The program, which began in Kentucky in November 2016 in a collaboration with online homebuyer education platform eHome America–seeks to attract lenders, manufactured housing retailers and housing counselors to participate in the manufactured housing marketplace and broaden access to resources for prospective homebuyers. Lenders that participate in the program work with prospective homebuyers on finding a HUD-certified, nonprofit housing counseling organization that provides access to a homebuyer education course specific to this housing sector, and then work on getting them pre-approved to purchase a modern, energy-efficient manufactured home. To date, more than 1,150 individuals have enrolled in the SmartMH program.
"Our collective efforts will help increase borrower access to quality, yet affordable homes across Texas and Mississippi and especially in markets that have traditionally been underserved," said Danny Gardner, senior vice president, affordable lending and access to credit at Freddie Mac. "Manufactured homes are an important and growing source of affordable housing and the SmartMH program helps increases lender participation, while at the same time broadening access to homebuyer education and housing counseling for individuals and families in these states."