Photo Credit: Tiny House, Giant Journey
The tiny house movement has taken America by storm, in part because our economy is in the toilet. People are striving to reduce their expenses by embracing minimalism. They’re breaking free from the corporate grind because, as I’ve always advised, they are learning to live with less and radically reducing their expenses.
But, these days in America, you are sharply admonished when you try to live your life outside of the strictures of the 9-5 world. Is it any surprise that the government is now taking steps to limit our ability to drastically reduce our expenses? They always seem to make illegal anything we try to do to be more independent and moving into a tiny house appears to be the next on their list.
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.
That’s right – if this law is passed, these structures will be classified as “not suitable for a primary residence or permanent dwelling” in April of this year.
While currently they’re only talking about a label, how long will it be before the long arm of the law reaches out to punish those living full time in homes that are deemed “not suitable for a primary residence or permanent dwelling”? My bet is, not long at all. This may be the first step toward making it illegal to live in a tiny home or an RV.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – which ironically was founded to end poverty and racial injustice in housing – proposed a law last month that would make living in a recreational vehicle – and potentially a tiny home – illegal.
While recreational vehicles are currently exempt from housing regulations, the proposed change would allow them to keep their exempt status only so long as no one is “living” in them.
HUD complains in a summary of its proposed rule that some RVs “are being produced with patio roofs, screened in porches, and other extensions that exceed the 400 square-foot maximum” and “are being marketed as suitable for year-round living.”
The rule would re-define exempt recreational vehicles 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 requires RV manufacturers to “prominently display” that definition in the kitchen of all RVs for sale.
The regulation also defines “recreational vehicle” as a “self-propelled” unit, apparently excluding tiny homes on wheels from the RV exemption
Eric Muss-Barnes, a concerned citizen, made the following video explaining the proposed law:
“There are nearly 9 million RV owners in America,” Muss-Barnes says. “A significant portion of those are retired couples who’ve purchased land in an RV park, where they live full time. The law could potentially turn hundreds of thousands of law-abiding citizens into outlaws.”
This story was first reported by The Organic Prepper.
So far, the federal agency has received almost 500 comments from outraged citizens, many of them saying they’d be homeless if not for their RV:
“Please do not pass this. You will make homelessness worse, and criminalize many of us ex-middle class just trying to stay safe. Please.” ~ Anonymous
“I live in RV full time and have for a number of years. I am now 55 years of age and am a recent widower. The job that I work does not really pay enough for me to find and live in a more permanent structure. As I will be retiring soon I am sure that I will not be able to afford to move out of my RV.” ~ Jeff Stanford
“Why does it matter where I live as long as I have a roof over my head? The government needs to recognize that some of us are lucky to have a tiny house or an RV to live in.” ~ Bunnie Craddock
“For the love of God! Stop Criminalizing the pursuit of Life Liberty and Happiness!!!!” ~ Steven Armstrong
Photo Credit: Tiny House, Giant Journey