In hot housing markets like Silicon Valley, where the average house can cost $1 million or more, the most affordable option for housing may be a mobile home, says Fast Company's Adele Peters.

A new reportfrom Apartment List calculates that one in 18 Americans, or 17.7 million people, live in a manufactured home nationwide; the average monthly housing cost is $564, versus $1,057 for a typical house or apartment. These people spend an average of 40% less, on average, than others in the 100 largest metro areas.

“Mobile homes are kind of the last really cheap unsubsidized sorts of housing in most places,” says Sydney Bennet, a senior research associate at Apartment List. They’re particularly common in some areas–in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, for example, around 25% of the population lives in manufactured homes. Production swelled in the 1980s when the government cut funding for affordable housing. But new construction, despite the need, is slow. One challenge is zoning–communities heavily restrict where the homes can be installed, whether on single-family lots or in traditional mobile home parks.

“I think a lot of it really comes down to the stigma around living in a mobile or manufactured home,” says Bennet. “I think there’s still a lot of stereotypes about the communities who live in those areas . . . and maybe policymakers don’t consider it a desirable option.” That’s the case despite the fact that manufactured homes can, of course, be well-designed.

Manufactured homes, whether tiny or otherwise, could also help in fast-growing areas with a shortage of construction workers. “You have other areas that have lost their manufacturing and factory jobs who would love to have that kind of a plant,” Bennet says. Pre-fab housing production, which uses factories to build the components of buildings and then constructs it onsite–unlike a manufactured home, which can essentially just roll into place–is also growing in response to construction shortages and to save costs.

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