The Gazette editorial board- Mar 7, 2024

As the Legislature ponders proposals to kickstart long-idled — and much-needed
— condo construction in our state, a recent initiative by the governor reminds us there’s
more than one path toward affordable housing.

Gov. Jared Polis’ economic development office and the state housing financing authority
have announced loans to eight developers to build nearly 5,000 modular homes a year
statewide in Colorado. The nearly $38 million in loans come with below-market interest
rates, incentivizing the developers to get in the game.
Due to their economies of scale, factory-assembled modular homes are less expensive
than homes of comparable size built on site. Yet, they can be as solid, stylish, energy
efficient and rich in amenities.
The challenge to Colorado, as reported in The Gazette, is that even this more affordable
option loses a lot of its competitive advantage because not enough modulars are
manufactured here; 88% come from out of state. That drives up their cost given the extra

As The Gazette reported, Coloradans pay hundreds of millions of dollars to cover those
extra delivery costs. The price of a modular home from outside of Colorado is 8% higher
than if it were made in the state.
Colorado lost many of its modular home assembly operations in the 2000s housing crisis.
As a result, Colorado modular homes made up only 1.5% of the total housing market in
2022, according to state data. The national average was 4%.
That’s where the state loans come in. They will seed Colorado-based manufacturedhousing plants. That not only should bring the cost of the homes back down to levels
available in some other locales but also will create in-state jobs and generate more tax
For example, $6 million of the loans are going to modular-home builder Vederra to
assemble 316 homes a year in Aurora. In Aurora’s case, local government is laudably
helping out. The City Council passed a resolution designating modular homes a separate
category of housing, making it easier to build more of them by reducing municipal fees.

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