Colorado developer using modular housing to battle low housing market affordability

Modulars coming from manufacturers out of state

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AURORA, Colo. -- Some Colorado developers are showing a growing interest in factory-built modular housing amid the affordability crisis in the Denver Metro Area. Developer Adam Berger is currently working on a duplex project in Aurora on North Alton Street with completion set in a few weeks, leaving the total time for construction at around two months.

"Part of the reason why we can do it so quickly is because essentially everything in the unit is finished,” said Berger.

The home segments are built out of state with surfaces in place and shipped in to install on site. A crane lifts the modulars up and puts them in place for workers to make connections to the foundation.

“The cabinets, countertops, bathrooms, the tile work in the bathrooms is completed,” said Berger. “It’s essentially fully complete when it is delivered, so all we are really doing is connecting the units together.”

Berger said the high costs in Denver are driving his business for manufacturing out of state to keep the process and the product affordable.

“By building it off site you control your labor costs, you control your construction scheduling,” said Berger. “Ultimately you're able to deliver housing at a price that people can afford to buy, which is an issue with the Denver market."

It's no secret that there are issues facing the Denver Metro housing market.

“Construction costs are high, finding labor is challenging and its driving up costs for housing,” said Berger.

While the technology of modular housing has been around for decades, most people associate it with mobile homes, Berger is aiming for this different form of construction to be more cost effective without compromising the quality of the product.

“What modular housing is, is essentially applying technology to help solve the problem,” said Berger.

The City of Aurora is actively working on preserving affordable housing.

"The need for affordable housing is a regional issue, and we have heard firsthand from residents who are struggling with this," said Aurora Mayor Bob LeGare. "The Aurora City Council is taking action to establish an affordable housing policy, and we agreed at our recent budget workshop to add $1.1 million annually to the 2019 and 2020 city budgets to assist in creating additional affordable housing options for Aurora residents."

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