September 3, 2008 — Issue Brief

Assets are the foundation for promoting long-term economic opportunity for Americans. They provide security during unexpected financial troubles, such as medical expenses, car repairs, or job loss. Assets also foster and encourage long-term plans and dreams, such as going to college and starting a business. For the past few generations, homeownership has been the bedrock of household financial assets. Even during periods of instability in the housing market, homeownership remains the primary source of wealth for many Americans and continues to be the centerpiece of the American Dream. For 17 million Americans, the path to the American Dream is via manufactured housing. Today’s manufactured housing market is a high-quality and affordable entry into asset building for many families, but obstacles in obtaining conventional financing effectively create a roadblock for many because often these homes – though as permanent as homes built on site – are often treated more like auto loans rather than traditionally built homes. The I’M HOME (Innovations in Manufactured Homes) initiative works to address these challenges and to help ensure that all homeowners – including owners of manufactured housing – have equal access to the asset-building opportunities of homeownership. Our goal is to make sure that families who choose a manufactured home can access the same opportunities as owners of any other type of home.