Update from the ICC Hearings in Kansas City

ICC Hearings at the KC Convention CenterI know many of you have been waiting patiently for an update from the International Code Council (ICC) Hearings in Kansas City. As I write this, I’m in flight on my way back home and Gabriella is on her way to Seattle area. As much as we are exhausted, we want to get this update to you so that you can get a sense of what the experience was like.

Here’s the summary: we cleared two major hurdles on the track to approval of tiny houses in the international residential building code (the IRC). We are PSYCHED, BUT to be clear, we have NOT received the complete and final approval. There is one more significant step in front of us that will take place over the course of this next month. We have more work ahead of us but we truly had the very best outcome possible at the hearings.

Check out this short video we made right after the approval.

OKAY…SO HOW DID WE GET HERE?

Weeks before the hearings actually began, I assembled a group of some of the finest tiny house folks I know to create a team to defend the tiny house proposal.  This team included Macy Miller, BA Norrgard, Jeremy Weaver, Meg Stephens, James Herndon, Zack Giffin, and David Latimer. Our team had the honor of being mentored by ICC hearing veterans Martin Hammer and David Eisenberg. Martin and David were co-authors of the straw bale code that was recently added into the 2015 IRC. They know all about presenting new technologies to the ICC, including dangerous pitfalls to stay clear of. We were humbled to have their guidance and owe a huge part of the success of the hearings to them.

We were also incredibly fortunate in that Christian and Alexis of TinyHouseExpedition.com were there to film the entire experience for their documentary “Living Tiny Legally”. We should add that this is the first time in ICC history that the code council has granted permission for an outside film crew to tape inside the hearing room. A huge thank you to both of them for documenting the entire event and an equal thank you to the code council for granting them this unprecedented access!

Alexis and Christian’s upcoming video will give you a front row view of our process from the planning stages all the way to the final celebrations. If you feel inspired, please consider donating to their efforts as they are going to be putting a significant amount of time into editing all the footage they captured. You can donate on their website HERE. They are tiny housers themselves and have been traveling the country documenting the monumental changes that have been happening in the legalization of tiny houses.

Morning Gathering at the ICC HearingsOn Saturday morning we met with a group of tiny house supporters who had made the trip to the convention center to rally behind our team. We’d like to extend a HUGE thank you to every single person who came out. Some of you came from out-of-state, some from the local area, and we were touched that so many made a significant effort to be there. It felt great knowing you all had our backs!

After the meeting with our extended tiny house family, we gathered our team of defenders to talk strategy and to begin to unify our efforts. We broke off into a side room and got to work.

The Team Preparing for the ICC HearingsWe had two phases of arguments/testimony to prepare for: Phase 1 and Phase 2, and a lot of time and effort went into each draft. With a team of ten presenters with two phases of testimony each, we spent most of the day inside a quiet, windowless room.

Even though it was hard and hyper-focused work, we of course managed to have a great time…there’s never a shortage of fun when tiny housers get together. Random quotes from “Dumb and Dumber”, bad jokes, and hilarious stories coupled well with Gabriella and Hazel (Macy and James’ 2 1/2 year old daughter) building chair castles and putting out imaginary fires in the background. Miles (their one year old) spent his time running laps in the giant, empty conference room with someone trying to keep up with him pretty much the whole time. We were truly a village working towards a common cause and we quickly coalesced into a powerful force-for-change.

After dinner on Saturday, we headed to our hotels, AirBnB’s and homes to rest up for (potentially) the big day. At this point, we still had no idea if our public comment would be heard the following day (Sunday) or the one after (Monday) which added significant challenge to the mix.

Practicing our ICC Hearings TestimoniesWe gathered again on Sunday morning and began working on the “Phase 2” testimonies. After several dry runs, we felt ready to present our case. As we were watching the live-feed of the proceedings on a computer, we could  feel the steady pace at which officials were blazing through the other public comments/proposals and our stomachs began to turn in anticipation. With about 2 hours to go, we made our way to the Great Hall and settled in the best we could.

THE NUTS ‘N BOLTS ON HOW THE PROCESS WORKS

With the help of Martin Hammer and David Eisenberg, I wrote the tiny house appendix (known as case number RB-168-16) and submitted it to the ICC in the form of a public comment. This appendix was a direct response to a proposal originally submitted at the ICC Committee Hearings in Louisville, KY this last April. The original proposal was written by a retired building official out of Oregon who is not part of the tiny house community per-se. Because it was not well written, it was immediately denied by the action committee in April.

Martin tipped us off a couple months ago that we may be able to essentially “re-open” that case for this Kansas City hearing and request that it be “approved as modified by the public comment”. Martin and I spent the next 7-8 weeks working full time on a new proposal to submit to the ICC for inclusion in this hearing. The timing was extremely short but we managed to not only submit the proposal by the deadline but also to get it approved for the official hearing schedule. This was not without its own set of drama and anxiety but that’s a different story for another time.

Our first objective at the hearings was to overturn the original denial of RB-168-16. In order to do so, we would need to receive a simple majority vote from all voting ICC members in attendance at the hearings. If we received the go-ahead from the ICC to essentially re-open the case, we would move on to Phase 2. We were pretty confident that they would at least be willing to re-open the case but it was Phase 2 we knew would be our biggest challenge.

ICC Hearing Great Hall

During Phase 2 we would each need to present a statement no more than two minutes long, defending every code alteration request. We would also need to rebut all opposing comments from other ICC members but would only be allotted one minute each for that task. Of course we would have no idea what comments, concerns, and questions the opposing side might have, so we prepared for the worst.

Our ultimate goal at these hearings was to receive a “Yes” vote from 2/3 or more of all ICC voting members in attendance during phase 2. A 2/3 vote would be enough to move the proposal onto the next level of voting. A “No” vote would mean that our proposal was dead in the water and that we would need to wait three years until the next ICC code cycle before being allowed to try again. By the way, we needed to win a 2/3 majority from a group of roughly 120 ICC members made up of building officials, fire marshals and the like.

STEPPING UP TO THE STAGE

About to Present at the ICC HearingsWhen our turn came to defend RB-168-16, we stepped to the front of the room and sat next to the microphones. Our team of ten was ready to go and it was showtime. I stood up as the first speaker to request a motion to re-open the public comment and was surprised when a stranger beat me to the mic. He stated that the voting members should vote yes to re-open the comment and at least give us a chance to present what we had prepared. This happened a couple more times before I was finally able to reach the mic to speak. We couldn’t have asked for a better opening or better endorsements from the ICC community itself.

The most amazing thing is that as our team continued to read each statement, more and more building officials came up and spoke on our behalf. Some faces were familiar but most were completely unknown to any of us. In fact, so many ICC members spoke that we decided to stop our Phase 1 testimony and instead opted to allow for the vote to re-open the public comment to be called. For us to win this first stage we only needed a simple majority vote; however, we were a little nervous because we had just witnessed all but one of the proposals ahead of us get shot down during Phase 1. The track record didn’t look very promising.

By a show of hands we could see that much more than 50% of voting ICC members had raised their hands and we heard the moderator say the words we had been praying for: “the motion is denied (that’s a good thing as it meant the original motion was overturned) and we call for a new motion on the floor.”

We made a motion to have our public comment heard and a building official in the audience seconded it, allowing us to proceed. As much as we were excited, we didn’t have time to celebrate. We moved immediately to Phase 2 testimonies. We continued through our ranks and once again building officials stood and spoke in our support, this time to approve the public comment and appendix.

BA, Zack, and Andrew at the ICC HearingsEventually, we finished our testimony and the opposition was invited to speak. They raised several points of concern, but in truth, none were hostile or even major oppositions. Even the self-proclaimed “bad guy” confessed to the audience that his wife is obsessed with “those tiny house shows”. We responded to their concerns in the rebuttal stage.

Finally it was time for a vote. What’s amazing is that before our comment was heard, the number of people in the room had swelled considerably. Clearly, this was an interesting topic and many had come to watch, listen, and vote.

As the moderator called for the vote, we watched the hands go up in support, followed by the hands in opposition. It was too close to call if 2/3 majority had been reached so the moderator asked for each voting member to stand in support and then in opposition while ICC staff walked around the room and tallied each vote count in each quadrant. We had only seen this process happen once before in our hours of watching the proceedings before hand.

When the count was tallied, the moderator announced, “the motion to approve the proposal as modified by the public comment carries.” We had won and were now one step closer to a national model code for tiny houses!!!! The final vote count was 81 in favor and 34 against. Five over the 2/3 majority required. There were tears of joy, ear-to-ear smiles, and even some applause from the building officials and fire marshals (I don’t think that happens too often in this domain).

ICC Group PhotoAfter the win we all moved into the hallway and met with several building officials that approached us to congratulate us on our efforts. We received numerous compliments on our professionalism and exceptional organization. Several officials offered their help to get the next step passed.

A few officials told us that what we had achieved was truly historic. They had never seen a major code change, such as the one we presented, pass on the first attempt. They said it is much more common for a new provision to take two to three code cycles before approval. Since each cycle is three years long, the norm is for proposals to take anywhere from six to nine years for approval!

We did it on the very first go around and for that I am very proud of our team, our preparation, and our follow through. We were even able to “turn” several ICC voting members who had planned to vote against us to ultimately stand in our support.

Celebrating our ICC Hearing WinAfter basking in the victory with all the tiny housers that showed up in support, we took our celebration to the streets of Kansas City for a night out on the town. Even as we celebrated though, we knew that our efforts to get this code approved were not over, and that we would be back to work the following morning.

SO WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

I want to be REALLY CLEAR…we are not done yet and the appendix has NOT BEEN APPROVED at this time. We still have work ahead of us. The final vote will take place during a two week window that starts on November 8th. All voting members of the ICC across the country will have the opportunity to vote electronically.

We need to win yet another two-thirds majority of those votes in order to have the appendix officially approved. With up to 20,000 voting members, our efforts have to be strong, coordinated, professional, and in line with ICC protocol to drum up the support we need.

We will be putting out a specific call-to-action in the days to come. WE WILL NEED YOUR HELP! The key now is that we don’t want anyone to start making phone calls, writing letters or emails, or otherwise take any steps until we’ve released the plan of action. We are creating a coordinated, concise, and respectful effort to get the word out to voting ICC members. Stay tuned for more…

WHAT DOES IT MEAN IF IT FULLY PASSES?

2015_IRC from the ICCYou may be wondering what the approval of this appendix would mean for you and/or for the tiny house community in general. I like to be an optimist, so I’ll say WHEN we get the approval, tiny houses will be added to the International Residential Code (IRC). This is the model code in the entire US (except Wisconsin), Guam, Puerto Rico, DC, and the US Virgin Islands for one and two family dwellings (i.e. residential construction). Please click here to learn more about the appendix in question and to read it for yourself.

The IRC is what nearly all building departments base their codes on in residential construction. Each jurisdiction may modify the code to fit their specific needs, but the starting point is the IRC. When the tiny house appendix is approved within that code, it will mean that you can go to any building department that has adopted the appendix and use it to build your tiny house…legally!

One note is that as we’ve mentioned in previous articles on this topic, this appendix does not currently apply to tiny houses on wheels. It covers all other aspects such as the use of lofts as sleeping areas, ceiling heights under lofts, emergency egress, loft access, and more. We were told, in no uncertain terms, by an IRC official that if we kept the portion of our proposal that included “movable tiny houses” that he would throw out the entire proposal and we wouldn’t have the chance to present it in Kansas City at all. Again, you can read more about our appendix HERE. It is my strong belief that the details of this appendix will help everyone in the tiny house movement, not just those individuals building on a foundation. I’ll write more about this topic in the coming weeks once our current efforts are taken care of.

Note that I say that the code would be in place in jurisdictions that have adopted it. That will be another battle for us in the future: getting states, counties, and cities to officially adopt the appendix into their local code. It is not a shoe-in because the IRC appendices are not automatically accepted along with the rest of the code and have to be individually adopted by each jurisdiction. That is something we will have to work for. Fortunately, most jurisdictions we have communicated with are seeking something in the code that specifically address tiny houses so that they can know what to do with all the requests they’re receiving. Chances are good that many will adopt the appendix as a result.

That comes later though. For now, let’s stay focused on our immediate task at hand: getting the two-thirds majority we need for the overall approval by the ICC. As I mentioned, we will be putting out a specific call to action in the coming days. Please look for it and please take the action described within it to help us make this a reality for our tiny house families across the country. Until then, I ask that you wait patiently and don’t start taking any action to contact your building officials on behalf of this proposal.

We want to once again thank all of our donors that enabled our entire team to be in attendance at the hearings. I truly could not have done this without their help. From the bottom of our hearts to yours…THANK YOU!

Onward!

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43 Responses to Update from the ICC Hearings in Kansas City

  1. D. Allard October 25, 2016 at 12:17 pm #

    Glad to hear the details of the hearing!
    Will be follow this closely.
    Know that my city is very interested in the future of these results.
    Codes is a big issue when comes to building structures.
    Hopefully all continues as smoothly as possible.

  2. Thom Stanton, TH Designer October 25, 2016 at 12:32 pm #

    Kudos once again to all who have brought the legal issues for building tiny houses to the forefront of our industry, and into public eyes. There is space between manufactured houses (MH – on wheels), recreational vehicles (RV – on wheels), and IRC based construction (permanent foundation).

    Tiny house builders have proven that you don’t have to build on a permanent foundation to be safe, that DIY builders can build upon a chassis (currently only allowed for MH & RV), and that small structures are quite livable, and pretty… the later of which is largely lost on smaller MHs and almost all RVs.

    Here’s to the #TinyTeam and all others working to see this vision become a reality!

  3. Joshua Engberg October 25, 2016 at 12:32 pm #

    Thank you for taking the time to lay out the whole process for everyone, i personally really appreciated it. we look forward to the hearing what next steps will be and we look forward to continuing to support this effort to full approval. Travel safe back home!

  4. Fred October 25, 2016 at 12:32 pm #

    Truly historic!

    keep us informed so we can get our local voting officials involved.

    great job guys!

  5. dave October 25, 2016 at 12:39 pm #

    Great work. Congrats to everyone. Keep on trucking…

  6. Kim Christoffersen October 25, 2016 at 12:41 pm #

    Great, great work! I for one am ready to help in any way I can to get this passed. Again, thank you all!

  7. Viki S October 25, 2016 at 1:03 pm #

    Yes! Eager to move forward on this and ask our local ICC members to be part of the change (pending instructions, of course). Congratulations on making it so far with such success.

  8. Alan Plummer October 25, 2016 at 1:17 pm #

    Excellent, Thanks for the update, I’ve already been contacted by the media and many others inquiring about specifics.

    I’ll let them know to wait. It’s coming!

    ap

    • Andrew
      Andrew October 25, 2016 at 1:28 pm #

      Thanks Alan. Please do wait (I know you will). We will get you specifics ASAP.

  9. BA Norrgard October 25, 2016 at 1:32 pm #

    Great recap, Andrew, thank you! ::::clanging symbols and high stepping::::

    I’ve shared it in several places.

  10. Amy Turnbull October 25, 2016 at 2:41 pm #

    Thanks to the Tiny House Team in spear-heading this remarkable victory! The American Tiny House Association is ready to help get the 2/3 vote we need in phase two!

  11. Marc Lee Winnig October 25, 2016 at 2:50 pm #

    Totally freaking awesome!

    Congratulations all, thank you for your hard work and for sharing this great news so well!

  12. LINDA DILLON October 25, 2016 at 3:32 pm #

    Thank you for your hard work on this! We will be waiting to hear what we should do to help!

  13. Lynn October 25, 2016 at 3:32 pm #

    Proud of everyone in leading the charge for the Tiny House Movement!!

  14. Susan Shell October 25, 2016 at 5:50 pm #

    Congratulations and Much Luck in the days and months ahead. I, for one, would like to build a “Moveable Tiny House” -on wheels. Not sure your efforts will help with that type of dwelling but still appreciate all your hard work and effort!

    • Andrew
      Andrew October 26, 2016 at 5:36 pm #

      Hi Susan, although the proposed appendix is written specifically for THOFs, the provisions within it will be very helpful for THOWs as well. Both types of homes will benefit from the success of this upcoming vote. I’ll explain more about that in the coming weeks, but for now I am focused on the task at hand. 🙂

  15. Cody Bartz October 25, 2016 at 6:31 pm #

    Excellent news! Way to go to all involved hands!! You are all amazing.

    Love,
    Cody Bartz

  16. Elena October 25, 2016 at 9:18 pm #

    Congratulations! What an incredible team of hard workers it took to make this happen! I am in awe of you all. Thank you for all your hard work! I’m looking forward to hearing how to help move the next vote forward, will await your instruction!

    While I have to say I’m a bit disappointed this doesn’t apply to tiny houses on wheels, it is completely understandable that you’re proceeding according to what is going to be able to move forward. I hope some day this can be addressed too!

    Thank you again! Reading this gave me goosebumps- what a process!

    • Andrew
      Andrew October 26, 2016 at 5:37 pm #

      Thank you Elena. Please check out the response I just wrote to Susan about the THOWs topic. I think you’ll be happily surprised. 🙂

  17. RICHARD SALVAGGIO October 25, 2016 at 10:11 pm #

    Andrew,

    Outstanding Work and Effort !!

    Thanks so much for your unselfish efforts to further a cause and movement that will ultimately benefit so many.

    This is so uncommon in today’s society and you deserve major kudos for it.
    Pleas pass on the Thanks to all those unmentioned others, who contributed in any way to make this landmark progress possible.

    I would comment out to those that are bursting with enthusiasm to jump in PLEASE BE Patient. It is apparent that the team and style and understanding of process and procedure is paramount for future victories.

    My dad always said,…Good Things come to those who wait.

    Understand that these houses may never roll….but indeed they might. The progress is a baby step forward and we need to crawl before we run.

    Thanks again so much…

    Rich Salvaggio
    Former Builder / Remodeler (30 years) semi retired
    Tiny Home Enthusiast

    • Andrew
      Andrew October 26, 2016 at 5:38 pm #

      Thanks Rich and thank you for making the point about patience. It is so very true and well said. Cheers.

  18. /bob October 26, 2016 at 5:37 am #

    Absolutely GREAT news! Looking forward to future progress in the process.

  19. Sherri Ault October 26, 2016 at 6:44 am #

    Thank you so much for all of you work on this!

  20. Kim Ornellas October 26, 2016 at 6:57 am #

    Andrew! That is fantastic!!! Thank you and the team for taking the time and energy to do this! Looking forward to helping you gain more support, let me know if you need ay graphic design support. 🙂 Kim

    • Andrew
      Andrew October 26, 2016 at 5:40 pm #

      Thank you Kim and for your efforts to help us succeed. The memes were great!

  21. Ashley Crowder October 26, 2016 at 2:25 pm #

    What do you think this would mean for tiny houses on wheels that currently exist? Do you think they may be grandfathered in since its past the permitting stages?

    Thanks

    Ashley

    • Andrew
      Andrew October 26, 2016 at 5:43 pm #

      Hi Ashley. That will be a case by case basis with the local building officials as there is no specific provision that speaks to existing homes in the appendix. I would imagine that as long as you can meet the standards of the appendix, you should be able to get approvals.

      I always encourage people to photograph and film the building process in detail so that there is documented evidence of the construction practices. Being able to show that you built to code is very helpful when speaking with building officials.

  22. Genevieve Barber October 27, 2016 at 8:10 am #

    Wow! I am getting teary just reading this. What a great victory. You’d mentioned the upcoming phone calls and emails that we, as supporters, will be able to send. How will you get the word out about this? Is there some email list I can sign up on? I’d like to be part of the effort to get us to 2/3 of the 20,000 voting members. Thanks!

    • Andrew
      Andrew October 27, 2016 at 8:24 am #

      Hi Genevieve. We will post the document to our website and to all of our social media outlets. All of the other speakers will be doing the same. We will ask people to share it on their own pages as well. It will be a grassroots effort and I have faith in all of us that we can make this happen!

  23. Genevieve Barber October 27, 2016 at 10:34 am #

    OK, great! I’ll bookmark this page and keep an eye out. Thanks for what you’re doing!

  24. Regina October 27, 2016 at 2:25 pm #

    I was just as excited reading This, as the enthusiasm you wrote the article with…:):)
    Thank you, Andrew, and to everyone for all the hard work all has put into this…
    I feel like you guys are really working for us tiny house enthusiasts…and it is greatly appreciated
    Now when i build my Tiny house , in the future, finding a place may be just a bit easier…
    Peace and blessings and much hope the next phase is a success…
    Sincerely
    Reggiv

  25. Neal Nilsen October 27, 2016 at 9:25 pm #

    Andrew.. and Team
    Please accept my appreciation for the great work to date, and the road ahead. This first win was mentioned on this evening’s ATHA annual meeting conference call which sparked me to research and get engaged. Please get me on your list for the next steps.

    All the best
    Neal Nilsen

  26. TJ Houston October 27, 2016 at 9:36 pm #

    Hello Andrew,
    I can understand how this would be considered for passage, and I’m sure will pass, as it will be another form of taxation revenue for tiny homes on foundations. Let me ask you this, as you are involved with the manufactured home side of things now, do you envision THOW being treated like manufactured homes? By that I mean up on blocks, wheels off, maybe hitch taken off? In other words THOW being treated like THOF at some point for taxation purposes? I realize there are a lot of people who envision tiny home communities in some pristine location with all the amenities and for these people this would be a great step forward in that direction. Then there are others of us who enjoy the independence that a THOW brings, a more self sufficient lifestyle afforded by modern tecnology, like propane tankless water heaters, solar panels, propane or EPA trailer approved wood stoves, woodgas for internal combustion engines (for vehicke or generator), full size gas refrigerators and chest freezers, etc. In short, on wheels, not taxed.
    I know you head isn’t there yet, I’m just very curious as to how this is going to play out, or how you think it might.
    I wish you the best on your efforts, even though I don’t fully understand them yet.
    TJ

    • Andrew
      Andrew October 30, 2016 at 12:33 pm #

      Hi TJ. At this point we are working on getting tiny houses added to the code and those are only THOFs as the language stands now. The good news is that the code change will make it easier for people who want to build a THOW legally as well because the provisions of the appendix will make the details of the house above the chassis that much easier to pass through code inspection. In other words, legal sleeping lofts, egress and emergency access, loft access (stairs, ladders, etc.) and ceiling height issues will all be resolved by this code appendix.

      It will still be possible for those who wish to build without code compliance and stay off the radar to do so. That has always been and will continue to be “at their own risk.” As you know, I firmly believe that if people are living in an area and using the “facilities” such as roads, police, fire, ambulance, etc. that those people should pay their fair share. The way that payment is made here in the states is through property taxes. So if that means their will be taxation on tiny houses, either on wheels or foundations, I am okay with that. If there are no services provided and taxation still exists, that’s a problem outside of the tiny house world that should be addressed. That’s my two cents.

      I plan to bring tiny houses on wheels back to the ICC in the next code cycle in an attempt to include them as code compliant. As noted above, that inclusion will change things for thousands of people, but won’t stop others from building and living outside of that code if they choose to do so. At least, it won’t be any different than it is today in regards to living illegally. 🙂

  27. TJ Houston October 31, 2016 at 7:14 pm #

    Hello Andrew,
    Thanks for the reply. Ok, now we’re sort of getting to the meat of it. I own an acre-and-a-half with a pole barn and am already paying “my taxes”. I have a 32′ rv that I “camp out” in. I paid taxes on the purchase price and am paying my “road use service” taxes when I pay for my registration. So taxes are not the issue as such. What I’m saying is with an rv you’re paying your road taxes on the trailer, not a separate real estate tax, which would be very much higher than a plate fee. I do find your term “living illegally” a little surprising, as I didn’t know there was such a thing. If I was snowbirding around the country in an rv, that is not “living illegally”, it is a lifestyle choice.
    So I guess what I’m saying is that a building code (as long as the owner is able to build to code themselves) is fine and in some ways even desireable as long as it pertains to safety. Of course we both know that motor homes like winnebagos are death machines on wheels. Many tiny homes are built on trailers and there are already laws against people riding in them while being towed.
    I’m getting side tracked, sorry. I see a bigger picture here, I see a tiny house regulatory agency slowly being built. So, as a person building a tiny house (maybe) I want to give you some input. For THOWs try to find a path to a simple registration like the rv industry does, only not so restrictive (should I have said “locked up”). Like if you build to code then all you have to do is register it as a THOW, period, end of story. Of course the build would have to be documented and maybe inspected by the “local” (?? entity).
    Just my 2 cents.
    You’re involved in something big that is going to impact a lot of people, think it through. If it all goes well maybe I’ll pat you on the butt later.
    TJ

    • Andrew
      Andrew November 2, 2016 at 10:31 am #

      Thanks for the comments TJ. Believe me, we are thinking ever step of this process through with incredible scrutiny. There are things that we might WANT to do that simply aren’t possible within the context of how housing is managed in the US. That’s just a simple fact and we have to work within the existing system in order to create change. If someone wants to ignore the system and find another way to change things for the better, that’s an option for them. I plan to work within the confines of the current code to create the best options for tiny houses as HOUSES.

      Please understand that everything I am doing is for tiny HOUSES not tiny house RVs. Those are two different things. You can legally live in a tiny house RV if you travel all the time and are changing locations often. In some cases, you can live legally in a tiny house RV in an RV Park. The options are very limited. If you want a HOUSE, then you have to go through the building department, which means working within the IRC. That’s just the way it is right now.

      • TJ Houston November 2, 2016 at 6:56 pm #

        Ok, got it now. Thanks.

        TJ

  28. Victoria November 1, 2016 at 10:38 pm #

    Thank you very much for putting some meat in the teeth of the tiny house movement. When things graduate west to California, I will be ready to help deal with the politics on this side. Again, thanks. I love those tiny houses.

    • Andrew
      Andrew November 2, 2016 at 10:11 am #

      Thanks Victoria. Just to be clear, this is a national code and it will include every state (except Wisconsin) if adopted.

  29. Jamila Tharp November 16, 2016 at 8:19 am #

    Hi Andrew,

    Do we have any updates yet?

    I am in northern California and our local county waits with much hopeful anticipation.

    Can you email me please? I have a few questions.

    Thank you.
    Sincerely,
    Jamila Tharp
    Community Vision Healing Consulting

    • Andrew
      Andrew November 16, 2016 at 12:20 pm #

      Hi Jamila. We won’t know anything until after the vote closes on November 21st. Hopefully, we will have a resounding YES sometime after that date. I too am waiting with much hopeful anticipation!!!

  30. Eddie H Diaz December 9, 2016 at 8:33 am #

    Keep up the good work. Florida is waiting for the changes

  31. Tracey January 12, 2017 at 8:32 pm #

    Andrew,

    When your wife went to Seattle, has she heard anything about Washington State making it legal to build a tiny house? What is your take on that? I look forward from hearing back on this.

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