housing industry has roots that go back to before World War II,
when small trailers were being used for campaign and temporary
shelter. Throughout the 1940's, these trailers got bigger and
better equipped, eventually becoming known as "house trailers"
that could be used for year round living. After World War II,
a housing shortage created a demand for larger, more self-contained
trailers that, while "mobile," could be used as permanent
1950's, a number of manufacturing companies began to emerge in
Indiana producing more advanced products and fueling a rapidly
growing demand for new, affordable housing. By the end of the
1950's, these factory produced "mobile homes" as they
were being called, were gradually beginning to take on more and
more characteristics of traditional site built homes.
By the 1960's,
the mobile home industry had become a major economic force in
Indiana, with a variety of manufacturers shipping their products
to every corner of the nation. The majority of purchasers were
not so much interested in mobility as they were in home ownership
at a lower cost and better value than site built homes.
In the mid-1970's,
the mobile home industry became closely regulated by the U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development and was required to
adhere to strict building standards adopted under the National
Mobile Home Construction and Safety Act. This act provided for
performance standards in code, third party designs and plan inspections,
with enforcement self-funded through manufactured housing label
By the 1980's,
the term "mobile home" was becoming too narrow to accurately
describe the industry's more advanced product, giving birth to
the term "manufactured housing." This new term was adopted
not only by the industry, but by the state and federal governments
as well, reflecting a closing of the gap with site built housing.
By the 1990's,
manufactured homes accounted for nearly a third of all new single-family
housing starts in the U.S. with Indiana among the nation's largest
housing continues to be a thriving industry with highly refined
design, engineering and construction processes. Manufactured homes
are produced in a wide variety of styles and floor plans, and
come with many of the same options and amenities as comparable
site built homes. In many ways, manufactured homes and site built
homes have become virtually identical in looks, quality and comfort.
Manufactured Housing Association (IMHA) is a non-profit trade
association representing the manufactured housing industry in