PRESIDENT & BOARD CHAIR MESSAGE
With 2015, we celebrate serving more families than ever. To date, we have impacted over 1,300 households with new homes and preserved communities through our nonprofit members and industry programs.
This has been a year of new strategic direction and growth in membership, training and production. Our focus included training and technical assistance delivered to our network and SmartMH partners, outreach to new partners, and building internal capacity.
In 2015, membership in the Next Step Network grew by 50% to include nonprofit affordable housing providers serving a range of rural, suburban and urban markets. We delivered 120 new ENERGY STAR homes, an 84% increase from the prior year. Members preserved affordable homes, with 1,037 homeowners under nonprofit community ownership and management, providing secure land tenure and enhanced resident services.
Next Step’s efforts to raise awareness and provide training on why manufactured housing is a viable affordable housing solution is paying dividends, with more nonprofits and industry partners actively pursuing the strategy. Last year, our members provided homebuyer education to 7,000 homebuyers and made 72 manufactured home loans.
In 2016, Next Step will harness this momentum to keep delivering on its mission of putting sustainable homeownership within reach of everyone, while transforming the manufactured industry through consumer education, affordability and energy efficiency.
We expect membership growth, particularly in the Southeast, and as we deliver more tools and training support, we expect higher production. Our pipeline is strong, as many members are bringing new projects online. We will also convene new partners in this field who believe that manufactured housing is a sound, viable option for affordable housing.
This year, we will also focus on piloting manufactured housing homebuyer education with eHome America. Prepared and supported homebuyers are an essential component of the Next Step System, so we want to ensure buyers have the information to make informed decisions on better homes, better loans and better strategies for success. Our membership is uniquely positioned to prepare homebuyers who otherwise might not have the opportunity to achieve the American Dream of homeownership.
We invite you to join us in making this dream come true for more Americans in a sound, sustainable and affordable way by making a donation to Next Step online at www.nextstepus.org/donations.