Posts Tagged ‘tiny home’

“Vehicular Homelessness” Rising, Land Use, and Manufactured Housing Policies

August 2nd, 2018 Comments off



In the background of numerous mainstream media news stories are the underlying cause(s) of the headlined issue.


A recent example of this is a CBS News report on the stunning rise of what some are calling “vehicular homelessness.”  Even with economic improvements, more people are trying to figure out affordable living the best way they can.

Forget living in that mobile tiny house or RV, say some, and go straight to living out of your car, minivan or SUV.



Still from CBS News video, posted further below.


There are “how to” videos on YouTube that tell viewers how they’ve managed living out of their vehicles, so others in a similar financial fix can too.   There are over 15.5 million ‘hits’ on Google for this topic. The following two YouTube videos were selected at random out of scores of possible options, to give some flavor to the range of sophistication of those taking part in this troubling trend.

The first “how to” video has had over 4,000 views.

This second one has had over 400,000 views.


Those who are living in vehicles are often people who have a job.  But they can’t find an affordable home.

The problem with living in a vehicle – as CBS explained – is that living in your vehicle can also bring fines or other legal penalties. It’s simply not legal in many jurisdictions.



What’s a Common Thread Underlying These Issues?

Land use and related local zoning, state, and federal policies are at the heart of many of these issues.

As a recent court case reported by the Daily Business News spotlighted, there are concerns over the “unconstitutional taking” of a manufactured home community owner’s property rights at the center of several of these battles.


“Unconstitutional Taking,” “Gentrification on Trial” in Recent Oak Hill Manufactured Home Community Ruling


The legal case in Newark, AR is an example of how local policies are attempting to push those who already have a mobile or manufactured home out, based solely on the value of the home. But isn’t lower cost the essence of affordability?

Lawsuit Filed Against City to Defend Manufactured Home Owners Rights, led by Equal Justice Non-Profit

Zoning and land use are issues that MHProNews has explored for years, and a related report on MHLivingNews is linked below.


Local Star Chambers Wage War on Affordable Housing


An entrepreneur highlighted yesterday revealed how he took older mobile homes and manufactured homes, updated them, and created dozens of affordable housing options in community that previously had been failing.  Ryan Kirk’s community is an example of how free enterprise and vision can create affordable housing options that residents say has improved their standard of life.

Ryan Kirk–Investor & Entrepreneur-Gets Positive Media via Airbase Estates Mobile/Manufactured Home Makeovers, Exclusives, Videos

The solution in part – as the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), some state executives, and MHProNews – have said for years is the enhanced preemption provision of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.


See a prior related report that includes that download, above. Count on more coverage on this critical topic here in the days ahead. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

Focus on More Financing, HUD Program Reforms, Aimed at Increasing Manufactured Homes Sales, Meeting with Assistant Secretary–Federal Housing Commissioner, Brian Montgomery

Your Words Matter: Proper Terminology for Factory Built Homes

August 17th, 2017 Comments off

A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet,” wrote William Shakespeare. But calling a manufactured home, a ‘trailer’ or other inaccurate terms, has adverse consequences for home owners and the industry. This article is meant as a quick fact-based guide for newcomers, media and public officials. Collage credit, MHProNews.

The terminology [about factory-built housing] matters, because the terminology defines the construction standard.”

– Steve Duke, JD. (3)

Any time you speak or write, using the proper terminology is one of the most important things you can do. Using the wrong term, or an outdated phrase, can make what would have been a bold and powerful statement false or misleading.

This is especially true in the factory-built housing industry, where terms like “mobile home” and “trailer-house” are improperly and often interchangeably used to describe manufactured, modular and other types of prefabricated housing.

The facts are that there have been no “trailer-housesin over 60 years – and no “mobile homesin over 40 years.  That’s been true ever since the “HUD Code” for manufactured homes was put into effect.


NFPA is one of several organizations outside of manufactured housing that notes the importance of this issue.

As most industry professionals know, the HUD Code is a set of preemptive federal regulations that are overseen by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), to which all manufactured homes must be made compliant.

In fact, the HUD Code was something that manufactured home builders and other industry professionals fought to have created, in hopes that it would separate well-built manufactured homes from their older mobile home and trailer-house counterparts for which they are often mistaken.

Manufactured, Modular, Prefab Homes and More, Defined Properly for Industry Professionals

You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.” – Daniel Patrick Monaghan

Manufactured Home

A manufactured home is a dwelling built entirely in a factory-setting to the federally preemptive HUD Code construction, energy, and safety standards. The home is transported on its own wheels and chassis to the site where it will be sold, or installed for residential use.  In most cases, once the home is placed, the wheels and axels are removed.  They are not commonly moved from one site to another.  So the term ‘mobile home‘ or ‘trailer house‘ simply doesn’t fit or apply.


Mordern Manufactured Home, Credit, Hawkins Homes.

All manufactured homes are moved in one or multiple sections, depending on the size and layout of home. “Single-section” and “multi-section” manufactured homes are the proper term for what most would call a “single-wide”, “double-wide”, or “triple-wide” home.  Manufactured homes, per the U.S. Census Bureau, are about half the cost of conventional construction.


KMHI”s Betty Whitaker tells those she’s introducing to the industry that the phrase, “manufactured home” describes a building process.

Modular Home

Modular homes are similar to manufactured homes in that they are built in a factory setting. However, modular homes are built to a local building standard. Unlike manufactured homes, a modular home is routinely brought to the building site in modules which are completed on-location.


Modular Home, Credit, Modular Homeowners.

There are two ways that modular homes are transported from the factory to the building site – either on-frame, or on a flatbed. When modular homes (MODs) are moved on a chassis, similar to the way manufactured homes are transported, the chassis can be removed (though it is not always).

MODs on a chassis are often called ‘HUDulars,’ but that term in a misnomer.  But such modular homes with their own chassis are less expensive to install than those which are crane set.

Unlike HUD Code manufactured homes, modular homes (as well as panelized, prefabricated and other types of factory built housing) are subject to local  or state building codes, similar to ‘stick-built’ homes.  Modular homes are generally lower in cost than site building, but are higher than manufactured homes.

Modular homes can be larger than HUD Code manufactured homes, and may come in “two box,” or more modules – with some dwellings made up of “ten boxes” or more.

Panelized Home

A panelized home is similar to a modular home in some ways. The panels and components are built in a factory, and are finished at the home-site.  But as their name implies, they are not full modules.


Panelized Home, Credit, Grizzly Log Builders.

Once the panels are finished, they are moved to the building site, where they are assembled one panel at a time, using a crane. Since much of the electrical, plumbing, cabinets, carpets and more are all installed after the home is set-up at the building site, the cost is higher than other prefabricated housing, often closer in price to that of a traditional site-built home.

Prefabricated Home

The term prefabricated or prefab home is a generalized term that accounts for all types of factory built housing. Meaning all manufactured, modular and panelized homes are prefabricated.  Some use the term ‘factory built housing,’ which is similar to the term ‘prefab’ home.


Prefabricated Home, Credit, Inhabitat.

Tiny Home

A fairly recent housing trend is the so-called “tiny house.” Tiny houses are unique in the fact that they are often 100-400 square feet. They can be built to be mobile, and in those cases often resemble the mobile homes and trailer-houses of the past.  So some tiny houses are meant to move, others are tiny modular homes.

But many of the tiny houses are built to no code at all, which has led to legal woes for their owners. They are often not financeable.  So those who equate tiny houses with a manufactured home are mistaken.


Tiny Home, Credit, Country Living.

Presently, tiny homes are in a similar position that mobile homes were in before the HUD Code was put into action.  While currently unregulated, there is some effort underway to bring them into compliance with a site-built construction code, such as the IRC.

3D Printed Home

3D Printing is going to make big changes to the way we live in the future – and the manner in which manufactured and other factory built homes are made. While commercially available 3D printed houses are probably still 5-10 years or so into the future according to some experts, there has been at least one constructed so far.


3-D Printed Home, Credit, Engadget.

3D printed houses may evolve into one of the more cost-effective forms of construction in the foreseeable future. A start-up in San Francisco proved this point when they built an entirely 3D printed house in less than 24 hours.  Many nations are testing 3D printed housing, as the video below demonstrates.

Container Home

Container homes are similar to tiny homes when it comes to size.  They are often made out of repurposed shipping containers. Shipping containers are often only used once because of how inexpensive they are to produce in comparison to shipping them back and forth – which has created an abundance of unused shipping containers.


Container Home, Credit, Building Container Homes.

A part of the “green” movement, container housing is surprisingly affordable, and makes a great option for emergency shelters, and low-cost efficient homes.

RV – Recreational Vehicle

RV’s or Recreational Vehicles, while most are not technically meant to be lived in full time, and are at times confused with “mobile homes” or manufactured housing. They are generally no more than 400 square feet on the inside.  They are often built to the ANSI or other code.  They are not built to the HUD Code for manufactured homes.



Recreational Vehicle (RV), Credit, Moose Crossing RV.

Technically, “park model” model homes are often RVs, though they aren’t designed to be moved often.


Champion Homebuilders, Park Model. Credits: Champion Homebuilders, MarketWire.

Prefabricated Housing, Why Proper Terminology Matters

In the factory built housing industry proper terminology is important because it separates the modern manufactured home from the mobile homes and trailer-houses of the past.



Anecodtale evidence suggests that the wrong terminology impacts price. But it also impacts people’s emotions, see the poet who rejected the use of the t-word with regard to her home, by clicking here.  HUD’s PD&R documented that a manufactured home can appreciate side-by-side with conventional housing, which also rose in value.  See that report, linked here

Separating the truth from the myths is important in a misunderstood industry – and that effort can be made by anyone who works with or lives in a factory built home, simply by using the proper terminology, and spreading the truths that these homes are generally more durable than a site-built home, and are home to people of all walks of life, even millionaires.

How many legs does a dog have if you call his tail a leg? Four. Saying that a tail is a leg doesn’t make it a leg.”

– Abraham Lincoln

Your words matter – use them wisely. ## (Definitions, Analysis.)

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JuliaGranowiczManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews-comSubmitted by Julia Granowicz to Daily Business News for





Putting the Cart Before the Horse—Er, House—in Montana

June 26th, 2017 Comments off

Cartoon Credit: Missoula News

For several years, MHProNews has been following the booming growth of the Bakken oil field in western North Dakota, as in the example that is linked here.

The boom created an influx of thousands of job seekers, and their need for prompt availability of homes was primarily met with factory-built, or workforce housing.

That surge slackened when oil prices have fell.  It left a glut of empty housing.

Not far away in Missoula, Montana, the director of nonprofit Homeword, Andrea Davis, has long seen small manufactured homes as a gateway to homeownership for low income people.

When she saw the price tag of $35,000 for each home, appliances included, she ordered ten and figured she would determine how best to use them. (Most low-income housing projects start with demand.)

It was such a good opportunity that we didn’t want to let it go,” she says, but we didn’t have a project yet.”

Those 450 to 550 square foot homes were shipped to Missoula, per the Missoula News, and Homeword just received a $270,000 federal HOME grant awarded by the city this month.

New Frontier Tiny Home, 242 square feet, Credit: New Frontier

According to the Missoula Organization of Realtors, only eight percent of the homes sold last year in Missoula were priced under $150,000. Missoulians need an annual income of $63,000 to afford a median-priced home in the city. The HOME grant will allow five of the homes sold to people earning less than half that amount.

In many cases involving factory-built housing, zoning can be a problem as can objecting neighbors. Through discussions with other nonprofits, Davis has discovered an acre plot of land adjacent to the Missoula Food Bank where six of the units can be clustered on permanent foundations.

Including purchase of the property, installation of the homes and a little sprucing up, Davis figures the homes can be sold for $100,000 or less. “There’s just an opportunity to make these cute,” Davis says.

For purposes of comparison, $270,000 divided by five equals $54,000 for each home, if the total HOME grant is used for the total cost and installation of the homes. As MHProNews reported in a recent article, linked here, the Census Bureau reports that the average price in Dec. 2016, for a new single section, 14X70′ HUD Code manufactured home is $49,900.

Presuming that typical home in the Census Bureau reporting is a 924 square foot 14×70′ – consider the comparison. Granted, it’s nearly $15,000 more than the used Bakken oilfield home then Homeward paid, but that ‘average’ single sectional is also shiny, new and considerably larger.

Missoula, are you listening? ##

(Image credits are as show above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

Submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News on MHProNews.)

100K on Employee Housing – When Tiny Homes Attack

May 17th, 2017 Comments off

Are $100k “tiny homes” really an affordable solution for employees in one of the most expensive markets in the country? Credit: The Gazette.

In many parts of Colorado, housing is expensive. When it comes to ski resorts like Aspen Snowmass, it can be downright unaffordable.

According to the Gazette, the ski resort is working to solve that problem in one of the most expensive communities in the nation, by utilizing “tiny homes” that employees can rent. Their experiment began last winter, when resort owner Aspen Skiing Co. installed six, 500-square-foot manufactured homes at a company-owned campground last winter.

Company officials say that the plan worked out so well, that they’ve ordered another 34 homes.

Aspen Skiing Co. originally purchased the campground in 2008 to help supply employee housing, and long term tenants currently pay $750 per month to stay there.

That is, until September 1st. The company informed residents earlier this month that they would need to vacate.

Having to leave the campground will likely disrupt your life in a significant way. We sincerely regret this,” the company wrote in a letter to residents.

Unfortunately, Aspen Skiing Co.’s housing needs, combined with the valley-wide employee-housing crisis, demand this course of action.”


Credit: The Gazette.

The company says that it originally gave long-term residents notice in September 2015 that they would need to move by the following May, but a change of plans to convert the campground to an RV Park stopped the effort. Now, it’s in full swing, with incentives.

Residents who leave by June 30th are set to receive a $3,000 incentive, while those who leave by the end of July will receive $2,000. For those who choose to stay until the end of August, they will receive only $1,000.

The sooner a space is vacant, the sooner we can do site-specific work to prepare for the arrival of more trailer coaches,” the company’s letter said.

Aspen Skiing Co. says that it is buying the tiny homes from a manufacturer for $100,000 apiece.


When Reality Rears Its Ugly Head


While “tiny homes” may be all the rage, more and more people are finding that the real value is in a tried and true model.

Unlike tiny homes, which are still struggling with state and local regulations, buyers of manufactured homes generally avoid building code and zoning issues. In Washington State, a law passed in 2005 prevents cities from discriminating against manufactured homes, which has helped to break stereotypes.

Manufactured homes are built to a national code that ensures homes meet basic structural, safety and energy standards,” said Craig Sedlacek, the program manager for the Factory Assembled Structures program at the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries. The organization conducts building inspections for manufactured homes.

There’s no real definition for a tiny home. It might be built to a local code, a recreational vehicle (RV) code or no code at all. It’s important for buyers to understand what standards a home is built to before they buy it.”

For more on the progress in Washington State, click here.

MHProNews and MHLivingNews have covered the “tiny home” movement extensively, including the potential for big legal trouble for owners and a detailed side-by-side comparison with manufactured homes, highlighting function and value versus fashion. ##

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)



RC Williams, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.


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Beginning of the Smaller Manufactured Home Revolution?

January 9th, 2017 Comments off

Mark Green at his small home. Credit: Desert Sun.

The so-called “tiny home” movement has received quite a bit of coverage, both good and bad. Some call them sustainable and affordable, while others say that they are an impractical, illegal and an ineffective solution. Nevertheless, the media tends to love tiny houses.

In Palm Springs, California, realtor Paul Kaplan and property flipper Mark Green believe they have the perfect solution: sell factory built homes that are larger than common 200 (+/-) square foot tiny houses, but are still under 1,000 square feet.

According to the Desert Sun, the Paul Kaplan Group has received growing interest in a “micro home” community in the Palm Canyon Mobile Club, a long-standing manufactured home community in the Twin Palms neighborhood.

The plan is to fill the old “mobile home park” with about 100 vacant lots with smaller manufactured homes.

The houses will start at about 600 square feet on 2,600-square-foot lots, which will include fenced yards, carports and decks,” said Kaplan.


Paul Kaplan. Credit: Paul Kaplan.

Prices for the one-and two-bedroom models will start under $150,000.

The Kaplan Group has partnered with developers Ravinia Communities and Goetz Ventures on designing the homes, with high ceilings, carports and other amenities. Kaplan also confirmed that the homes could be moved.

The real ‘tiny homes’ are about 200 square feet, but we thought, that’s not livable,” said Kaplan.


A new home arrives at the Palm Canyon Mobile Club. Credit: Desert Sun.

It is an alternative for someone, people in my generation, I’m in my 50s, I just want to downsize, I want to get rid of the big house. This is a great place in Palm Springs, you’re not sharing walls, brand-new, indoor-outdoor living, the location is phenomenal… and there’s a really nice community created in a mobile-home [sic] environment where you do know your neighbors.

There are about 100 existing homes that will remain in the community.  These, per the report, are mostly multi-sectional – but are what they identified with the dated term “double-wides.”

Kaplan plans to have a model home open next month and 10 homes for sale this year.

Already in Action

In nearby Palm Desert, Mark Green already resides in his “micro home.

Green says that he realized several years ago that he didn’t use most of his 2,500-square-foot house in South Palm Desert, so he worked with a designer and created a guesthouse.

Green now lives in the 422-square-foot space and is renting his main house for about $2,500 per month.


Credit: Desert Sun.

We have to have something that is not quite so ‘tiny,’ but allows homeowners like myself to maximize the value of the property by doing something smart,” said Green.

It’s very cozy, it’s very comfortable, of course it’s new, I like living here as much as when I lived in the big house… (which) has become a source of income for me.

Green’s company, Guest House Advantage, offers guesthouses starting just under $80,000.

To bypass potential challenges and comply with city codes, Green says that they likely can’t be built on lots smaller than 7,500 square feet.

Several cities in the area have zoning codes that include minimum square-footage requirements for freestanding homes.

Kaplan’s Micro Homes are manufactured homes on existing manufactured-home community lots, and Green’s are considered guesthouses or “casitas.

While he hasn’t built one for a client yet, Green’s hook to potential buyers is versatility with the homes as long or short-term rentals, suites for extended family or options for downsizing.

I realized you don’t need a big house to be really comfortable,” Green said. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

NoHA Engineer Claims Revolutionary Home Concept, But Key Details Are Missing

December 21st, 2016 Comments off

This is an interesting project concept, however key details have not been provided as of press time.  Image credit: NoHA Life.

In a press release and video, Richard Perkin expresses what he calls his dream. That dream is for a happier, more exciting, and more “conscious way of life” with no environmental impact. It sounds great, because he says he is quitting his full time engineering job, and then sold his house to focus on it his project.

Its called NoHA Bios, and is on the Kickstarter funding site to further develop the prototype.

The Daily Business News routinely features 3D, prefab and modular concepts from around the globe, to keep systems- and factory-builders up-to-date one what’s trending, or up-and-coming.

But some of these projects lack key details, and that’s the case with NoHA. First, the Daily Business News will review the details from Perkin.  Then, we’ll look at the questions from MHProNews that he did not answer.

The Designer’s Key Claims

The shipping container-sized unit is said to expand to a two story, 800 square foot house with a garden on the roof.  It calls for a set of bespoke brackets to simplify the construction for do it yourself (DIY) assembly, with the rest of the structure comprised of structural timber and standard off-the-shelf materials and components to make it as affordable as possible.

The “not so tiny home,” costs around £16,000 ($19,947 USD) to build, aims to provide a truly independent and sustainable lifestyle, ultimately incorporating water, heating, refrigeration and food production along with waste reduction and recycling.

I had a desire for minimalist surroundings, but would feel claustrophobic in a traditional tiny house – I’m 6’3” tall,” said Perkin.

I wanted water without having to be connected to municipal services. I wanted a way to grow food all year round within arm’s reach. And I wanted ways to recycle all organic waste and to cook and heat with renewable energy sources…and for all of this to be incorporated into a transportable unit.


Credit: NoHA Life.

As the engineer-turned-architect looks for additional funding, he’s focused on his vision of making his homes available for everyone.

The NoHA BiOS is a living platform designed to challenge the norms, to redefine the idea of a house as a home…a vision to create a spacious, light and airy structure that provides the benefits of mobile living without the limitations of mobile homes, and offers the advantages of traditional static homes without the associated costs and disadvantages,” said Perkin.

My aim is to make the design available to as many people as possible in both, developed and developing countries so that anybody can build it for themselves at minimum costs as most of the structure is made from off the shelf materials and components.

Too Good To Be True? What Facts are Missing? 

Seasoned builders know that the shell of a structure is just part of the total cost.  Beyond the ‘skin’ of a prefabricated design, such as this one, are elements such as labor plus:

  • plumbing,
  • wiring,
  • cabinetry,
  • finish work,
  • floor coverings

and more. As any housing professional who looks objectively at this proposed project will note, none of those bullet items mentioned in any of Perkins’ promotional pieces. When MHProNews contacted Perkins to ask him – are those items priced into this design?

Silence. No replies. Potential investors – caveat emptor.

As one of our tag lines proclaims, We Provide, You Decide.” ©

The Daily Business News has covered the progression of modular and tiny homes recently, including “flat pack” modular homes being presented as a potential solution to the U.K. housing crisis. That story is linked here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Contractor in Fight Over Tiny Home

December 8th, 2016 Comments off

Gregg Taylor’s tiny home. Credit: CJOB.

Gregg Taylor, the Alberta, Canada based owner of GHT Contracting constructed the home of his dreams.

And the county he is in told him he had to get rid of it, or face a fine.

Although I’ve been a contractor for my entire adult life, I’ve never built a house that I’ve lived in,” said Taylor.

CJOB reports that the tiny home cost Taylor $15,000 to construct and includes a four foot balcony, two sleeping walls, a full bathroom and a kitchen.  Pretty good when you consider it’s only 20 feet long.

You can tow it on a half-ton truck,” said Taylor. With this economic downturn we’ve experienced here, I decided I’m going to do it.


Gregg Taylor. Credit: Houzz.

Rocky View County has told him if he doesn’t move the home he’ll be slapped with a $1500 fine.

Taylor has the home set up on five acres, but there are no services, which is the problem.

You have to remember this is a rural community; what are you going to do with water and waste water?” said Grant Kaiser, spokesperson for Rocky View County.

If you don’t have a municipal address how are we going to find you when you need the fire department or police department.

The county contends that the home does not meet the proper requirements.

The bottom line is the house simply appeared on the roadside with a large banner on it promoting a construction company,” said Kaiser. “Neighbors objected to the home being there and called it in. This from our perspective has less to do with a tiny home and more to do with advertising, or perhaps to do with a mobile home.

Kaiser also mentioned that plumbing sanitation was also a big concern, but Taylor says there are non-traditional solutions to that problem.

There’s composting toilets, there’s incinerating toilets. You can just use a regular toilet and use a stow and go,” said Taylor. “I’m working on a system right now of recycling my shower water… I recycle my sink water.


Inside Taylor’s tiny home. Credit: GHT.

Kaiser had some advice for Taylor for getting what he wants done.

If he’s looking to build a real tiny home in Rocky View County, simply apply for a development permit and follow the process through,” said Kaiser.

If he’s looking to have a mobile tiny home in Rocky View County then he has to do one of two things; he has to actually find a place that allows for that, or he has to find a property that already has an existing permanent residence on it so that the mobile tiny home can take advantage of the water source, the waste water, the municipal addressing for emergency services.

The Daily Business News has covered the “tiny home” trend for years, including a Missouri based nonprofit that plans to use tiny homes to help the disabled and chronically homeless. MHLivingNews has compared tiny houses to manufactured homes, at this link here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

New Rules for Tiny Houses crafted, Manufactured Housing Connections

September 26th, 2016 Comments off

cochinoocountyaz-creditgoogle-postedmanufacturedhousingindustrydailybusinessnewsmhpronewsThe saga of the legality of placement of tiny houses continues to play out throughout the United States. Coconino County, in north-central Arizona, is one such place.

Amanda Acheson, Sustainable Building Program Manager for Coconino County, said she is contacted an average of once per day by someone either interested in building or buying a tiny house.


In response to that rising demand, the county is taking action.

The county is crafting a new internal policy that establishes building, zoning and wastewater requirements for tiny houses. The county expects to roll out a final version of the policy in October.

The aim isn’t to layer on more regulation, but to create a system that makes it legal to have a tiny home in Coconino County,” said Acheson, to the AZDailySun.

Tiny homes also align with the county’s development and housing goals, providing an avenue for more affordable and flexible housing that is also resource efficient and environmentally sustainable.”


County policy defines a tiny home as one that is 200 to 400 square feet and is built on site or on an approved trailer.

Draft language includes adjusted requirements related to minimum room dimension, ceiling height, lofts, ladders and electrical standards.

The language also defines where the houses can be located. Those built on an approved foundation or those built on trailers that have the suspension and axle components removed and are established on a permanent foundation will be permitted in all zones that allow detached single-family dwellings.

Tiny Houses and Manufactured Home Intersections…

Some in the manufactured housing industry ask, how many jurisdictions provide a similar level of acceptance to HUD Code manufactured homes, which are built to federally preemptive construction and safety standards?

As another Daily Business News look at this trend demonstrates, manufactured home producers – like giant Clayton Homes – are making efforts to tap into the tiny house movement.  The video above, and the photo below, are examples of how manufactured housing operations are striving to connect to this trend.

Manufactured housing professionals from across the spectrum have strong views about related issues.

Brian Cira – president of Fairmont Homes, a division of AZ based Cavco Industries – stated in a related story, linked here, “Anybody with a brain in their head would look at a manufactured home.”

Cira elaborated by saying, “We do it much more efficiently, much more smartly. We’ve been doing this for decades.”

Tiny houses have received favorable media attention in recent years. But not enough attention has been focused on the fact that many, if not most, are not built to a building code, with some jurisdictions raising safety concerns,” said M. Mark Weiss, an attorney who is president and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).  Weiss’ comments were part of a report entitled Tiny House Owners Face Big Legal Trouble, linked here.


Eco-cottages are part of Cavco Industries’ efforts to tap into the tiny house/Park Model RVs/camping markets – photo credit, Columbus Dispatch, and is in a story linked here.

Back in Coconino County, AZ…

Tiny houses built on trailers when the running gear remains but are attached on an approved foundation are also allowed in zones that permit manufactured and pre-HUD Code mobile homes.

Tiny houses that are completely mobile are regulated by Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), and may be treated as recreational vehicles by the county.

Non-mobile tiny houses also will be allowed under the proposed rules as accessory dwellings units, which may be rented out.

This is exciting news for residents like Colin Bass. Bass has lived in his 200 square foot tiny home since 2015 and has made additions. He welcomes the new rules and shares why he chose tiny home living.

I decided that we waste a lot, we waste trash, we waste space, we waste food. The only thing I could think to do is to be minimalist, to minimize my stamp,” Bass said.

According to Acheson, Albuquerque and Pima County are the closest areas that have codes in place for tiny homes. She mentioned that she drew some elements from those places in putting the county’s policy together.

Before the county’s code was implemented, a tiny home would have to comply with the county’s regular building code. If it was built on a trailer, though, the county’s code doesn’t apply, so county staff would work on the project on a case-by-case basis,” Acheson said.

Bloomberg recently suggested that manufactured homes ought to rebrand as tiny houses, considering how much better the perception often is. MHProNews publisher L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach observed that Bloomberg‘s intent was well meaning, but that the solution for manufactured housing requires a multi-pronged, sustained effort that could tap the other 99% of the housing market that new manufactured homes currently fail to reach.  ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC WIlliams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Modular Tiny Home, 196 sq. ft., has All the Amenities

June 20th, 2016 Comments off

Tiny_Home_sanford_maine_tech_school_tammy_wells_journaltribue__creditWhen first-grade teacher Deirdre Brackett of Sanford, New Hampshire retires she will move into a 196 sq. ft. tiny home she contracted with Sanford Regional Technical School in Sanford, Maine for the students to build the modular home, as journaltribune tells MHProNews. An average hotel room is 325 sq. ft.

Nearly completed for its eventual siting in New Market, NH, the home will have an apartment-sized stove and small refrigerator, cupboards, sink and wall-mounted drop leaf table. A sliding door leads to a bathroom, the bed doubles as a couch, and stairs lead up to a loft where her grandchildren can sleep when they visit.

The home will have a heat pump for heating and cooling and an air exchange system to keep the air fresh. Brackett said she has under $25,000 invested in the tiny home, not including the land.

Sanford is in the very southern tip of Maine, near the NH border. ##

(Photo credit: journaltribune/Tammy Wells–Standing in front of the tiny home are instructor Troy Hathaway, Brackett, and students Teddy Vrandenburg and Tony Parent. Another student who worked on the home, Mike Mackie, is not pictured.)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Shepherd’s Hut Re-introduced as Tiny Home

April 14th, 2016 Comments off

united_kingdom__contemporary_shepherd_hut__credit__tiny_homeAll the rustic charm of the old English Shepherd’s Hut is captured in the tiny homes of Contemporary Shepherd Huts but with added modern touches like a skylight that runs the length of the home, kitchen and bathroom. The traditional shepherd huts were made for taking a snooze after a day’s labor in the fields.

The modular structures are made to order and can be used as an office, guest house or additional bedroom, according to what gizmag tells MHProNews. Built on a steel chassis with cast iron wheels and a tow bar, the floor of the interior is recycled pine and the outside is corrugated steel clad. Double-glazed windows and thick insulation make it cozy, while shading slats on the skylight prevent the interior from taking in too much heat.

The kitchen has a two burner stove, a fridge, freezer and sink, and the bath comes equipped with a shower toilet and sink. A bedroom and dining area round the space.

Designing and making small spaces is my passion, I like working within the constraints of limited space,” says Contemporary Shepherd Huts boss Thomas Alabaster. “The spaces I design are tailor made for my clients, so that the building reflects its surroundings and the people who use it.”

Contemporary Shepherd Huts typically start at £10,000 (US$14,156). ##

(Photo credit: Contemporary Shepherd Huts)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.