Gov. Jared Polis says expanding affordable housing will be a top priority of his over the next four years. In his Colorado State of the State address, the governor said everything ties back to housing — water, climate goals, the economy and transportation. He said if the state doesn’t act now, it will reach the point of no return.

The Centennial State’s resources — including land — are finite and the governor says we can’t afford to make the mistakes California has. He laid out a wide-ranging plan to address the crisis and highlighted Fading West Development, a manufactured home builder in Buena Vista, as part of the solution.

Charlie Chupp is CEO of the company that assembles one home every two weeks in a factory, “18 stations of assembly line. It’s like looking at a Toyota being assembled on an assembly.”

The governor says not only are manufactured homes faster to build, but cheaper. He says they’re 20% less expensive than homes built on-site: “What you get is basically the economy of scale. The fact that you’re turning these around in a large facility where it doesn’t matter if it’s -5 degrees outside because you’re working inside a building it means a lot more production capability.”

While labor and materials are important factors in a home’s price, Eric Schaefer, vice president of sales and strategic partnerships at Fading West, says things like water tap fees and permits are a third of the cost.

“We all have to lock arms on this,” he said. “This is going to be the state government, the nonprofits, towns like Breckenridge and Summit County are taking the lead on this, as well as the factory piece to it. We all have to do our part to bring costs down.” 

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