Program Touts Energy-efficient Manufactured Homes

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A nonprofit program based in Louisville is helping steer people toward purchasing energy-efficient manufactured homes.

The new program, called Next Step, connects the manufactured home industry with affordable-housing organizations across the country.

[Next Step - Affordable Housing Done Right]

The program's partner is East Tennessee-based Clayton Homes, a leading maker of manufactured homes.

Next Step has expanded into 20 states so far.

It has helped more than 100 families purchase energy-efficient manufactured homes that will significantly reduce their utility bills.

The program is the brainchild of Stacey Epperson, a longtime advocate of affordable housing. She is president and CEO of Next Step.

Each home features energy-efficient heating and cooling systems and high-performance windows and insulation.

The homes also are placed on permanent foundations to help guarantee the homebuyers qualify for the best fixed-rate home financing available.