Manufactured housing is constructed to federal construction standards and regulatory procedures adopted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
- Manufactured homes are, by definition, single family residential dwellings only.
- The HUD Code regulates the home’s design and construction, strength and durability, transportability, fire resistance, energy efficiency, and quality control. It also sets stringent performance standards for the heating, plumbing, air conditioning, thermal, and electrical systems.
- The United States Congress laid the foundation for the HUD Code in the National Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 by directing the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to establish appropriate manufactured home construction and safety standards that “…meet the highest standards of protection, taking into account existing State and local laws relating to manufactured home safety and construction.”
- In contrast to traditional site-building techniques, manufactured homes have the advantage of using engineered design applications and the most cost-efficient assembly line techniques to produce a quality home at a much lower cost/per square foot.
- Mortgage financing is more recently available through traditional lenders, as well as the Veteran’s Administration, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), and the Farmers Home Administration (FmHA), which now finance manufactured homes along the same guidelines as site-built homes.
- An increasing number of states have amended their land use enabling legislation to prohibit local governments from excluding HUD Code homes in many single family neighborhoods.
- The HUD enforcement system begins with oversight by the Design Approval Primary Inspection Agency (DAPIA). The DAPIA (a third party inspection agency) must: approve the engineering design of the home; approve the manufacturer’s quality assurance manual for its plant; and coordinate with the other third-party inspection agency, known as the IPIA. The Production Inspection Primary Inspection Agency (IPIA) has the responsibility to make sure the production facility programs and procedures are in accordance with the DAPIA approved quality assurance manual; and, it conducts inspections of homes produced in the factory to assure conformance with the approved design.