First, because many people, people in homeowners associations and on city councils, don’t WANT you to live “here.” Via zoning and all sorts of regulation, established interests, often monied homeowners and their allies in government, make sure that there is as little competition for their homes/real estate investments as there can be. I’m sorry, you can’t build any new housing here. It’s not zoned for that.
Of course this whole equation can go the other way too. Developers can run right over communities. (Usually poorer communities.)
Either way the local cronies take advantage of laws, and hoops, and permits and the average potential homeowner often gets left out in the cold. In California this is almost literally true.
The author of the attached article argues that downsizing development may be part of the solution. But it’s a good bet the types of structures she says meet federal regs (which make other structures less viable from a cost perspective) will meet opposition.
(From The American Conservative)
Giving the trailer or mobile home a social facelift lies in designing better parks and the dwellings themselves. Some of the units designed in response to the hurricane Katrina disaster were a first step in using the cost efficiency of manufactured housing to bring in a kind of small, affordable housing in that could be used as an infill, as a small development along the lines of a pocket neighborhood, or even a larger development.