Frontier Housing Receives Grant Funds for Manufactured Housing


Frontier Housing announced today it has been awarded a $135,000 grant to expand its manufactured housing initiative. The Morehead based organization will use the grant to help develop affordable housing in Kentucky.

The funding was awarded by I’M HOME (Innovations in Manufactured Homes), a new multi-year initiative that seeks to ensure that families who choose to purchase manufactured homes can reap benefits from homeownership comparable to owners of other homes. I’M HOME (www.cfed.org/go/imhome) will be providing more than $5 million in grants and contracts to organizations across the nation seeking to address some of the inequities in the manufactured housing marketplace. With I'M HOME support, Frontier plans to develop a community of approximately 40 homes in Rowan County. Frontier has established a partnership with Clayton Homes to bring additional value and wealth building to the home buyer of manufactured housing. Tom Carew, who heads up Frontier’s new initiative said, “While our entry into manufactured housing may seem like a departure from Frontier Housing’s history, this initiative is prompted by customer demand and our desire to bring better quality homes into our communities. Frontier will bring additional value to the table for our customers through our partnership with Clayton Homes, the largest manufactured housing producer in the country. As a result of this partnership we will be offering special features that will ensure outstanding value and quality in the manufactured homes that we sell. Some of these features include the conversion of homes to real estate, affordable long term financing, and a set of high-standard specifications which include, meeting Energy Star qualifications, 2x 6 construction of exterior walls, drywall throughout the homes, masonry foundations and site-built porches. These features along with site amenities will improve the appreciating value of the manufactured home owner’s investment and will ensure quality homes for the long-term. ”

According to Vice-President and General Manager of Clayton Communities , Allen Morgan, “We are delighted to partner with Frontier to bring a higher quality manufactured home to Frontier’s area. Frontier has proven itself as a quality builder in the community and we look forward to working with them to help deliver their mission of building better communities.”

Manufactured houses are home to approximately 10 million families in the U.S. Since 1976, these homes have been built to a fairly stringent federal building code and are of generally high quality. Millions of older, substandard homes still exist, however, often fueling community resistance to all such homes. Despite their prevalence, few attempts have been made to help owners of manufactured homes realize the benefits usually tied to homeownership.

While two-thirds of all recent affordable housing starts are manufactured homes, owners often are limited in how easily they can build wealth through homeownership. This is partly due to a lending market that treats manufactured homes significantly differently than all other homes. It is also due to the fact that millions of manufactured home owners rent the land under their homes. In addition, manufactured home owners receive limited consumer protections and face a resale market that, once again, functions differently than the market for all other homes.

I’M HOME is supporting initiatives that address each of these concerns, as well as programs that demonstrate the ability to provide high-quality housing in varied communities.

“The origins of the industry are in post-war travel trailers. In the last 50 years, the product has evolved – these are permanent, and not “mobile,” homes now – but the underlying business model has not kept pace,” said David Buchholz, the Director of I’M HOME. “For most consumers, the process of buying, financing, titling, insuring, and getting consumer protections looks more like buying a car than buying a home, and this needs to change. We need to show lenders, policymakers and owners that if we treat this housing stock as real estate, these homes can be high-quality, appreciating investments for millions of American homeowners.”

Frontier is offering this newest manufactured home product line to interested customers beginning January 2006 and will also begin its newest I’m Home community in early 2006 with the first homes being completed May of 2006.

I’M HOME is an initiative of CFED, a national nonprofit organization that expands economic opportunity. CFED works to ensure that every person can participate in, contribute to, and benefit from the economy by bringing together community practice, public policy, and private markets. We identify promising ideas; test and refine them in communities to find out what works; craft policies and products to help good ideas reach scale; and foster new markets to achieve greater economic impact. Established in 1979 as the Corporation for Enterprise Development, CFED works nationally and internationally through its offices in Washington, DC; Durham, North Carolina; and San Francisco, California. www.cfed.org

Frontier is a local not-for-profit that provides affordable housing solutions to build better communities, Since 1974, Frontier has assisted over 800 families with homeownership. Frontier serves Bath, Carter, Elliott, Fleming, Morgan, Magoffin, Menifee, Rowan and Wolfe Counties. Frontier is also an outreach lender for Kentucky Housing Corporation offering FHA,VA and RHS loans. More information on Frontier can be found at www.frontierhousing.org .

Major funding for I’M HOME is provided by the Ford Foundation. More information on I’M HOME can be found at www.cfed.org/go/imhome .