.

This report, from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, reviews the available literature to assess the principal barriers to greater adoption of manufactured housing, including:

  • lingering negative perceptions of the quality of the homes despite notable improvements in quality over time;
  • zoning and other land use regulations that limit the ability to site these homes in many communities;
  • market conditions that erode the cost advantage of manufactured homes; the unique nature of the supply chain for these homes that makes it difficult for consumers to obtain homes in many urban areas;
  • and limits on access to affordable financing.

This report was authored by Christoper Herbert, Alexander Hermann, Daniel McCue & Chadwick Reed.