Manufactured homes are considered among America’s most vulnerable housing, so it’s no surprise that owners were concerned for their assets during the storm.
There are 850,000 manufactured homes in Florida, more than any other state, and most fared well during the storm, sustaining only minor damages.
While many are surprised by this fact, manufactured home professionals are not. Following Hurricane Andrew in 1992, manufactured housing codes were updated to make homes safer during natural disasters.
For example, manufactured home regulations added over-roof anchors post-Andrew. This update is expected to have saved many homes during the most recent hurricane to strike Florida. Previously, most homes were only secured by connecting the frame to a rod buried in the ground.
Today, HUD codes for manufactured homes in hurricane zones are equivalent to the current standards for regional and national site-built codes. Manufactured homes are constructed to withstand wind speeds of 150 miles per hour in Wind Zone 2 and 163 miles per hour in Wind Zone 3, based on standards from the 2010 International Building Code.
This means modern manufactured homes are constructed to hold up in a Category 5 hurricane. Additionally, federal regulations for manufactured homes require design and quality assurance professionals during construction. Each home must also have a label certifying it has been designed, constructed, tested and inspected to comply with federal standards, which site-built homes do not require.
With the improvements in both manufactured home safety, and how they are built, it’s no surprise that they fared better than expected during Hurricane Irma. Although the media frenzy expected all homes to be destroyed, manufactured homes fared similar to site-built homes.
Working to end the stigma towards manufactured homes is an important part of the industry. As we change people’s long-held beliefs on manufactured home quality, safety and design, we can start to revolutonalize the way people buy homes.