Tiny Home News
A fascinating thing has been happening. Tiny Homes and Moveable Homes, are finally starting to be included in top level conversations about developing solutions to the housing crisis. Advancements in construction techniques have demonstrated how homes can be built more efficiently, with higher quality standards and at far lower cost when they are built at a remote and controlled environment. The same regulatory hurdles that obstruct Tiny Homes on wheels, are limiting all sorts of new construction technologies that are also built modularly and meant for transport. While the country is in a massive affordable housing crisis we need to rethink zoning laws that impede the ability of the private sector to utilize new technologies to solve the problem. We can dump massive amounts of federal funding into building subsidized housing but nothing will have a greater effect on affordable housing than adjusting our outdated building and zoning codes. We have an industry ready to provide solutions, we have a society desperate for answers, all it takes is some common sense reform and amazingly that is an idea with increasing bipartisan support.
I think the current shift in momentum is the result of a movement of people who have been patiently committed to engaging in informative conversations and have maintained motivation despite long years of resistance. Up and down the west coast, tiny home friendly legislation has been passed and all of the recent zoning changes have truly taken years of exhaustive negotiation. As more and more changes happen it feels fantastic to be part of a tribe of people dedicated to advocating for laws that allow intentionally simplistic living. During this journey I have met many inspiring and passionate tiny house people and we have all contributed to the progress. Yet, some people deserve special recognition and few people have dedicated more of their time and done more to open minds than the producers of this video – Tiny House Expedition. I am truly lucky to call these two friends and we are all lucky that they are part of this special community.
If you are interested in following the progress of the tiny home movement or help us gain legal traction, go follow Tiny House Expedition’s YouTube page!
Zack Giffin Has Joined Our Board Of Directors!
Dr. Ben Carson
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Innovative Housing Showcase Opening Remarks
Washington, D.C., National Mall, June 1, 2019
Welcome, everyone, to the inaugural Innovative Housing Showcase!
he Purpose Of The Showcase: Increasing Affordability and Resiliency
What brings this incredible array of pioneers together this week is a joint mission to educate and inform America’s national conversation on housing policy. We believe the best way to galvanize people and policymakers toward a powerful vision of the future is to place that vision right in front of them – and show them what is truly possible.
The Showcase features state-of-the-art building technologies and housing solutions that can make home ownership more affordable for American families, and homes more resilient during natural disasters. In addition, there will be a wide array of exhibitions, prototype homes, panel discussions, and policy conversations with leaders across the housing industry over this five-day event.
Executive Order Establishing a White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing
These regulatory barriers impede our Nation’s economic growth. Hardworking American families struggle to live in markets where there is an insufficient supply of housing — even in markets generating a significant number of jobs. One recent study suggests that certain regulatory restrictions on housing supply have forced workers to live far away from high-productivity areas with the best available jobs, creating a geographic misallocation of labor between cities that may have decreased the annual economic growth rate in the United States by 36 percent between 1964 and 2009.
Manufactured Home Procedural and Enforcement Regulations; Clarifying the Exemption for Manufacture of Recreational Vehicles
This rulemaking revises the exemption for the manufacture of recreational vehicles to clarify which recreational vehicles qualify for an exemption from HUD’s Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards and Manufactured Home Procedural and Enforcement regulations. HUD is adopting a recommendation of the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) but expanding the definition of recreational vehicle and modifying it to require certification with the updated ANSI standard, A119.5-15.
A General Misunderstanding of the Proposed Rule
Comments: Commenters stated that the rule would prohibit full-time RV living. Other commenters stated that the rule implied that HUD would regulate consumer use of RVs. Commenters may have based this conclusion on the proposed definition of “recreational vehicle” that includes a criterion that a RV be designed only for recreational use. The commenters stated that the criterion would deter full-time RV and tiny home living while yielding no safety improvements.
HUD Response: HUD respectfully disagrees with the various fundamental premises and conclusions of these commenters about secondary effects.
Initially, as stated in this preamble, HUD is not regulating use of manufactured homes or RVs. More specifically, how individuals decide to use their manufactured home or RV unit after purchase—and, in some cases, after receiving a Manufacturer’s Notice about the unit’s compliance with RV standards—is beyond the scope of this final rule. The regulation of use and occupancy of RVs is the purview of state and local authorities, not HUD.
Because this rule does not prohibit or regulate the use of manufactured homes or RVs, including tiny homes, the secondary consequences described by certain commenters are moot, and HUD does not believe that there exists a need to address them individually. HUD also states that this rule does not dictate the minimum square footage of a home, nor does it require modular homes to be “as stable” as foundation-built homes. It also does not require manufacturers to obtain RVIA certification to claim the RV exemption. HUD reiterates that when it first codified the RV exemption in 1976, it unequivocally stated that RVs were not designed to be used as permanent dwellings. This final rule does not alter that underlying rationale for the exemption. Moreover, as noted above, both the ANSI and NFPA standard descriptions underscore the need to distinguish RVs from permanent housing.
The RV Industry
Three Things You Need To Know About The New HUD Rule
On November 16, 2018, HUD released a final rule which updates the definition of RV to definitively exempt RV from HUD’s regulation. While this is a huge win for the RV industry, this new rule includes two provisions that have prompted the RV Industry Association to raise concerns: Requiring PMRV manufacturers to display a “Manufacturer’s Notice” and tying the rule specifically to the 2015 versions of the NFPA and ANSI standards.
HUD Does not Regulate RVs, including PMRVs and Fifth-Wheels
Most importantly, the newly finalized rule clearly establishes that HUD does not regulate RVs, including PMRVs and fifth-wheels, which provides much-needed regulatory certainty to RV manufacturers. Earlier RV exemptions did not establish a bright line between RVs, which are designed for temporary, seasonal or recreational use, and manufactured housing which is designed to be a permanent, year-round dwelling. The blurry distinction began to cause confusion in recent years as RVs have become larger and park model RVs have risen in popularity.
Affordable Housing Efforts Threaten RV Industry
In an effort to increase affordable housing, some policymakers across the country have begun to look to tiny homes as a solution. Unfortunately, these efforts have led some legislators, officials and other interest groups to attempt to co-opt RV and PMRV standards and definitions to use them for permanent-use tiny home standards. Washington state was the most active in this effort this year.
Although both NFPA 1192 and ANSI A119.5 specifically state that these standards are for temporary-use vehicles, bills in Washington would have incorrectly defined all types of RVs and used the RV and PMRV standards to define permanent structures.
This page is dedicated to the process of adopting Appendix Q: Tiny Houses into the building code of every state in the US. The appendix has been approved by the International Code Council (ICC) and is part of the 2018 International Residential Code (IRC), the model code for every state except Wisconsin. This page is a work in progress, so if you know of a municipality which has approved tiny house Appendix Q please email email@example.com and we will list it below. Thank you!
The International Code Council (ICC) is Awarded
American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Accreditation
- Residential Building Inspector – B1
- Commercial Building Inspector – B2
Tiny House Advocacy News
Tiny house advocacy is happening all over the United States. Your help is needed! Here we share the latest legalize tiny efforts, calls to action, and of course, victories. Follow along to stay up-to-date on important news. Please Contact Tiny House Expedition with any relevant information that you would like us to share.
ASTM E541-10 Withdrawn
Update From Pacific West Associates And Pacific West Tiny Homes
ASTM E541-10 Withdrawn: Response From Alex With Pacific West Tiny Homes
Hello everyone! We are dropping in to give an update to something some of you might have noticed, and some of you might have missed!
Recently the ASTM (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials) withdrew their print edition E541-10 standard, which we cite in our references. The new, more widely encompassing standard is ASTM E699-16. We are still qualified under this standard, and as we have had some misinformation spreading about the withdrawal, we felt it was right to inform everyone. The standard references have been updated on our website and marketing materials!
We still meet all requirements for a certification agency as defined by ASTM, through our parent company Pacific West Associates, Inc.
Pacific West Tiny Homes, Inc. is an inspection agency, and our parent company is Pacific West Associates, Inc. who certifies the product with over 30 years of qualifications and experience. Our president, Chuck Ballard, sits on the committees that writes the standards for NFPA 1192 and ANSI A119.5. This is the same code that RVIA and PWA certify to.