Jennifer Hopkins

24 ways to expand opportunity

By Jennifer Hopkins

Even during tough fiscal times, policymakers can choose to help households that are on the edge of financial security. 

Our friends at CFED have just released "With the Stroke of a Pen: Two dozen low-cost, politically viable state policy ideas to increase financial security and opportunity in tough fiscal times."

The report reminds that, even in tough fiscal times, state policymakers can choose to help households that are on the edge of financial security. 

CFED's proposals include many that are cost-neutral and that expand economic opportunity and help people build bright futures.

"With the Stroke of a Pen" uses five elements learn, earn, save, invest and protect to describe what families need to move from financial instability to economic opportunity. Its Invest category includes the centerpiece of the Community Loan Fund's work for the last 28 years: Classifying manufactured homes as "real property" (like land and conventional houses-), as opposed to "chattel" or personal property (like cars or boats).

CFED reports that when homes are classified as real property, their owners:

  • receive greater protections for their heirs;
  • are better protected from predatory collection actions;
  • qualify for homestead exemptions;
  • are taxed equivalent to site-built homeowners; and
  • can access conventional mortgage products and services.

Because manufactured homes are titled as real estate in New Hampshire, our Welcome Home Loans treat manufactured homes in resident-owned communities as real estate, with loan terms up to 25 years and favorable fixed interest rates. With an average loan size of $41,500, a manufactured house can be a very affordable home, and an investment that becomes more valuable over time.

Jennifer Hopkins is the Single-Family Housing Program Manager at the Community Loan Fund.

NMLS #395262. Licensed by the New Hampshire Banking Department.