Communities hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic face losing affordable homeownership option
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Grant Beck, Marketing and Communications Manager
Phone: (202) 851-7550
LOUISVILLE, KY – April 17, 2020 – Manufactured housing retailers across the country are anticipating up to a 30 percent decrease in sales due the economic fallout from the novel coronavirus, potentially reducing the availability of factory-built homes as an affordable housing option for thousands of American home buyers.
In a recent survey of retailers nationwide, Next Step discovered 72 percent of respondents indicated that their business is somehow restricted due to COVID-19, and 70 percent expect a decrease in home sales up to or greater than 30 percent as result of economic challenges posed by the pandemic.
“The spread of COVID-19 has tremendously impacted many segments of our economy, including housing,” said Stacey Epperson, president and founder of Next Step Network. “We face an unprecedented unemployment challenge, and the communities hardest hit rely on manufactured homes as a viable source of affordable homeownership. As new programs emerge to support businesses and families, we must ensure that manufactured housing remains a part of the conversation.”
Leveraging self-reported information from participating members of Next Step’s SmartMH program (which connects prospective home buyers with housing counseling and education resources) the organization has provided a snapshot of manufactured housing retailers as impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Retail sales centers responded to questions on three primary areas: operations, digital marketing and sales forecasting.
For decades, manufactured housing has served as the largest source of unsubsidized housing for very-low, low- and middle-income Americans, and accounts for nearly 100,000 new homes annually. Based on 2016 data, the median household income among manufactured homeowners was $43,900, about half the median household income compared to site-built homeowners.
Next Step® Network, Inc.
Next Step® Network, Inc. is a national, nonprofit housing intermediary that works to promote expanded use of factory-built housing as a viable solution to address housing affordability. Our organization mobilizes a national network of mission-driven nonprofits, leaders in the manufactured housing industry and lending institutions serving home buyers and homeowners in their communities. Next Step’s system – Manufactured Housing Done Right® – connects responsible financing, comprehensive homebuyer education and delivery of high-quality, ENERGY STAR® manufactured homes at scale, creating a model that brings more value to the homeowners and communities. Learn more at www.nextstepus.org.