2023 Year-in-Review

As we approach the end of another year, it’s only fitting to take a moment and reflect on the incredible journey we’ve been on. Amid challenges and uncertainties, 2023 has been a year of triumphs and growth at Next Step.

Our five-year strategic plan outlines our work areas and defines the ambitious goals that will carry us to 2026. Next Step made meaningful progress toward those goals, and we’re delighted to share what we’ve accomplished!

Strategic Plan Achievements

Our 2022-2026 Strategic Plan paves our path forward and guides our decision-making as we explore new projects and opportunities. Our vision is to go from a system that sells and finances homes on retail lots to one where prepared and supported homebuyers can shop online, access fair and equitable loan options, and purchase homes in vibrant, diverse neighborhoods. Here’s how we came closer to that vision:

Development Projects

Next Step has active manufactured housing development projects in Hagerstown, MD, Petersburg, VA, and Harrisonburg, VA, that will produce 286 new affordable homes. We’re thrilled to announce an exciting milestone – the arrival of the first homes in Petersburg and Hagerstown! The houses are being assembled and will welcome their first owners soon.

Front of manufactured home in the Kilpatrick Woods community of Hagerstown, VA.

Refreshed MH101 Homebuyer Course

Next Step is passionate about ensuring homebuyers can confidently purchase a manufactured home using a mortgage loan with buyer protections. Our redesigned Manufactured Housing 101 course provides homebuyers with foundational knowledge about manufactured homes and the homebuying process and includes information about what they should do next.

Developed a Path to get to ZERH Before 2026

Clayton announced that all their factories will be producing Zero Energy Ready Homes (ZERH) to the Department of Energy standards by January 2024. Their Zero Energy Ready package will be available to add to any Clayton home for no additional cost to the homebuyer. Clayton’s progressive decision has provided Next Step access to ZER sooner than expected!

A Zero Energy Ready Manufactured Home from Clayton Homes.

Launched Builder Blocks in Partnership with Clayton

Builder Blocks is an educational program designed for mission-driven developers working to bring more affordable housing to communities. We provide them with the necessary knowledge and resources to use manufactured housing in community development projects. Together with our partner, Clayton, we guide program participants through the benefits and capabilities of factory-built homes, preparing them to take the necessary steps toward completing their first project.

We’re Also Proud Of

Next Step’s Work Highlighted by the Council for Inclusive Capitalism

Next Step is honored to share that we’ve been included in the Council for Inclusive Capitalism’s magazine – Steps Forward! The 2023 edition of Steps Forward shares eight behind-the-scenes stories of how companies operate with a purpose that benefits everyone – employees, investors, customers, and communities. From affordable housing and food access to inclusive hiring practices and forward-thinking worker training, they reveal how they are building long-lasting social and economic value.

Homecoming for the Pucketts

The Puckett family found themselves abruptly uprooted by a devastating tornado, leaving them with little more than the clothes they wore. Russel, the family patriarch, faced health issues that demanded they relocate quickly. Earlier this year, the Pucketts were able to transition into a newly constructed home courtesy of Clayton Homes, providing them with a fresh start and a renewed sense of stability.

Next Step Shares Expertise at the I’m HOME Conference

Amy Barnard, Grant Beck, and Stacey Epperson each moderated panels on topics including manufactured housing development models, nonprofit development, and manufactured housing financing. We enjoyed connecting with fellow industry professionals to discuss issues facing the industry and how we can overcome them together.

Looking Ahead

As we draw the curtains on this year’s accomplishments, the team at Next Step is filled with gratitude and pride. Through collaborative efforts and dedication, we’ve not only raised awareness but also facilitated tangible change in communities.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to our supporters and partners. Your enthusiasm and belief in our mission have been the driving force behind every success. With your continued support, we look forward to another year of progress, collaboration, and, most importantly, creating homes that empower individuals and strengthen communities. Here’s to the remarkable achievements of the year gone by and the promise of an even brighter future.

Thank you for being an integral part of our mission!