Forcht Bank joins energy efficient housing initiative
Lexington, KY – Forcht Bank has joined the SmartMHKY Alliance, a partnership of cross-sector stakeholders committed to increasing access to ENERGY STAR homes with better loans across Kentucky.
Forcht will host a check dedication ceremony with Next Step on Monday, March 21 at 11 am Eastern Time. The ceremony will be held at Forcht’s main office in London, Kentucky at 100 First Financial Plaza, London KY 40741. All are welcome to attend.
As a SmartMH Partner, Forcht Bank joins an initiative to stimulate the marketplace for energy-efficient manufactured homes that come with flexible financing to save homeowners money.
Forcht Bank decided to join the SmartMH KY Alliance to increase access to quality financing for manufactured homes. This is an opportunity to continue to improve the quality of communities by helping Kentuckians finance homes that will provide comfortable living conditions throughout the year.
“Once being introduced to the SmartMH program we immediately understood the positive impact we could have on communities across Kentucky,” said Tucker Ballinger, President and CEO of Forcht Bank. “Our vision is to be a great community bank, and supporting the SmartMH initiative fits perfectly with that vision.”
Forcht Bank in partnership with SmartMH is expanding the impact of an ENERGY STAR upgrade program in Kentucky administered by the Systems Building Research Alliance. Supported by incentives from utilities and Kentucky Housing Corporation, participating factories are offering ENERGY STAR upgrades for a small cost or no additional cost.
While manufacturers receive the incentives, the real people that benefit are homebuyers. Homebuyers that finance their ENERGY STAR manufactured homes with SmartMH loans gain the added value of a quality financing product. ENERGY STAR 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.
Manufactured homes are an important source of affordable housing for Kentuckians, accounting for 14% of the state’s overall residential stock. About 2,000 manufactured homes are sold in Kentucky each year with less than 1% certified as ENERGY STAR. Homes not certified as ENERGY STAR are more expensive to own and operate, and as a result place strain on families that could benefit from energy cost savings and lowered monthly housing expenses.
Louisville-based nonprofit, 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.
For more information on how a homebuyer can get their new home with ENERGY STAR efficiency and lower utility bills, visit www.SmartMH.org.