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What is the HUD code for manufactured/mobile homes?
Tuesday, November 15, 2022
In response to years of complaints about the shoddy construction of mobile homes all across the country, Congress passed the “National Mobile Home Construction and Safety Standards Act,” and it was enacted into law by president Gerald Ford on August 22nd, 1974. But it did not take effect and begin enforcement until June 15th, 1976. All manufactured homes constructed after that date must meet the HUD-Code, so-called because it is adminstered by the Deparment of Housing and Urban Development.
Oh, and there is one other thing that became law with the bill: housing units that were formerly called “mobile homes” must now be referred to as “manufactured homes.” Yes, you cannot legally call them mobile homes anymore, although many people still do.
The code has been revised multiple times since the original rollout, with a major improvement on tie-down standards coming after the devastation of Hurricane Andrew to South Florida in 1991. See our blog post What year were mobile homes required to become more storm resistant? for a timeline of the steps that toughened the HUD Code over the years.
It is our country’s only national building code and the only one that is primarily performance-based rather than “prescriptive.” A prescriptive building code provides specific instructions for the type, size, spacing, and connections of the building components. HUD is more of a “performance” code. It allows a manufacturer to have some leeway to choose their own materials and methods as long as they can prove to HUD that it meets the standards for each of the three climate regions for thermal efficiency, wind load, roof load, durability, livability and safety.
The State of Florida has added a few tougher regulations for mobile homes, primarily for hurricane resistance, called “Florida overrides.” You can read about them at our blog post What is a "Florida override" of HUD mobile/manufactured home installation standards?
Also, go to our HUD-CODE FOR MOBILE HOMES page for a listing of our other HUD-code articles.
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