2. What is a Manufactured Home?

     In its most general sense, manufactured housing can mean any home built in a factory setting and installed or assembled on a home site. This definition would include trailer houses, mobile homes, manufactured homes, modular homes, and recreational vehicles that serve as residential units. Since there are significant and recognizable differences in each of these types of structures, it becomes necessary to refine the definitions so that each may be treated accordingly. 

     Without clear definition, the difference between the types of factory-built homes leads to regulatory language that, in some instances, does not make a distinction. Though frequently referred to in the same context, manufactured housing is defined separately from „mobile homesâ, „trailer housesâ, and „modular housingâ. Montana Code provides some guidance in distinguishing between the various types of homes that are „manufacturedâ off-site:


Title 15-1-101(2)(l), MCA (Taxation)
The term „manufactured homeâ means a residential dwelling built in a factory in accordance with the United States department of housing and urban development code and the federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards. A manufactured home does not include an mobile home as defined in 61-1-501 and in subsection (1)(m) of this section, a house trailer, as defined in 61-1-501, or a mobile home or house trailer constructed before the federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards went into effect on June 15, 1976.


Title 15-1-102(2)(m), MCA
The term „mobile homeâ means forms of housing known as „trailersâ, „house trailersâ, or „trailer coachesâ exceeding 8 feet in width and 45 feet in length, designed to be moved from one place to another by an independent power connected to them, or any trailer, house trailer, or trailer coach up to 8 feet in width or 45 feet in length used as a principal residence.


Title 61-1-501, MCA
„Mobile homeâ or „house trailerâ means a trailer or semitrailer that is designed, constructed, and equipped as a dwelling place, living abode, or sleeping place (either permanently or temporarily) and is equipped for use as a conveyance on streets and highways or a trailer semitrailer whose chassis and exterior shell is designed and constructed for use as a house trailer but that is used permanently or
temporarily for the advertising, sales, display, or promotion of merchandise or services for any commercial purpose except the transportation of property for hire or the transportation of property for distribution by a private carrier. 


Title 61-1-513(1), MCA
„Manufactured homeâ means any residential dwelling built in a factory in accordance with the United States department of housing and urban development code and the federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards.


Title 76-2-203(6), MCA (municipal and county zoning statutes)
... „manufactured housingâ means a single-family dwelling, built offsite at a factory on or after January 1, 1990, that is placed on a permanent foundation, is at least 1,000 square feet in size, has a pitched roof and siding and roofing materials that are customarily, as defined by local regulations, used on site-built homes, and is in compliance with the applicable standards of the United States department of housing and urban development at the time of its production. 

     Though not referred to specifically as a „modular homeâ, state building code regulations consider modular homes to be „factory-builtâ buildings that are regulated under ARM 80.70.500, et al. Unlike manufactured homes, they must conform to the requirements of the Uniform Building Code and be inspected at the factory where they are assembled. Each design must be reviewed by the Building Codes Bureau and each unit must carry a data plate that describes design loads and an insignia issued by the Bureau.

     Manufactured housing is required by state codes to comply with a health and safety standard by satisfying the requirements of the national Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards. When placed in areas that have zoning regulations, they are also required to satisfy an appearance standard by providing a pitched roof, a minimum size, and roofing and siding that is equivalent to what is required for site-built homes. 


Montana Manufactured Housing and RV Association
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