June 25, 2019

Danville Pilot Project to Feature New Generation of Manufactured Homes

New and improved manufactured homes are now on the market, and with some help from VHDA, a pilot project is being planned in Danville.

Manufactured homes are built in factories in sections, then transported and assembled at the homesite. This process has several advantages: costs are more predictable, homes are usually less expensive than their site-built counterparts, and construction timelines are reduced – in part because weather delays can be avoided.

A Kentucky-based organization named Next Step will build the homes for the pilot. Next Step was founded by an Appalachian native who saw people in her region struggling to buy and maintain a home. It became a nonprofit organization in 2012, and today its mission is fully aligned with VHDA’s – making sustainable and affordable homeownership a reality for lower-income households.

In recent years, Next Step has transformed the quality of its manufactured homes by improving their durability, energy efficiency and aesthetics. In addition to permanent foundations, today’s Next Step homes have pitched roofs, front porches and attractive designs, and offer low operating, maintenance and utility costs.

VHDA’s strong working relationship with Danville officials helped jumpstart discussions between the city and Next Step about the upcoming pilot, which is expected to include six to eight homes, all ready for occupancy by end of 2019. The homes will be located in the same neighborhood as the VHDA-sponsored Center for Housing Education. The center offers resources and programs to make purchasing and maintaining a home an easier process, especially for first-time buyers.

VHDA sees manufactured homes as an important piece of the affordable housing puzzle. While not for all homebuyers, they represent a viable option for lower- and moderate-income households, all the more so because of their improved aesthetics and quality.

“We’re hoping the Danville pilot will change some of the public’s misperceptions about manufactured homes,” says Chris Thompson, VHDA’s director of strategic housing. “Today these homes are more attractive, more durable and more energy-efficient – and many families will view them as comfortable and affordable places to live.”

For more information, please contact Chris Thompson, VHDA’s Director of Strategic Housing, at 804-343-5692 or Chris.Thompson@vhda.com.

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