1. Overview
2. What is a Manufactured Home
3.City Zoning Ordinances
  3.1 Helena
  3.2 Billings
  3.3 Great Falls
4. Code Requirements
5. Objectives of Zoning Ordinances
6. Appearance Comparisons
7. Value Considerations
8. Suggested Zoning Language
1. Overview

     The nature of Montana‚s economy creates an expanding market for affordable housing. As we move toward a more service-oriented society, average wages are falling well below national averages. With only marginal industry to provide higher paying jobs, the demand for affordable housing is here and will continue into the foreseeable future. 

     As this downward shift occurs, we are seeing expanded efforts to provide a safer and healthier living environment. Tighter development controls are increasing costs by requiring higher levels of development that include paving, curbs and gutters, street lighting, open space, parks, landscaping, improved fire protection, advanced sewage treatment systems and dependable water supplies.  Though desirable, these amenities do not come without cost. 

     Decreasing wages combined with increasing land development costs create a marketing dilemma with the home in the middle of the equation. Manufactured homes have, by the nature of their method of assembly, been able to produce quality homes at competitive prices to serve the affordable housing market. As demand increases, the need for more manufactured housing will also increase. Servicing this demand will require more opportunities to locate manufactured homes in neighborhoods that provide for the needs of those that will reside there. 

     Land use restrictions, primarily zoning regulations, play a key role in where manufactured housing may be sited. The demand for affordable housing encourages us to re-evaluate the limitations that are placed on this type of housing and examine options to improve the opportunities to utilize manufactured housing in a manner that will best serve the market demand. This document examines the regulatory position of manufactured housing and presents information to assist those involved with zoning and land use regulation so they may better understand what manufactured housing is and how it can best be utilized to serve an increasing market.


Montana Manufactured Housing and RV Association
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