With support from the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP), Matthew 25 developed the Manufactured Home Disaster Recovery Playbook, a resource communities throughout the country can utilize to help populations of homeowners living in manufactured homes recover and rebuild after natural disasters. This project was part of CDP’s Midwest Early Recovery Fund to support home repair in Linn County following the August 2020 derecho.
“If we know that manufactured home communities are about the most vulnerable that we have out there, it’s important that we put a safety net in place for them,” said Matthew 25 Executive Director Clint Twedt-Ball.
Early in recovery efforts, it became clear that manufactured home residents were hit particularly hard by the derecho, and assistance was often denied or made difficult for them to access. Rather than leave some of the most vulnerable communities without a path to recovery, Matthew 25 and partners got to work finding solutions. This Manufactured Home Disaster Recovery Playbook is a distillation of what we learned.
According to the CDP, “more than 22 million people live in mobile and manufactured homes, which represent an important affordable housing option for many communities.” However, these homeowners have their own set of challenges: they don’t own the land under their home; many contractors don’t work on mobile homes for a variety of reasons; and most owners don’t have the insurance to cover damage from a natural disaster like a derecho.
Even with the expansive population of manufactured homeowners, and the prominence of natural disasters throughout the country, there were no resources or case studies on how to rebuild and recover after a derecho or other disasters.
“When we were faced with this derecho recovery, we looked around and we didn’t see a lot of resources, and so we know that there is a need for building up this playbook, this set of resources that can help people,” said Twedt-Ball.
The Manufactured Home Disaster Recovery Playbook consists of five overview videos and a 20-page overview document. Both the videos and document are structured with sections geared towards specific audiences: residents, construction/repair teams, park management, and funders. Within each section, there are ways for each of these audiences to prepare for a disaster before it happens, as well as guidance if the preparation wasn’t put into place.
With this structure, we hope that other communities can learn from the way Matthew 25 and other local organizations helped manufactured homeowners recover from a natural disaster, whether or not they were prepared ahead of time.