A Message from Our President and Board Chair

Dear Next Step Partners and Supporters

The first year of Next Step’s five-year strategic plan is in the books, and we have milestones to celebrate while also recognizing that our work will always require us to be adaptable and innovative.

In 2022, we took our first steps toward achieving our five-year goals.

While we’re proud of our progress, we acknowledge that the challenges of the current housing market still need to be addressed for millions of American households. Research shows a housing supply gap of 3.8 million housing units, and construction of entry-level homes is at a 50-year low. Millions of Americans aged 45 and younger are considered “mortgage ready” but cannot find an attainable home at their price point. At the same time, high-interest rates and energy costs are further moving the goalpost for prospective buyers.

Manufactured housing is not a silver bullet but a vital part of a larger, more comprehensive solution to increase the attainable housing supply.

Yet, we’re excited about recent movements in this space, both in the public and private sectors. The Biden Administration’s Housing Supply Action Plan specifically calls attention to the potential of manufactured housing and aligns with our goal of removing zoning barriers to better housing outcomes. The new PRICE Fund is the most significant investment of federal funding for manufactured housing in our country’s history. It presents a unique opportunity to address the pervasive need for mobile home replacement in both manufactured home communities and in persistent poverty regions. In a move better for both homebuyers and the environment, our long-term partner, Clayton, is moving to build all new residential manufactured homes to Department of Energy (DOE) Zero Energy Ready Home specifications by January 1, 2024.

By bringing more people under the tent, including developers, appraisers, counselors, realtors, policymakers, and community leaders, we are seeing an entirely new market segment emerge in front of us – one that better serves the housing needs of everyone.

We’re just getting started, and we want you to be a part of our journey to transform the American homeownership market. Your contribution furthers our mission of putting sustainable homeownership within reach of more Americans. We invite you to donate to Next Step here!

Thank you for your continued support and advocacy for our work and mission.


Damon Allen

Damon Allen, Board Chair
Next Step Network

Stacey Epperson

Stacey Epperson, President & Founder
Next Step Network


Completed Year 1 of our Strategic Plan
In 2021, Next Step created a five-year strategic plan that would influence and guide our work from 2022 – 2026. We’ve completed Year 1 of that plan and have made meaningful progress toward accomplishing the goals we’ve outlined for the organization. Learn more about the strategic plan and what we accomplished in the first year here.

Navicore Selected as Next Step’s National Counseling Partner
Navicore Solutions is a HUD-certified housing counselor committed to acting in the best interest of their clients and to providing unbiased guidance to homeowners and consumers across the country. As our partner, Navicore will support Next Step’s upcoming community development projects by providing counseling services to our potential homeowners.

Clayton® & Next Step® Unveil White Paper Demonstrating the Appreciation Potential of Factory-Built Homes
Next Step partnered with Clayton to author a white paper explaining how factory-built homes can appreciate in the same way as site-built homes. Our friends, the Woody Family, were featured in the report. In 2015, they purchased a Clayton home and a land parcel for $179,500. Since then, the home and property have appreciated to an estimated $315,000.

Secured Funding for More Than 250 Homes
Next Step received funding to build 241 homes in Hagerstown, Maryland and 17 homes in the historically Black neighborhood of Petersburg, Virginia. These projects take us a step closer to our goal of opening 20 new markets by 2026.

Progress Made Toward Producing Zero Energy-Ready Homes
Next Step was chosen to participate in the US DOE’s Zero Energy Ready Manufactured Home (ZERH MH) pilot program and will facilitate the acquisition and construction of three homes built to the ZERH MH specifications. One of these homes will be part of the revitalization project in Petersburg, VA.

Board of Directors

Damon Allen, Chairperson

Clemente Mojica, Vice-Chairperson

Barry Noffsinger, Treasurer

Kim Vermeer, Secretary

Billimarie Lubiano Robinson

Deborah Campbell

George McCarthy

Hale Shaw

Jay Arneja

Lanalle Smith

Lauren Williams

Lowell Ungar

Robin Roy

Next Step Staff

Stacey Epperson, President & CEO

Amy Barnard, Vice President of Next Step Homes

Grant Beck, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships

Kelly Fleck, Vice President of Homeownership

Kathryn Gwatkin Goulding, Chief Impact Officer

Destinie Hammond, Communications Manager

Billie Wells, Controller

Cindy George, Board Secretary and Accountant

Funders and Supporters

Clayton Homes Foundation

NeighborWorks America

Inclusive Capital Partners

Kentucky Housing Corporation

Neighborhood Partnership Housing Services, Inc. (NPHS)

Freddie Mac

Habitat for Humanity International, Inc.

Individual Donors

Chris Nicely

Cindy George

Clem Nichols

Frank Olson

Kathryn Gwatkin Goulding

Kelly Fleck

Logan Hanes

Melissa Leasure

Robert Brown

Scott Hampton

Stacey Epperson

Tootie Larios McCarthy