votes to limit L&I authority
over factory-built homes
WA - March 15, 2001 - The state House has passed a bill that would move
some inspection authority
of mobile/manufactured homes from the state Department of Labor and
Industries (L&I) to local building officials. House Bill 1953,
by 24th District Reps. Lynn Kessler and Jim Buck, is aimed at
unnecessary regulations, confusing permitting procedures and paperwork,
giving owners of mobile/manufactured homes more freedom to make
to their residences after they have been permanently sited.
"Basically, our bill would ensure that after a manufactured home
set up permanently on a piece of property, it would be subject to the
local ordinances, building codes and regulations that apply to any other
site-built home or structure," said Buck, R-Joyce.
The way the law is written , L&I has inspection authority for
manufactured-housing units that are constructed in Washington. The scope
that authority extends to factory-built homes even after they are sited
(fixed) on a permanent foundation. Unlike conventional site-built homes,
which come under the jurisdiction of local building officials, owners of
manufactured housing must submit plans for residential alterations to
some instances, the application must include an engineering analysis.
agency also is responsible for inspecting the structures when
alterations are completed.
House Bill 1953 specifies that permitting and inspection authority would
delegated to local building officials where the home is located. The
department, however, would continue to have permitting and inspection
authority over projects covered by the state electrical installation
Buck says the existing system is unnecessarily burdensome for owners of
sited manufactured homes, who must wade through often confusing
permitting- and inspection-procedures that do not apply to site-built
"Today's manufactured homes are a far cry from those built 30 years
ago. We're talking about quality construction materials and workmanship,
60s-era metal-sided trailers on cinder blocks and two-by-fours," he
"Once they re set up on the owner s lot, they look like any other
Buck emphasized the proposal would not change the way L&I monitors
inspects the installation and setup of manufactured homes.
"The bill would not change what we regard as acceptable standards
installation, licensing of installers and inspections," Buck said.
"However, once the federally required one-year warranty on a new
factory-built home expires, if the manufactured house is permanently
the revisions included in the bill would apply even if the home is
subsequently sold to new owners."
House Bill 1953 passed the House 75-19 and will now be considered by the
Buck noted that a similar measure that was approved in the Senate (SB
would authorize a study of the issue.
"A compromise between the two bills might be necessary, but I
should stay focused on solving the immediate problems that we re hearing
about from our constituents, many of whom are low-income senior
he said. "Representative Kessler and I are on the same page in
the need for a change in the way L&I is doing business. We re going
our version of the legislation aggressively, because if it doesn't pass
Senate, our efforts come to a halt and the problems will only