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Champion Enterprises Among First to Build Permanent Modular Military Housing

At Fort Lewis, off-site construction allows for larger homes, more features, and a faster build schedule

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Oct. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Champion Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: CHB), a leader in the factory-built housing industry, today announced that its Genesis Homes unit, in collaboration with Equity Residential and Lincoln Properties, will be among the first to provide modular construction for permanent military housing on a U.S. Armed Forces base. The new homes will be built off-site, replacing outdated military housing at Fort Lewis Army Post in Washington State.

During the first phase of the project, Genesis Homes will provide 67 buildings of one and two story duplexes and triplexes, providing housing for 174 families. The homes will be built at Champion's Oregon facility.

The New Urbanism designed development will feature homes with covered front porches, rear entry garages with alley access, and several different elevations with different but complementary paint schemes. The homes will range in size from 1,850 to 2,200 square feet and include open floor plans, 9- foot ceilings, island kitchens, first floor laundry rooms and skylights.

Fort Lewis is one of four pilot projects for the Army's Residential Communities Initiative (RCI) privatization program whose primary objective is to eliminate inadequate family housing. In 2002, Equity Residential and their development partner, Lincoln Property Company, signed a 50-year agreement to provide the base with new homes, renovate existing homes, own and manage all housing properties, as well as improve the overall quality of communities with trails, recreation centers and other features.

Two years into the contract, the Army raised its minimum standards for construction that increased square footage requirements and upgraded many amenities. Equity Residential needed a solution that would allow it to meet the new standards and maintain the architectural integrity of the project.

"Given the size, scope and importance of this project, this is another highly credible endorsement of the advantages of using off-site construction," said Kevin Flaherty, vice president of Marketing, Genesis Homes, a unit of Champion Enterprises. "Our building technology has advanced to the point where you simply cannot tell the difference between a home built off-site by Genesis and a traditional site-built home."

The condition of military housing nationwide is a major quality of life issue for soldiers and their families, and studies have shown that new or renovated quality homes can contribute to a soldier's decision to re-enlist. Consequently, the Pentagon proposed and Congress enacted, the Military Housing Privatization Initiative as part of the 1996 National Defense Authorization Act. This law allows the military services to address their housing needs by using privately financed and built housing constructed to market standards.

"By partnering with Genesis Homes and converting our conventional construction to modular, we've been able to control construction and financing costs due to the much shorter construction period," said Boyd Lucas, executive development manager, Equity Residential. "At the same time, we've been able to incorporate the new Army standards while getting structurally superior homes."

At Fort Lewis, Genesis' advanced building process accelerates the ability to provide Army personnel with updated housing for their families and with minimal disruption to the base and neighborhood. By building off-site, Genesis reduces the number of construction workers on base resulting in less congestion and less security clearances needed. In addition, the amount of construction waste and debris is greatly reduced making for a remarkably clean job site and a safer work environment.

About Genesis Homes

Genesis Homes, a member of the Champion Enterprises, Inc. family of homebuilders, is headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich. Genesis operates nine modular homebuilding facilities strategically located to serve builders and developers nationwide. To learn more, contact Kevin Flaherty at

About Champion Enterprises

Champion Enterprises, headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., a leading manufacturer of factory-built housing, has produced more than 1.6 million homes since 1953. Today, Champion operates 32 homebuilding manufacturing facilities in North America and partners with nearly 3,000 independent retailers, builders and developers. For more information, please visit .

About Equity Residential

Equity Residential, an S&P 500 company, is the largest publicly traded apartment company in America. Equity Residential (EQR) engages in the acquisition, development, ownership, management, and operation of multifamily properties in the United States. Nationwide, Equity Residential owns or has investments in 933 properties in 32 states and the District of Columbia consisting of 198,240 units. For more information on Equity Residential, please visit our website at .

About Fort Lewis

Fort Lewis, part of Forces Command, is the home of I Corps. It is one of 15 US power projection platforms. The Corps' primary focus is Pacific Rim. The principal Fort Lewis maneuver units are the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division and the 3d Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. It is also home to the 593d Corps Support Group, the 555th Engineer Group, the 1st MP Brigade (Provisional), the I Corps NCO Academy, Headquarters, Fourth ROTC Region, the 1st Personnel Support Group, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), 2d Battalion (Ranger), 75th Infantry, and Headquarters, 5th Army (West). Soldiers receive first-rate medical care through Madigan Army Medical Center. Located in the Pacific Northwest on Puget Sound, Fort Lewis is adjacent to McChord Air Force Base. Fort Lewis has abundant high-quality, close-in training areas, including 115 live fire ranges. Additional training space is available at the Yakima Training Center in eastern Washington, including maneuver areas and additional live fire ranges. Population served: Fort Lewis has more than 25,000 soldiers and civilian workers. The post supports 120,000(+) retirees and more than 29,000 family members living both on and off post. Size: Fort Lewis proper contains 86,000 acres; the Yakima Training Center covers 324,000 acres.

SOURCE Champion Enterprises, Inc.

NOTE TO EDITORS: High-resolution photographs of the Fort Lewis project are available on request.


CONTACT: Kevin Flaherty, Vice President Sales and Marketing of Genesis Homes, +1-919-467-0099, ; or Lisa D. Lettieri, Vice President of Investor Relations of Champion Enterprises, +1-248-340-7731,


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