Can’t Do Affordable Housing Modules In California? No Matter, China Can

mdular social housing in Denmark
teglværkshavnen housing, tegnestuen vandkunsten photo by seier+seier is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Modular social housing, Denmark. Can't resource it locally? Competition from a distance helps balance free markets unduly manipulated by small groups of financiers and developers.

Believe you can and you’re halfway there — Teddy Roosevelt

Whatever happened to ‘can-do?’ A recent UK story raises the issue, one that arguably applies on both sides of the Atlantic. Read more in The Guardian: Even After Two World Wars We Rebuilt Britain. We Must Recapture That Can-do Spirit

Fortunately, thriving globalization can help out in a ‘can’t-do’ crisis. If you can’t cook it up yourself, you can do take-out.

It’s hard to imagine that can-do take-out might include something as unwieldy as affordable housing. But it can!

Los Angeles is taking out units from China, with hopes that it will expand into a productive means of addressing the housing crisis. Read more in Forbes: New Modular Housing Model Tackles Affordable Housing Crisis In Los Angeles

The housing development and finance industry on the US west coast has been vocal about its lack of interest in affordable housing construction and backing it up with non-action. Never mind whether it wants to do it or not, the industry points to high material costs as well scarcity of skilled housing construction workers from foundations to framing to finishing. These are the industry’s ‘can’t do’ reasons as it concentrates its efforts on the more profitable so-called luxury housing.1

The housing industry in America is also vocal on the subject of restrictive laws and zoning that prevent the free-market and its so-called ‘laws’ of supply and demand from lowering house prices.

China, it seems, can provide another, quite probably more effective, way of driving down housing prices — flooding California market with homes that are shipped to market across the Pacific. It’s worked with countless other consumer goods. Maybe it’s time to consume a little lower-priced China housing!


  1. ‘So called’ luxury? Try: Three Takes On California’s Housing Crisis: Part 3