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Need Your Help to Stop Tiny Houses from being Illegal!

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This is a quick announcement because we need your help to stop tiny houses from becoming illegal per the fed’s new HUD proposal regarding recreational vehicles.

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development is proposing to make changes to the Code of Federal Regulations Part 3282 docket FR-5877-P-01 which covers Manufactured Home Procedural and Enforcement Regulations (as well as Revision of Exemption for Recreational Vehicles). We believe this includes tiny houses on wheels.

So I’m inviting you to speak up by leaving your thoughts and comments over at the Regulations.gov website for this proposal. Hundreds already have, but if you have a moment, we need you to speak up, too! Here’s the link.

This proposal defines recreational vehicles, “designed only for recreational use and not as a primary residence or for permanent occupancy.”

Need Your Help to Stop Tiny Houses from being Illegal!

Need Your Help to Stop Tiny Houses from being Illegal

This proposed rule would modify the current exemption for recreational vehicles in the Manufactured Home Procedural and Enforcement Regulations.  Under the current exemption, questions have arisen regarding whether park model recreational vehicles are regulated by HUD’s manufactured home program. These park models are being produced with patio roofs, screened in porches, and other extensions that exceed the 400 square foot maximum exemption in the current regulations. Additionally, some of these models are being marketed as suitable for year round living. HUD’s proposed rule would permit recreational vehicle manufactures to certify that a unit is exempted from HUD’s regulations. Specifically, HUD’s proposed rule would define a recreational vehicle as a factory build vehicular structure, not certified as a manufactured home, designed only for recreational use and not as a primary residence or for permanent occupancy, and built and certified in accordance with either the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1192-2015, Standard for Recreational Vehicles, or the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A119.5-15, Recreational Park Trailer Standard. In addition, to provide consumers notice regarding the manufacturing standards used to construct the unit, HUD’s rule would require that units claiming the exemption display a notice that identifies the standards used to construct the unit and states that the unit is designed only for recreational use, and not as a primary residence or permanent dwelling.


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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 58 comments… add one }
  • Lou Backover
    April 4, 2016, 11:49 am

    Saw this over the weekend. Can you explain why it matters what HUD says on this subject? Does it affect getting a govt backed mortgage, or does it affect tiny home owners in a different way?

  • Gordon
    April 4, 2016, 12:04 pm

    I would think all the tiny companies would consider instead of RV designation that maybe Mobile Home maybe a better avenue. I mean how many of these these THOW are really working as RV? Probably less than 10%, I would say most of these are fixed in a location. On the larger ones, it would take a huge truck to tow a THOW.

    • GRandall
      April 4, 2016, 1:19 pm


      The RV designation is much more simple to attain than what you are terming “Mobile Home”. What you are referring to is a HUD code home and the proper term is “manufactured home”. This is a much more stringent code than RV designation and would probably be a quicker way to shut down tiny houses of any type. Below is an excerpt from and article at SFGate.com summarizing some of the HUD code:

      Under HUD guidelines, manufactured homes must be a minimum of 400 square feet in size. They must have ceiling heights in habitable rooms and bathrooms of at least 7 feet, while ceilings in hallways and storage areas must be at least 6 feet 6 inches. Manufactured homes must have at least two outside doors located at least 12 feet from each other in single-wide units and 20 feet in double-wide units. Each bedroom must have at least one window to the outside along with easy access to an outside doorway. In addition, each bedroom meant for one person must have at least 50 square feet of floor space; those meant for two individuals must contain at least 70 square feet. The house must have an adequate number of windows for ventilation. Kitchens and bathrooms must also have mechanical ventilation systems.

      Additionally the HUD code also specifies wind and snow loads dependent on the area of the country for which it will be built. In addition fixtures and appliances have minimum requirements which would necessarily increase the required size of the structure.

      In many jurisdictions in conjunction with financing entities axles and wheels are required to be removed thus eliminating the propensity to move it about to avoid repossession in such an instance. Additionally very specific methods for anchoring the house to the ground are determined by the jurisdiction having authority and will consist of pre-engineered elements from ground pads to metal ties and ground augers.

      @ Lisa D
      Your inability to recognize what is blatantly evident in this ruling is shocking but typical for sheeple. If you would read the rule and HUD’s comments you can see this is all about control. It mentions roof top deck and screened in porches that effectively increase the proscribed living space thus bypassing the RV rules. What they are effectively saying is freedom and choice is not to be tolerated. By limiting the duration of time one can live in a RV designated structure people are effectively bound to live in government approved housing of its whim. The countless retirees that live in RV communities in places such as FL and AZ will be forced into more expensive or undesirable accommodations. This ruling has very far reaching effects beyond what it will do to THOWs and the tiny house community at large.

      WAKE UP! and realize this is about control.

      • SDVeteran
        April 4, 2016, 1:28 pm

        I have posted on Facebook, and I have commented on the Regulations site. Agree that this is a lot about control. My question to the group. Why is this coming up? Who is really behind the regulatory changes. I’d like to know the real story and reveal the dirtbag(s) behind this government grab of our freedoms!

      • Eric
        April 5, 2016, 12:57 am

        “They must have ceiling heights in habitable rooms and bathrooms of at least 7 feet, while ceilings in hallways and storage areas must be at least 6 feet 6 inches. ”

        Well, well, if that ain’t discrimination against dwarfs I don’t know what is. Oops, sorry, shoulda said short people.

    • Misty
      April 4, 2016, 2:27 pm

      Huge is a vague term. For a large/heavy home a semi tractor, like the home/tractor combo pictured on this blog. For most homes something in the F350 class should do it for most THOWs, and do not require special driver training if they are max 2oft long and 8ft wide, or that was the rule the last time I checked. I see many people driving those as regular use vehicles.
      As far as the new ruling goes, it reinforces my contention that those with power do not want people to be able to live full time in any thing that is mobile, because of what it could do to their economic base. I don’t see what the problem is, if the home is registered as a regular home or as a vehicle, there are taxes/fees or whatever. Some people are deadbeats and try to avoid paying taxes. If all rich and poor paid our fair share, this might be more easily avoided. Taxes are not my favorite thing to deal with but I would rather pay a fair tax on my home that I can move as I wish rather than be tied to a place and have to give it up if I have a better opportunity elsewhere. The government is probably getting heat from the home building industry, also from the RV and hotel industries; since people in THOWs can vacation in their home anywhere the home can travel to and not have to find other accommodations. I find the tiny home idea very empowering for me personally, as I believe many others do. Unfortunately, that seems to be precisely what the government and many businesses do not want. In my opinion, tax deadbeats are parasites, as much as the government and businesses that collude to prevent ethical, hardworking people from engaging in their own pursuits of happiness. To all such entities: go away, and do not tread on me!

  • Daniel
    April 4, 2016, 12:38 pm

    This is my comment I submitted:

    Please DO NOT implement this regulation.

    As I’m approaching retirement, my wife and I are looking to live in an RV full time. 1- It’s economical. We will not be able to afford the exorbitant rents here in Southern California, much less ever be able to purchase a home. 2- We intend to live out our days going out from a home base to discover the United States. As an immigrant, my wife has not seen much of this wonderful country. 3- We want to be ecologically sensitive and we believe that downsizing our living abode and possessions will help leave a better environment. 4. Eventually, we hope to build a tiny house in a community of like-minded retirees.

    Please reconsider this punitive regulation.

    Thank You!

  • David
    April 4, 2016, 12:52 pm


  • Ismail Sarudin
    April 4, 2016, 1:13 pm

    I’m a Malaysian. We can’t have an RV even. Only the government agencies and certain few individuals can have them. And we’re supposed to be a democratic country.
    Protect what you have, and fight for more freedom.

  • Dominick Bundy
    April 4, 2016, 1:46 pm

    People in a so called free country should be able to live in any type of housing they so desire too.. That goes for older Mobile single wides and Tiny houses (without wheels) that should be place on any land city or rural as long as you own it., as long as one keeps their property up and well maintained.. I see nothing wrong at all with someone living in a 60 year old 8 ft. wide 40ft mobile home . parked right next to a million dollar mansion.. As long as you keep your property up , well maintain and clutter free.. Then so be it.. If some would argue they don’t like the look of it.. then the simple solution is .. DON”T LOOK at my old mobile home or tiny house,, Plain and simple.. I’m a firm believer that mobile homes should be integrated into all neighborhoods rather than mobile home parks. and goes for tiny houses as well.

    • Kim Pratt
      April 4, 2016, 2:40 pm

      Why don’t HUD do something about these excessively expensive rentals and homes? Instead, they pick on people who have a great idea of less is more, solar and self sufficient homes that can be bought via cash, and free up money so not to be in so much debt. People may move around to experience more of this country, and have a way to make a living on the road. Also, they can spend colder seasons in a warmer climate and vise-versa, or ski areas in the winter and beach areas in the summer warmer areas.

      • SDVeteran
        April 4, 2016, 3:49 pm

        Here, here GRandall! Right on comments!

      • Misty
        April 4, 2016, 8:47 pm

        I’ve asked that about HUD and the larger government structure, myself. My own idea is that those entities and the businesses that lobby for power do not want the problem solved, since it does not directly affect them. Keeping people in a cycle of paying rent/mortgage payments feeds their coffers much better than a truly empowered population that the tiny houses and other ideas offer. The problem is not one of class, but one of money. Living tiny is just one option for saving money. If regulating and taxing tiny homes, would help solve the problem, then the government should do so. I don’t think that it will, not because of home safety; or any other issue the government can justly argue. The issue seems to be one of a more mobile and empowered population. Instead of our money being used to pay for housing, it can be used for education, retirement, charity, etc.

      • Porcsha
        April 5, 2016, 4:31 am

        Our government depends on us owing money. Debt creates money. That’s it, there’s conspiracy, it’s just economics.

    • Comet
      April 4, 2016, 10:27 pm

      One could also say–if you don’t like what I have in my yard—from kids toys to chickens–don’t look!

      Out here in the deep country we don;t make a fetish of how things look–most farms have many many “things” scattered about the place; and we often have trailers cheek by jowl with larger newer houses. On my rural road alone I can see two million dollar houses; with 2 occupants each on acres of land; a repurposed dairy barn; a small “retirement” house ; a very spendy “modern” house inhabited by out of town drug dealers; a tiny adorable very old cottage with an older re-done mobile home single wide trailer on a slab; a “manufactured” house of one story with a basement that used to be the tenant house for the larger old farmhouse next door–and several other houses of a similar nature; both “stick built” or post-n-beam and something trucked to the site. LAst year one of the families on the road had a modular trucked in and set on a full basement for the son of the house; his wife and new born. Our whole town and area is much like this! We DID have a period where single and double wides were viewed as the work of the devil; up to and including one town that fought allowing a family whose child was KILLED in a house fire to accept and site a double wide to replace their house!

      Mostly now the houses that are larger are built by out of towners; the modulars are bought by locals whose families often go back to the Year 1 here.

      One thing that IS odd is that there is NO regulation on NUMBER OF OCCUPANTs; so a single wide from say 1970 can have 10 people living in it.

  • Dominick Bundy
    April 4, 2016, 1:48 pm

    Amen sister you took the words right out of my mouth,, nice to see some are on the same page as me..

    • SDVeteran
      April 4, 2016, 2:28 pm

      Dominick, you have much to learn. You apparently didn’t read the proposed changes. It indicates that you, me, and anyone else out there can’t live in a travel trailer or tiny house on a “permanent basis.” Let me repeat to you because apparently don’t grasp the concept… this regulation has nothing to do with race, nor do I see any comments other than yours and Janette’s about it.

  • Patty A.
    April 4, 2016, 2:04 pm

    Thank you Lisa D. for your accurate insight. You hit it right on the Nail…..

  • Misty
    April 4, 2016, 3:01 pm

    Personally, I would rather not be near Mc mansions. I would love to be able to afford the land to get away from all this ridiculousness. If people can’t afford large plots for their oversized homes, then they should deal with it.
    I know what peoples’ rights are since I have them in equal measure. So much of this would be a nonissue if people believed in others’ rights as they believe in their own. There was some confusion about race. The issue is equally one of equality regardless of income or power and one’s personal rights, including the right not to “render unto Caesar” anymore than he deserves.

  • April 4, 2016, 4:25 pm

    Many of you are only just now realizing the ridiculous rules by all governments, federal and local that destroy our freedom. After being a professional architect for 45 years within many venues around the world, we had enough. Nine years ago, my wife and I moved to Costa Rica and together with like minded local professionals, are designing and building self-sufficient little houses here in paradise. Architecture is finally fun again.

  • Elle
    April 4, 2016, 4:30 pm

    I have to put my head back together, it just exploded.
    I knew this was coming. Do you really think that the utility, banking-lenders, building and real estate industry lobbiests are going to ‘allow’ the citizens of this country to take control of our own lives by homesteading and building our own homes effectively cutting them out of the $$$$$ loop without a fight?

    • Misty
      April 4, 2016, 9:28 pm

      I fail to see the confusion. Of course, the banks and other money interests will fight with their money and lobbyists to kill or limit anything that allows a more free and empowered populace. None of my statements said otherwise. I actually, reread what I wrote. Much of what I refer to argues that his is not a battle as new as the tiny house movement, rather one that has been waged since well before this country was founded. Some of those who comment here seem to have a short attention span, in my opinion. Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.

    • Porcsha
      April 5, 2016, 4:33 am

      Elle, you are 100% correct!

  • Ronni Varner
    April 4, 2016, 4:48 pm

    Hooray for Elle! ! She hit the nail squarely on the head. Our government is hell-bent on taking away all the rights WE, the PEOPLE have fought for since this country began, and our constitution guarantees us the right to lfe, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Yet, our stupid government seems to think WE are too stupid to understand we are being herded like cattle into whatever shelters “they” feel is suitable for us. These new rules only guarantee more homeless Seniors that are struggling to make it on the squalid Social Security we are given monthly for a lifetime of work (how many women worked outside the home the first 15 or 20 years of their married lives?) I certainly was not “allowed”to do so by a very controlling and violent husband, But I could surely do a man’s work in helping to build a house, but there was no pay for that – according to our gov’t, I didn’t do anything of value.

  • Brian
    April 4, 2016, 5:00 pm

    Aw !!! So the contractors, banks, and Federal Government aren’t making enough money. Can they not make their yacht payments, or send their bratty kids to Harvard? Can they not keep their wives in diamonds, furs and pool boys whilst having that paid mistress on the side?

    It seems that the “Home of the Free” has taken on a whole new meaning with this one. Do we need to remind them who pays their salary and brings them business? Perhaps Big Brother should go on a diet. Perhaps “We The People” should revise just who is in law-making positions. Perhaps we just take our business elsewhere. Or have they revised that too? Geez! It’s not like their isn’t any sheep left to blindly follow the wolf.

    JMHO. Rant over.

  • Elle
    April 4, 2016, 5:38 pm

    Anyhoo, I wasn’t finished with my tirade when a call came in that I had to take. Freeing ourselves from the burden of a mortgage not only keeps our money in our pockets but severs the ties of servitude to the almighty and obscenely lucrative business of “lending” in exchange for our lives and our souls. Fanny, Freddie, Wells Fargo and all fellow predators are panicking at the prospect of the loss of billions of dollars in interest, in obscene and illegal ‘fees and penalties’ and the mass aquisition of our land via illegal foreclosure the ‘private’ and government ‘land barons’, oh and of course the inevitable anticipated/planned, future billion-dollar tax-bailouts they’re salivating over as we speak. Our now completely self serving government (SS-G) stands to lose billions as well given that powerful lobby’s are the ones dictating the proposed legislation that our ‘elected’ congressional members shove through faster than they can shove lobby-dollars into their deep pockets. With a mortgage we’re sitting ducks in a near, pre-American Revolution, pseudo-democraticly governed nation because we’re shackled to our master/lender, easily found, exploited, and shaken down for more mortgage related ‘taxes and fees’ at the whim of the united states of corporations (usc) and governments at all levels, and effectively controlled and kept in place by the powers that be by the constant fear of losing this thing we think we own.
    Everyone’s forgotten that antique document called The Comstitution of the United States that explicitly states that the government exists at the will of the people. Not the corporate entities, their lobby’s or our elected public servants but, “the people”. It’s time we remind them of that.
    With the TH movement, in desperation thousands of people are turning to their own resources to survive and do so without the gov/corp intrusion and control over our lives and our elected officials want to make that a crime. The U.S. monarchy took back our country when we weren’t looking. I’ve paid my “dues” as a mortgage servant and volunteered decades of my life in uniform to the privilege of the preservation of the rights specified in that antique document named above. Interestingly, the majority of homeless people in the US are veterans, primarily Vietnam Vets and an option to homelessness from they could benefit is about to become illegal, compliments of those who ultimately put them on the streets.
    Yes, you can be assured that for everyone’s sake and just the sake of free will, I’m eager to contribute blocking the passage of these proposed, unconscionable, corporate-serving (and instigated) and tyrannical “rules” and instead support “rules” that would strengthen our Devine right to live where and how we choose without the unsolicited intrusion of the USC.
    Letters, petitions to recall every HUD official/rep and/or whoever put them there who supports it, petitions to oppose it, educating the general public, assemblies; whatever it takes.

    • Porcsha
      April 5, 2016, 4:50 am

      The irony in the tiny house movement which gained a lot interest and momentum due to the housing crisis that these banks caused in the first place! If the banks were as picky way before 2008 as they are now we would have continued to buy full sized homes within our means and not these ridiculous over blown homes. It’s disgusting that homes have gotten bigger and bigger over the years. No one cares what our government does as long as we have great full time jobs with benefits while paying student loans, car and house notes and can live comfortably and to take care of our family. It is us that do not fight back!

  • Janette Price
    April 4, 2016, 6:26 pm

    Misty not sure where you were told this but tomorrow I will be calling HUD to verify if this is even remotely true. We went to war and it was inherited by the next president ,does not mean it was his war. Geez we make this crap up as we go along. Now I will ask about the history of this,who initiated it and when it began. The issue now has fallen to second place as MIS information with no fact leads the issue. I will be getting back on this one

  • Sondr
    April 4, 2016, 6:30 pm

    Done !

  • Joann
    April 4, 2016, 7:42 pm

    I have to admit that I am a little confused. I thought that tiny houses were already essentially illegal in most parts of the United States (ref. http://thetinylife.com/tag/legal-zoning/). There are loopholes that many in the community use to get around it, but aren’t they already technically illegal? Don’t get me wrong, I am all in favor of changing laws to make tiny homes legal, and tightening manufactured home definitions and requiring notices, as HUD is proposing, seems a step backward to me (sounds like lobbying at its finest…or maybe worst). I just think we need to be honest with ourselves about the current legal realities and work to change those so that there will be more places (like Spur, Texas) that embrace and welcome those of us with dreams of tiny houses.

  • Edwin Dueck
    April 4, 2016, 9:19 pm

    I’m Canadian it wouldn’t do much good in your country. I can see why, this way they can keep more people on the grid. It’s all about money, everybody’s money never their own.
    If you don’t comply then there is jail for no reason. The government is running scared because people don’t want their freedom taken away and that’s what they want. They want to control everybody and have them under their thumb.
    Keep fighting for your rights and your freedom, don’t loose it.

  • Marsha Cowan
    April 4, 2016, 10:53 pm

    HUD deals with government assisted housing, not all real estate. When they propose that recreational vehicles not be used as full time residences, they are referring to the ones for which their programs will pay, the ones that will house government assisted people, not all recreational vehicles. The problem, as I see it, is that a very large number of low income currently live in mobile homes and recreational vehicles, and if not there…where? How much more money it would cost to build and maintain apartments for all these people! It doesn’t seem like a very sound proposal to me, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t get passed without some major revisions. In the meantime, if one is not getting a government assisted loan for their dwelling place, one will probably not encounter any opposition from this proposal.

    • GRandall
      April 5, 2016, 9:47 am

      On the contrary HUD sticks its bureaucratic nose nose into whatever it feels like. All manufactured homes are built to codes (specifications) set forth by HUD. These are what most folks refer to as mobile homes or trailer houses. Technically there have not been mobile homes since 1976 when consolidated the rules for manufactured housing.

      They are part of city and urban planning and were formed under LBJ to develop and execute policy for housing and metropoliseses

      HUD is also hugely involved in the social reengineering of our cities and neighborhoods thru their diversity initiative wherein they are identifying the lack of “diversity” in every city across the country and plan to force that ” diversity” through inclusion of low income housing projects into the middle of the suburbs or through subsidies for buyers. Additionally it was HUD that was the underlying cause of the housing crisis through their intimidation of financial institutions to loan to people that were high risk citing discrimination. The banks responded by creating, with the approval of the government the bundling of the subprime mortgages and selling in the market. When foreclosure reached a tipping point those financial vehicles became worthless and the 2008 financial crisis happened. The roots of this go all the way to the Carter administration. But HUD was clearly in the middle of enforcement.

      Additionally HUD is responsible for oversight of Fannie and Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mac, FHA which sets standards for house construction, regulates manufactured housing, and much more. It is a Cabinet level agency of the Executive branch whose Secretary is answerable directly to POTUS. So for any of you deniers who say this doesn’t go to the president you are just wrong. Whether directly involved or not POTUS picks persons that are trusted to institute policy. Remember you are witnessing the”Fundamental Transformation” of the U.S. Obama promised.

  • Ray
    April 4, 2016, 10:54 pm

    They just don’t want to hear your voice any more. Unfortunately the Feds will do just what they want. We have seen this in so many other areas. Stelth seems like the way of the future. A home that does not look like a house. (utility trailer convert, box trucks, work vans etc.) What ever it takes to be free and live free.

  • Sandy Bee
    April 5, 2016, 12:59 am

    The HUD change seeks to protect big businesses, advance enforcement of more restrictive zoning and preserve property and school tax revenues. Go to the .gov site and MAKE YOUR DISCONTENT HEARD THERE.
    They state the proposed changes “impact and effect: NONE”.
    Tell them how it will impact your life choices.

  • Victoria McCormick
    April 5, 2016, 2:33 am

    Go for the empirical facts and necessaries guaranteed by law.

  • Joni
    April 5, 2016, 7:06 am

    This should be brought to the attention of the thousands of Rv owners living full time in Rv’s in parks and private land, a lot of retired and low income elderly. They would have a lot to say!!!

    • April 6, 2016, 2:08 pm

      There are all those full time RV channels that are very big on youtube. Contact any you know. Maybe I should call escapees and the like.

  • GRandall
    April 5, 2016, 10:16 am

    As I have further researched this topic I have found that the legal definition of an RV is exactly the same in several states including Oregon and Texas. Specifying that they are (and I’m paraphrasing) structures under 400 square feet for temporary accommodation.

    While the issue at hand is a federal rule it appears to me it is a consolidation of already existing definitions, i.e., laws, from the various states. The biggest requirement change that I’m seeing in the text is that a notice; an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper, be affixed to a cabinet door that states what the new regulation if approved is. The exemption from HUD regulation still exists but it is an exemption with a caveat. The question then would be, do the feds then enforce the language of temporary and if so what is temporary? Can I live in the structure for 11 1/2 months our only 6 months. If I move it from place too place but live in it exclusively is it still temporary? What do you do with the full time retirees in FL & AZ?

    We should be able to exercise our constitutional rights and maintain our individual freedoms free and unencumbered. Comment on the proposed ruling and fax or email your Representative and senators

    • Sandy Bee
      April 5, 2016, 11:48 am

      So, where are the Escapees on this topic?? They supposedly are a leading advocate for RVers’ rights, as they have fought to uphold full-time RVers’ right to vote; defeated unfair RV-specific taxes; protected overnight parking rights; and stood up to city, county, state, and federal regulations that threatened our personal freedoms……….anyone??

  • Stephanie
    April 5, 2016, 10:31 am

    As I stated , my research into tiny house living started after being put on never ending waitlist for section 8 and public housing. The RV Parks aren’t even an option for me due to the high cost in most . It’s a down right shame that everything is all about money . Our Gov. is no different than any other wanting regulation on everything … It’s all about the almighty $dollar$

  • GRandall
    April 5, 2016, 10:32 am

    While we are on the subject of HUD and what they can and can’t do. If you are a landlord be extra careful… since more criminals are minorities you may have to rent to them even though ex-cons are not protected by the fair housing act

    “The Fair Housing Act prohibits both intentional housing discrimination and housing practices that have an unjustified discriminatory effect because of race, national origin, or other protected characteristics,” say HUD’s newly-released guidelines. “Because of widespread racial and ethnic disparities in the U.S. criminal justice system, criminal history-based restrictions on access to housing are likely disproportionately to burden African-Americans and Hispanics. While the Act does not prohibit housing providers from appropriately considering criminal history information when making housing decisions, arbitrary and overbroad criminal history-related bans are likely to lack a legally sufficient justification.”

    Preppers my not be so kooky after all.

  • GRandall
    April 5, 2016, 11:55 am


    I decided to look and see how up in arms the RV industry was regarding the new proposal that should put them out of business as quickly as the tiny house movement.


    It is as I thought, they want the rule to keep HUD out of the RV business and not regulate all incarnations of the RV. Over the past few years it seems that the RV designation was one of the main salvation and loopholes for tiny houses and it seems to still be the same. As I stated in an earlier post states already define RVs as temporary accommodation what has really changed?

  • kristina nadreau
    April 5, 2016, 12:23 pm

    if you would be effective in comunicating with the federal govt in the USA, you will need to learn how it works. find out who is lobbying for the restrictions that are harmful to Tiny House owners and builders. then strategize how to influence the agency making the rules. Lastly contact your senators and representatives .

  • GRandall
    April 5, 2016, 4:26 pm

    A post from Tiny House Design. It looks like the final conclusion I had made is correct. It is better for RV certified structures. Additionally the enforcement for full-time RV living comes from the states with many of them allowing such use.


  • Matt
    April 5, 2016, 8:08 pm

    No you cannot live cheap and get out from under the slave chains of the top 1% bankers that run our country.

  • Jay
    April 5, 2016, 9:35 pm

    Have you checked into starting a petition on Change.org to send to HUD?

  • GRandall
    April 5, 2016, 9:40 pm

    This has proven to be a tempest in a teapot. I received a link from another website with this:


    It as I had gathered after reading and further research and reading the RVIA comments.

  • GRandall
    April 6, 2016, 12:16 pm

    Unfortunately, HUD can make rules without congressional action. School House Rock shows the way things are supposed to be. Look at all the EPA is doing to shut down coal mining and power plants without the first word from Congress. Our government is broken and we all know it. That is why this caused such an uproar.

    I was duped for a day or two but when I found that the RVIA supported the change and was very involved I gathered it was a non issue. O first saw this on Tiny House Design on Friday then Alex picked it up on Monday. THD has since blogged a link to the snopes article. Not sure why it hasn’t appeared here.

  • SDVeteran
    April 6, 2016, 1:39 pm

    Snopes isn’t exactly correct on this issue. And I’m very interested in why RVIA is supporting this. There are some subtle changes to the law, one in particular is very concerning. They are removing the word self-propelled from 24 CFR 3280.2. That is a deep concern of mine that needs to be vetted completely. There are also other changes to the law that will negatively impact the self-builder, self-modifier, etc. And why do people think RVIA is involved and support it? What about all of those small builders out there that aren’t members of RVIA, or obtain their certification (for a steep price). I’m not so sure this change in regulation is good for many of us that build our own, or choose to live in small houses on our own – without RVIA (private association), HUD, or any other government agency telling me how to live. Still investigating.

  • SDVeteran
    April 6, 2016, 2:01 pm

    I have a question – why is RVIA is supporting this? There are some subtle changes to the law being proposed, one in particular…they are removing the word “self-propelled” from 24 CFR 3280.2 which could alter the definition of “manufactured home.” One of the questions proposed by HUD is: “Would it be more efficient and advantageous for HUD to exercise direct regulatory oversight over this portion of the industry?” There number ideas HUD is discussing, and we should be concerned and voice our opinion. Mine still stands – I do not want HUD involved in travel trailers, tiny homes, or park models. There are already regulations in place for these industries. I also wonder with RVIA support, how that might impact the small builder, self-builder, self-modifier, etc. What about all of those small builders out there that aren’t members of RVIA, or that obtain their certification (for a steep price). Still investigating…

  • April 6, 2016, 2:35 pm

    I got half way down the comments and scrolled back to the top to see the date. Drats! It was NOT April 1. I remember a couple years ago when Dr. Mercola ran a notice that everyone in the US would have to submit to rounds of mandatory vaccinations. I saw the date and was not fooled, but yet I was very disturbed. Though not real, it seemed like it could be real given the political climate of the US today. Shortly after Gov. Brown of CA signed into law-mandatory vaccinations for the state of CA. I will not consider that state for parking.

    The issue is: More and more regulations are being passed to infringe on personal rights, liberty and happiness, in the name of corporate profits. Maybe this post is a wake up call. It is already clear-I live in a 5th wheel tiny home-that I am doing something that is not socially acceptable. Sure some think it’s cool and others are envious and some do not think it’s the way to live for comfort or what not, but when it comes down to the bottom line, there is a huge stigma on living in and RV or trailer. I have had to forgo respectability to do what is right for me, that is affordable and healthy. Do I want to live the other way: big house, big bills a life I can not afford? Being disabled am I able to keep a huge place liveable and sanitary? Would I be happy living the status quo life? Would I have a place to live that would not dramatically worsen my health? A big NOoo to all!

    What we all need to do is make regular calls to our elected officials for our rights to live how we see fit: in RVs and tiny homes. We need to have petitions out there to de-criminalize RV living.

    This will not hurt the Mc Mansion industry any, as there are plenty of sheeple who will be all too willing to keep it booming. I have found most the comments here that relate to the topic insightful and realize we need to be proactive to build what we want and in fighting to keep our freedoms that are so quickly fading away.

  • April 7, 2016, 12:47 am

    Great article on this by former atty. at RV Dreams site on this new proposed law: http://www.rv-dreams-journal.com/2016/02/hud-proposed-rule-clarifies-definition-of-rvs-for-a-limited-purpose.html

    Still think we need to let our elected officials know what freedom, we will not part with.:)

  • Alex
    April 7, 2016, 12:09 pm

    Needed to share this Snopes.com article with you guys. Are we just being paranoid?

    “In short, while a number of confused commenters flooded HUD’s proposal page based on inaccurate rumors, the proposed rules were seen as a net positive by tiny home experts, RV enthusiasts, RV trade groups, and anyone deeply involved with full-time RVing or tiny house living. A handful of blogs broadly misinterpreted the proposed rule changes as HUD “outlawing” tiny homes, despite the fact HUD doesn’t possess the authority to pass such laws. The proposed rule rumored to be a “tiny house ban” was in fact simply a clarification of classifications for RVs and similar dwellings and in no way banned or criminalized tiny home ownership or building.”

  • Kerry Alexander
    April 15, 2016, 1:15 pm

    Informal phrase or Legal Term

    The words “Tiny House on Wheels” is an informal phrase which describes a cargo load.
    (The cargo being a structure created by an artist).
    The wheels being a “utility trailer”.
    The term “tiny house” is an informal phrase and is not a legal term.

    While “recreational vehicle” (or RV) is a technical and legal term.

    The U.S. Department of Transportation categorizes RVs by class.

    Class A Recreational Vehicles
    Class A recreational vehicles are motor homes, regardless of the type of chassis beneath them and whether or not the vehicle contains “slide-outs” (additional living spaces that slide out when the vehicle is stopped for camping).
    ◦ Class A also includes commercial passenger and school buses that are converted into RVs (these are often the largest mobile homes available).

    ◦ Class A RVs are generally luxurious mobile homes with a solid body, a panoramic front window, berths that convert from living room or dinette areas, and bathroom facilities.

    Class B Recreational Vehicles
    Class B recreational vehicles are campervans. Campervans are conventional vans with raised roofs (either “pop up” or “fixed”). They often have small kitchens with refrigerators and gas grills.
    ◦ Larger models may have a water heater, heat and air conditioning, a portable toilet, or an internal shower. (Smaller models usually have a portable toilet and an external shower, which can be used with an awning to ensure privacy.)

    Class C Recreational Vehicles
    Unlike a Class A mobile home, which is built on a single chassis, a Class C vehicle is attached to a truck and hauled behind. Class C RVs are characterized by a distinctive alcove which fits over the truck cab, providing either a double berth for sleeping or, sometimes, an “entertainment” section, with a TV and video games.

    Other Recreational Vehicle Types

    In addition to the three classes of RVs, there are also other types of recreational vehicles or motorhomes:

    ◦ Truck Campers: Similar to the C-class vehicles described above, these are smaller RVs, carried in the beds of pickup truck.
    ◦ Pop-up Campers: Collapsible campers with pull-out berths and tent walls, towed in a compact unit behind a vehicle.
    ◦ Travel Trailers (sometimes called “caravans”): Non-collapsible, light-weight trailers with simple amenities, towed behind a vehicle.

    When I was being challenged by local county agencies claiming jurisdictional authority and trying to scare me into thinking that they could tell me that it was illegal to live or even sleep for one night in my tiny house on wheels. The ten county employees attending the meeting they held for the purpose of asking me questions. The county officials told me that my tiny house was an RV and that the rules state that I can only sleep in an RV in an approved RV park, that I can not sleep in an RV on my own property. They also handed me forty pages of rules and regulations that they had taken the time to cut and paste, plus color highlighted with five different colors, particular rules.

    Luckily I had spent a considerable amount of time reading all these rules on my own in preparation for the meeting. And wouldn’t you agree that it appears that these officials were just trying to scare me?

    BTW, the word “government” comes from two Latin words, “govern” and “mente”. “Mente means mind. “Govern means to control.

    Because I knew the legal definition of the term “RV”, I knew it did not apply by their definition. Then they tried to say it was a “travel trailer”. And again I was able to read back to them their definition for their legal term “travel trailer”.

    And I pointed out that the state department of transportation claims jurisdiction over my trailer and it is registered as a “utility trailer” or “vehicle” which is personal property and not real estate property.

    I told the ten county officials that I have no problem with following rules and consenting to authorities, however unless they can prove to me that they have jurisdiction, then I will not be needing their services at this time. (Planning and Building Services). And that settled it, I never heard back from the county authorities because they could not prove that they had jurisdiction.

  • Victoria McCormick
    August 11, 2016, 10:06 pm

    Dear Genta Readers:
    I recently read that HUD changed the square footage to 200 ft. Go to leg.gov and put your states initials in front of leg.gov for all of the laws on the books.
    Additionally, getting your tiny home to qualify for acceptance. Try using the term Accessory Dwelling unit.
    You can always take off the wheels.
    On your own property the laws are different. They have to trespass if it is not visible from the road. Trespassing is illegal.
    Get a camera if you are suspicious.
    Ms. McCormick

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