Does the Building Code Apply to Mobile Homes? - March 2021

By Michael Rimoldi, MPO, CBO, CFM Senior Project Manager, J. S. Held LLC
Tue, Mar 09, 2021

Many people assume that all buildings are governed by the Building Code, but this is not the case. Throughout the country, there are several types of structures, which are exempt from the provisions of the Building Code. Within Florida for example, the law exempts “structures specifically regulated and preempted by the federal government” from the requirements of the Florida Building Code (FBC). So, are mobile and manufactured homes required to comply with the FBC? Yes and no.

To better understand where we are today regarding this issue, we need to understand where we came from. This issue goes back to the “New Deal” passed during the Great Depression, which enacted the “National Housing Act of 1934” in an attempt to protect homeowners from foreclosure. This law was amended in 1937 and again in 1949, which led to the development of several national public housing programs. In 1965, these programs merged into one department, creating the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The law was further amended to become The National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 which limited the regulation that local governments had over manufactured structures and recommended that the standards developed by HUD be applied to mobile homes. Several laws have been adopted since that time that have further narrowed the ability of local jurisdictions to regulate mobile structures. Due to the lack of local control, the permitting, construction, inspection, maintenance, repair, etc. of these structures has become a game of finger pointing. 

However, if we follow the breadcrumbs left for us, we can navigate the various documents governing the use of manufactured homes. Read More


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