The nation’s top rural housing official and U.S. Representative Ann McLane Kuster visited Better Homes AHEAD’s model home site in Littleton Friday to announce the availability of a new affordable, long-term United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) home loan for manufactured home buyers.
USDA Rural Housing Service Administrator Tony Hernandez announced that the Energy Efficient Manufactured Home Pilot Program will enable perspective mobile home park residents to use a fixed, low-interest, 33-year home loan to purchase an energy efficient manufactured home and place it in a mobile home park. Hernandez said Better Homes AHEAD is only the second distributor to be approved for participation in the Vermont and New Hampshire pilot program.
“With this pilot program, USDA aims to reduce the monthly mortgage and energy costs of New Hampshire mobile home park residents,” said Hernandez. “Older manufactured homes are notorious energy hogs. By encouraging the purchase of a newer, energy efficient home, USDA can save the homeowner money, reduce the risk of default and fight climate change.”
Hernandez said mobile home park residents often struggle to find affordable financing to purchase modern energy efficient homes to place on land leased in a mobile home park. Due to the lack of traditional financing options, park residents find themselves trapped in decades-old mobile homes that are heated with inefficient heat sources and are lacking modern energy efficiency measures.
“I’m pleased to join USDA in announcing this terrific program, which will put more Granite Staters in energy efficient cost effective manufactured homes,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster. “For too long, financing options have been limited for manufactured homes. With this program, we’re moving the Granite State one step closer towards ensuring every family has a quality, energy efficient, safe place to call home. I applaud USDA for launching this important program, and I’m proud to support it.”
According to the 2013 U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, manufactured homes comprise nearly six percent of New Hampshire’s housing stock. That survey reported that the median home value in New Hampshire is approximately $229,900. In comparison, Larry Berg, Better Homes AHEAD’s Business Manager, stated that their Energy Star, well-equipped, two bedroom manufactured homes start at only $45,100 while their modular homes start at $93,900.
“A quality Better Homes AHEAD Next Step Energy Star certified manufactured home is now more affordable than ever with USDA/RD financing in parks,” said Mike Claflin, Executive Director of AHEAD. “Choosing an energy efficient home and placing it in one of New Hampshire's Resident Owned Communities helps low and moderate income buyers control housing expenses for many years.”
Better Homes AHEAD’s manufactured housing line, including the Next Step manufactured home and the New Hampshire-made Northlander modular home, were designed to reduce operating and energy costs by 30 percent compared to a standard manufactured home. Both can now be purchased with a USDA mortgage and placed either on privately owned land or on leased land in a mobile home park. Additional incentives may be available for qualifying homebuyers in the North Country in partnership with New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority.
Better Homes AHEAD is a wholly owned subsidiary of AHEAD (Affordable Housing, Education and Development), the North Country’s leading non-profit affordable housing provider. Better Homes AHEAD sells and installs energy-efficient factory built housing while also supporting homeowners with financial education and assistance.
USDA, through its RD mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $212 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural areas. For more information on Rural Development visit rd.usda.gov/nh or contact USDA RD at (602) 223-6035.