findCRA is proud to share a successful connection story between Next Step Network, our strategic partner, and Forcht Bank!
Forcht Bank has joined the SmartMH℠ KY Alliance, a partnership of cross-sector stakeholders committed to increasing access to ENERGY STAR homes with better loans across Kentucky, sponsored by Next Step. This past Monday, March 21st, a check dedication ceremony was held at Forcht’s main office in London, Kentucky. Forcht joins the alliance as the first traditional bank lender in the program.
As part of this connection, Forcht Bank is committed to increasing access to quality financing for manufactured homes throughout its market areas in the Commonwealth. Homebuyers will have access to great mortgage products offered by Forcht as they participate in the benefits of the SmartMH KY program. Supported by incentives from utilities and Kentucky Housing Corporation, participating manufactured housing factories are offering ENERGY STAR upgrades for a small cost or no additional cost. These homes lower utility bills, providing thousands of dollars in savings over the life of a home. They are also more comfortable, quieter, require less maintenance and have a higher resale value.
Louisville-based nonprofit and findCRA strategic partner, Next Step Network, is sponsoring the SmartMH KY Alliance. Next Step is identifying loan products through lenders like Forcht Bank that meet the SmartMH mission for customers buying ENERGY STAR manufactured homes in Kentucky. SmartMH loans provide benefits like good rates, better terms and assistance with down payment or utility costs. SmartMH loans are currently available through Forcht Bank, Kentucky Housing Corporation, Key Mortgage Company and CU Factory Built Lending.
As a result of SmartMH loan products and the ENERGY STAR upgrade program, it is projected that ENERGY STAR manufactured home shipments in Kentucky will increase from less than 1% to 50% in two years. This has the potential to deeply impact the approach to energy efficiency within Kentucky’s marketplace and the resulting benefits will extend to homebuyers and the communities in which they live.
findCRA is excited for the continuing community benefits this connection will bring throughout Kentucky, making a real difference in the life of manufactured homebuyers. Congratulations to both Next Step and Forcht Bank on this new partnership!