Next Step Network

Support Affordable Homeownership Opportunity for Manufactured Home Buyers

Needs Summary

Next Step (and our partners at Freddie Mac) seek lending institutions to join Next Step Network and participate in the SmartMH program, offering affordable mortgage products very low- and low-income manufactured home buyers and expanding affordable homeownership in communities.

Need Category

Product or Service Development

Support Needed

Affordable Mortgage Products for Manufactured Home Buyers

Date Needed

December 31, 2020

Details of Need

Next Step seeks banking and lending partners that offer existing mortgage products or specialized mortgage products for manufactured home buyers seeking financing through our SmartMH program. The majority of these buyers will be low- or moderate-income with many located in designated underserved or distressed communities.

Next Step is partnered with Freddie Mac to develop and employ affordable loan products eligible to manufactured homes. We also seek to discuss existing mortgage financial and home buyer programs a bank currently uses (including in-house, KHC, FHA, VA and GSE programs) to determine if one or more of those programs can be deployed as a financing option for our home buyers.

Community Impact

Manufactured housing is the largest source of unsubsidized affordable housing in the United States and is home to 22 million Americans. Historically, manufactured housing has not been recognized for its potential to support financial security and stimulate wealth creation through homeownership. Factory-built housing is a practical solution to the growing affordability gap. A recent study from the Urban Institute estimates that the U.S. needs an additional 430,000 homes for those earning 120 percent of median income, particularly immigrants and low-income homebuyers. Manufactured homes account for 80 percent of all homes priced under $150,000.

The median income for a manufactured home resident is $26,400 as compared to $50,600 for a resident of a site-built home. Twenty-two percent of households living in a manufactured home have an income at or below the federal poverty level, and 75 percent of households earn less than $50,000. The median net worth of individuals is one-fourth that of their counterparts in site-built construction ($26,000 versus $112,500 in 2010 dollars).

The SmartMH program is supported by the SmartMH Task Force, a partnership of the manufactured housing industry, lenders, retailers, utilities, nonprofits and public stakeholders committed to increasing access to high-performing, energy-efficient, affordable homes.

The program has established a referral system (facilitated by referrals from participating manufactured housing retailers and lenders) whereby prospective home buyers can receive housing counseling services and specialized homebuyer education subsidized by Freddie Mac. The goal is to return mortgage-ready buyers to the market, prepared and equipped to make the best home purchasing and financing choices for themselves and their families. Education is available in both English- and Spanish-language.

Since the program began in April 2017, nearly 300 individuals have enrolled in the program, receiving services including credit counseling, financial literacy education and homebuyer education.

Who Will Benefit

Individuals and families seeking affordable homeownership options.



What Area Will Benefit

Communities across the country in need of affordable housing.

CRA Analysis







As part of this program, banks will receive lending credit during CRA examinations for any mortgage loans originated for homebuyers through the SmartMH program.   Loan programs can originate under government, conventional or in-house programs.  The majority of borrowers in the program are located in CRA designated geographies and/or LMI census tracts and are inc0me-qualifying for CRA credit.  Creation of a new mortgage product with innovative features or flexible underwriting and terms may also receive credit during the service test during CRA examinations.

Focus Group LMI Homebuyers in CRA geographies
Affordable Housing

Yes - Loans originated qualify as affordable housing mortgages

Financial Literacy


Financial Services

Yes - Mortgages offered under the program are CRA qualifying

Technical Assistance


Revitalize or Stabilize

Yes - Mortgage loans under this program impact CRA designated geographies

Healthy Community


Metropolitan Statistical Area

Kentucky counties located in the following MSAs:

-Elizabethtown KY MSA (excluding Hardin County)
-Huntington-Ashland WV-KY-OH MSA
-Lexington-Fayette County KY MSA
-Louisville-Jefferson County KY-IN MSA (excluding Jefferson County)
-Owensboro KY MSA

LMI Geography

All LMI geographies in the targeted counties.

Counties Affected

107 counties in the State of Kentucky

Zip Codes Affected

All zip codes in the targeted counties

Census Tracts

All census tracts in the targeted counties.

CRA Designations

CFPB designated Rural Counties - 68 counties impacted

FFIEC designated Underserved Counties - 49 counties impacted

FFIEC designated Distressed Counties - 24 counties impacted

State of Kentucky

% Minority
% Below Poverty
Area Median Income
% Unemployed
Total Households
% Owner-Occupied
% Vacant

Next Step Network

Affordable Housing Done Right.

Putting sustainable homeownership within reach of everyone, while transforming the manufactured housing industry one home at a time

Partner Type
CRA Entity
L20 - Housing Development, Construction & Management
Clients Served

Individuals and families seeking affordable manufactured housing throughout the United States.

Service Area

26 States


Next Step® Network, Inc. is a national, nonprofit housing intermediary that works to promote expanded use of factory-built housing as a viable solution to address housing affordability. Our organization mobilizes a national network of mission-driven nonprofits, leaders in the manufactured housing industry and lending institutions serving home buyers and homeowners in their communities. Next Step’s system – Manufactured Housing Done Right® – connects responsible financing, comprehensive homebuyer education and delivery of high-quality, ENERGY STAR® manufactured homes at scale, creating a model that brings more value to the homeowners and communities.

Address Details

2005 Longest Ave, 2nd Floor
Louisville, KY 40204

(502) 694-1979

Support Affordable Homeownership Opportunity for Manufactured Home Buyers