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Curry County's Manufactured Home Problem

OPB | July 30, 2013 12:06 p.m. | Updated: Sept. 11, 2013 1:14 a.m.

A new program intends to repair or replace manufactured homes in Curry County, with the aim to boost the economy while improving health and livability standards. The county has experienced a decades-long economic slump following the shuttering of its logging operations, and has a high unemployment rate. It also has higher percentages of seniors and manufactured homes than the state average. Nearly a third of all homes in the county are manufactured. 

That wouldn’t be such an issue if they were newer manufactured homes built to current codes. But according to the county, 44 percent of the homes were built before 1980. These are often mobile homes—stacked on blocks and small enough to hitch a pickup. Curry County says that of the 3,876 manufactured homes in the county, about 640 are in fair to poor condition. That’s a fuzzy designation that can mean either the sink has fallen through the floor or, as Annette Klinefelter, Curry County’s economic development official puts it, “the sink may not have fallen through but it could at any minute.”

The manufactured program, which Klinefelter describes as a pilot, will replace 25 homes with new manufactured houses. These homeowners will receive loan assistance. Homes that just need patch jobs will get repairs and energy efficiency updates. “We’re not willing to give up at just 25,” Klinefelter says. “That’s only going to scratch the surface.”

Do you live in a manufactured home in Curry County? Would you access help to fix, update or replace you home?

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