- Tiny homes are a step closer to having a place in the building code, after Public Comment RB168-16 received the required majority vote to be added as an appendix to the 2018 International Residential Code.
- While the results are still subject to certification by the ICC’s validation committee and confirmation by the board, proponents of the appendix have hailed the decision. The code has no legal effect unless it is adopted by local governments, the ICC added.
- If approved, the model code will allow people to receive Certificates of Occupancy for tiny houses when built to meet the provisions of the appendix and could help municipalities better manage the influx of tiny house projects and permit requests by providing a baseline for their own requirements.
Tiny houses, which typically have a footprint of less than 500 square feet, have grown in popularity in recent years as an alternative for housing the chronically homeless, veterans, young professionals and even empty nesters.
Although the segment will likely remain niche, the ICC’s move may go some way to boosting the sector as many state and local building codes do not accommodate tiny house requirements such as square footage minimums, smaller lot sizes and the ability to co-locate with an existing building.
The favorable vote follows a push by advocacy group Tiny House Build, along with a team of architects, builders, designers and educators, who put up and defended the public comment in the lead-up to the vote.
With many urban centers struggling to meet demand for affordable properties, tiny home projects are slowly building traction in the market. In September, a community organization unveiled the first of 25 planned homes in a $1.5 million effort to build Detroit's largest tiny house development.
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