First prefab homes in United States

Prefab homes - as durable as their traditional counterparts and cheaper to build - popped up across the country, but the modern prefabricated houses had their genesis in New Albany, Indiana.

"These were the first prefabricated homes that were built in the country - and it happened in beautiful small city in Indiana, New Albany" said executive director of the New Albany Housing Authority, Bob Lane, at a recent meeting of the Floyd County Historical Society.

Bob Lane is responsible for the 20 prefab homes owned by the housing authority since the houses were built in 1938.

Those manufactured homes in New Albany's Valley View Court originally were designed to be a subdivision for families of refugees from the 1937 flood area, but only 16 residents exchanged flood-ravaged houses for lots in the new development. It remained New Albany city property and was used for public purpose housing by the city's Housing Authority.

"These prefab houses were cheaper than built entirely on-site buildings" Lane said. "It was a well-built, affordable house, built in '38, and there are people still living in them."

source Indystar Jul. 15, 2012