An eastern Iowa factory that builds modular homes holds its grand opening and dedication ceremony today. The Rural Housing Institute is located in the Muscatine County town of Wilton. Officials say it will build houses that are energy-efficient and affordable, without skimping on quality.Mark Patton is C-E-O of the new factory, which he says will produce houses that range from one-thousand to 18-hundred square feet and include features like 50-percent more insulation, solid wood cabinets and Pella windows. Patton says the goal is to create “first” homes for working-class Iowans.Patton says most builders have gotten out of building this type of home because the profit margin is so low. He says 24 high school and college students will be offered construction training at the factory this fall. This year’s goal for the new factory is to build 20 houses.Patton says the state has put up 300-thousand dollars for the Rural Housing Institute to loan out to communities. The money can be used to tear down old houses to free up lots or to “buy down” the cost of lots for eligible potential homeowners.
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