Bad News For Tiny Homes Is Good News For Mobile Home Parks

The recent announcement that “tiny homes” may receive much greater scrutiny by the U.S. government is good news for the mobile home park industry. While “tiny homes” have been the darling of cable TV, the entire industry has been skirting local zoning laws and skipping the intent of HUD to regulate their manufacturing. So what happened to “tiny homes” and how to mobile home park owners benefit from these actions?

Tiny homes rely on prefabrication and arrive on a flatbed truck

“Tiny homes” are traditionally built on a frame foundation, and are delivered as one unit on a flatbed truck. Since they are not on wheels, they are not classified as mobile homes and, as a result, fall under a different set of laws. While HUD regulates and overseas the construction of mobile homes, tiny homes have skirted these regulations by claiming that they are more like portable buildings. But the problem is that portable buildings are not supposed to be used for permanent dwellings. HUD is now saying that they may take over the regulation of tiny houses, and this will no doubt kill off 90% of the manufacturers, as they will not have the financial capability to be regulated by the U.S. government.

Tiny homes are often installed in RV parks, yet they are not allowed by zoning

Most tiny homes end up in RV parks, as they are illegal to place on regular residential lots in most cities. But that ushers in a new problem. Most RV parks are not supposed to allow for permanent residency, as the city intended them for the exclusive use of tourists passing through, not families seeking city services, such as schools. Many disgruntled municipalities have started to crack down on those who seek to live permanently in those RV parks.

The reduction of elimination of tiny homes is good news for mobile home parks

While most Americans have been watching shows such as “Tiny House Nation” on HGTV, and thinking about what life would be like in a tiny home, most mobile home park owners have known the illegalities of this fad. They have quietly sat back and waited for the authorities to enforce their own rules. So what’s the legal route to living in an inexpensive and smaller home? It’s called a “mobile home” or “manufactured home”. These are regulated by HUD and fully legal to reside in mobile home parks. There’s no grey area and no danger of losing your investment. In fact, the industry has been around for over half a century, and works just fine.


At some point in the near future, the door will close on “tiny homes” as we know them. The government will shut down the manufacturing and only allow those who can afford the requirements and scrutiny of HUD to continue in operation. And you will no longer be able to place them in cities, as they will be banished from RV parks and, as a result, have to go where there’s no zoning way out in the county. These will be sad developments for those who like the concept of “tiny homes” but positive for park owners who will retain the only legal micro housing option in the markets they serve.

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