Local Housing Company Awarded $196,000 for modular home construction
Tue, 09/29/2020 - 11:53am caleb
A new pilot program hopes to encourage more affordable homes built with working class in mind
Kinzie Nena | Staff Writer
Northern Michigan Limited Dividend Housing Association (LDHA) of Grayling was recently awarded a $196,000 grant by the State of Michigan’s housing authority to build a home in the City of Grayling to provide reasonably priced housing. The Michigan State Housing Development Authority MOD Grant is awarded to encourage communities to build modular homes with the five-year repayable grant with the expectation of promoting stable, affordable housing to help build a strong foundation for jobs, culture, and growth, according to Michigan.gov.
The grant awarded by MSHDA is part of a new pilot program to help encourage the use of modular home products in growing critical needed rural areas. The goal is to help reduce the typical single-family home construction lead time and allows for housing to be made available for occupancy quickly.
“Grayling is in need of affordable housing,” said Fred Fabian, co-owner of Northern Michigan LDHA.
As one of nine grants, the hope is to encourage future homes to be built this way to encourage more workforce housing and attract more income eligible homebuyers to Michigan communities, according to northernmichiganhousingdevelopment.com.
The two co-owners of Northern Michigan LDHA, Tom Steffen and Fabian, have been involved in other projects in the Grayling area, including the Duck Pond Condominiums, located at 209 Peninsular Avenue, and other local properties. The MSHDA MOD Grant has been involved in other communities across Michigan including Grayling, Harrisville, Ishpeming, Beaverton, Big Rapids, Muskegon, Hastings, Kalamazoo, Dowagiac, and Coldwater.
In Grayling, Northern Michigan LDHA will be building at 603 Galen Street. Plans call for a ranch-style three-bedroom, one-bathroom home with a garage and it will be offered for sale to families that qualify under the program’s low to moderate income requirements, according to northernmichiganhousingdevelopment.com.
Though not new, modular homes have increased in popularity due to their ease of construction and shorter lead time to build, usually between three to four months. Modular homes are constructed in factories in sections which are then transported to the home site where they are bolted and strapped together. After delivery the house is fully finished with drywall repairs, carpetting, doors, any remaining siding and shingling, and connecting the electrical and HVAC systems, according to northernmichiganhousingdevelopment.com. Currently Northern Michigan LDHA has over 90 modular home floor plans.
“Modular homes are not mobile homes. Where traditional homes are stick-built, modular homes are built just like an on site home, but more robust,” said Fabian.
“The perception of modular homes is that they are cheap and less durable, but the models we have are tough and very durable,” Fabian said.
The Northern Michigan LDHA model on Galen Street is available for tours, according to Fabian.