White River Jct., Vt. – October 30, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — Housing and energy efficiency advocates unveiled a new high-performance, energy efficient manufactured home today that is the first of its kind in the nation. It is specifichttp://realestaterama.com/wp-admin/post-new.phpally designed for northern climate conditions and uses one-third of the energy of a typical ENERGY STAR rated manufactured home.
The home is one of 10 being constructed by the Vermont Manufactured Housing Innovation Project, a pilot collaboration led by the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, Efficiency Vermont, the High Meadows Fund and others.
“This project puts Vermont on the leading edge of the market transformation to truly resilient and affordable housing,” said Gov. Peter Shumlin. “Buyers need more options, and this is the first step in changing the conversation about what is possible in the manufactured housing market.”
The homes are designed to provide alternatives for Vermont’s aging mobile home stock and to increase the supply options for quality affordable housing. The project arose out of the need to respond to the loss of homes in 2011 due to Tropical Storm Irene where a disproportionate number of mobile homes were damaged or destroyed.
The project convened Vermont housing advocates and energy specialists to collaborate on the design of a new type of mobile home that maximizes both durability and affordability. The aim was to design the highest-quality manufactured home while keeping energy costs at a minimum to make it an affordable option for low-income buyers. The high performance homes also provide a new option for buyers to consider who cannot afford the construction or purchase of a traditional single-family home.
“Improved structural resiliency is only one of the important benefits of these homes,” said Jim Merriam of Efficiency Vermont. “Owners will immediately see a 70 percent reduction in energy costs as compared to a conventional newly-constructed mobile home. This means that total ownership costs – taking into account both mortgage payments and energy costs – will be the same, or lower, every single month.”
VHCB, the High Meadows Fund and other funders are providing purchase subsidies for the 10 pilot project homes, with down payment assistance available through the Champlain Housing Trust and the Addison County Community Trust. The minimum subsidy for qualified buyers of the pilot homes is $30,000. Fixed rate financing will also be available from several Vermont credit unions and banks.
“Mobile home residents represent a vulnerable and historically underserved population, and these high performance homes present the community with an affordable option for energy efficient, durable housing,” said VHCB Executive Director Gus Selig. “It’s a very important development for the housing market and is the result of the hard work, cooperation and teamwork of many Vermonters to make this happen.”
The high-performance homes feature triple-pane windows, built-in heat recovery ventilation systems and high levels of insulation for efficient heating and cooling, durable soundproofing construction and a significant improvement in air quality due to the absence of chemicals in construction materials. The open floor plans offer natural sunlit spaces, a large kitchen, and plenty of closet space and are available in 2-bedroom, 2-bath or 2-bedroom, 1 bath models.
“In addition to the energy savings, what owners will notice immediately is increased overall comfort due to the high-quality construction and design efficiencies,” said builder Steve Davis of Vermod High Performance Homes in White River Junction. “These are very solid units, with no draftiness in the winter or unbearable heat in the summer, and because of the durability of construction, we expect that they will retain their value over time far longer than a traditional unit.”
The 10 high performance 66’–70’ single-wide manufactured homes in the pilot project can be purchased by Vermont buyers and will be placed in non-profit mobile home parks or privately owned lots throughout the state.
“I am very lucky and very happy,” said owner of the first home to come off the line Joel Ferris. “I’ve been through a lot, but I’ve had plenty of help to get this new, energy efficient home. I don’t have to worry about the burden of fuel in the winter; it’s going to be easier without those extra costs. Energy efficiency is the way to go and positive thinking is a great help.”
“I am delighted that Twin Pines Housing Trust has been able to participate in this exciting pilot program and that Joel will be buying the first home built for our South Royalton Mobile Home Park,” said Twin Pines Housing Trust Executive Director Andrew B. Winter.
The high performance homes are available through Vermont’s network of nonprofit housing development organizations and NeighborWorks® HomeOwnership Centers. For more information, contact the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board at 828-3250, email or visit www.vhcb.org/mhip
The Vermont Manufactured Homes Innovation Project is a collaboration between the following organizations and funders:
Vermont Housing & Conservation Board
High Meadows Fund
Vermont Community Foundation
CVOEO Mobile Home Project
Vermod High Performance Manufactured Housing
Vermont’s NeighborWorks® HomeOwnership Centers
Vermont Department of Housing & Community Development
Vermont Housing Finance Agency
University of Vermont Dept. of Community Development and Applied Economics
Manufactured Housing Innovation Project Working Group
Upper Valley Housing Coalition
Sustainable Futures Fund
Ben and Jerry’s Foundation.
Vermont’s Nonprofit Housing Development Organizations: Twin Pines Housing Trust, Champlain Housing Trust, Addison County Community Trust, Lamoille Housing Partnership, Rural Edge, Housing Foundation Inc., Housing Trust of Rutland County, Windham & Windsor Housing Trust, Central Vermont Community Land Trust, Shires Housing and NeighborWorks of Western Vermont.
Contact information is available at www.vhcb.org/mhip.html.