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The Manufactured Housing Program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulates the construction of certain factory-built housing units, called manufactured homes, formerly known as mobile homes. The Federal program also oversees enforcement of the construction standards through private inspection agencies and state governments.

HUD has regulated the design and construction of manufactured (mobile) homes since June 1976. The Federal Program includes monitoring of third parties involved in the design review and inspection process, but excludes the actual sitting of the homes. Some states inspect every installation, while in others; the inspections are done either by local government or not at all. HUD uses a small staff at its headquarters, supported by agreements with 38 states SAAs, a Monitoring Contractor, IBTS, and testing laboratories, on occasion, to administer the program.

Certain HUD approved states and private third party agencies, IPIA and DAPIA, inspect manufactured homes and verify that manufacturers' designs are consistent with the HUD standards. Home Manufacturers contract directly with the state or local third party for the design review and home inspection services. Lists of the state governments and HUD-approved third party inspection agencies are available.

Manufactured home retailers also have certain responsibilities to ensure that only homes that meet the Standards are sold to the general public. Ten of the 18 active HUD-approved third party agencies are units of state governments, with the balance made up of private for-profit corporations. All designs must be reviewed and approved by a manufacturer's design agency, a DAPIA (Design Approval Primary Inspection Agency), which also approves each plant's quality assurance manual.

Each manufacturer also hires an IPIA (Production Inspection Primary Inspection Agency), which must certify the plant, inspect each home at some stage of construction in the plant, and issue the actual HUD certification label that is attached to each section of the home upon completion. In addition, the IPIA monitors the manufacturer's Quality Control Program.

The Federal program is implemented through two major regulations: (1) 24 CFR 3280, which is a nationally preemptive set of standards for the design and construction of these homes (commonly known in this industry as the HUD Code) and (2) 24 CFR 3282, which governs the enforcement of the HUD Code. The homes built under this program vary extensively and as such provide unsubsidized, affordable housing for many families, and has represented up to one third of all new single family homes annually. Over five million HUD Code homes have been built since 1976, and the overall quality and safety of manufactured homes has continued to improve. Over 64 corporations produce manufactured housing in about 208 plants (production lines) in 33 states, with current annual production of about 130,000 homes.

IBTS's Role in the Federal Manufactured Housing Program

IBTS is HUD's contract monitoring agent for the Federal Manufactured Housing Program. IBTS (formerly the HBT Division of NCSBCS) has provided the nationwide contract support since the program started in 1976. IBTS is responsible for the monitoring and annual assessment of the business processes and procedures of the manufacturers, third party agencies and state government agencies that participate in the Federal program.

The Design Approval Primary Inspection Agencies (DAPIAs) approve manufactured home designs for compliance with the Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards. Production Inspection Primary Inspection Agencies (IPIAs) inspect manufactured home facilities to ensure that in-plant quality assurance systems continue to build conforming homes. In addition, IBTS assist SAAs (State Administrative Agencies) in carrying out their responsibilities in overseeing manufacturers, retailers, installers and the handling of consumer complaints.

IBTS Services

IBTS conducts the following monitoring activities:

The Design Approval Primary Inspection Agencies (DAPIAs)
  • Conduct oversight reviews of DAPIA approved designs.
  • Provide an annual performance assessment to HUD.
  • Make recommendations to improve performance or take enforcement actions.

The Production Inspection Primary Inspection Agencies (IPIAs)
  • Conduct oversight audits and inspections at manufactured home production facilities to determine how well IPIA agency personnel are performing.
  • Provide an annual performance assessment report to HUD.
  • Make recommendations to improve performance or take enforcement actions.
  • Oversee the reporting of certification label usage and collection of label fees.
  • Maintenance of all label records since the beginning of the Federal Program.

The State Administrative Agencies (SAAs)
  • Conduct Cooperative Management Assessments of the SAA operations.
  • Provide performance assessment reports of SAA programs to HUD.
  • Make recommendations to improve performance.
  • Assist HUD and SAAs in handling consumer complaints and in their regulatory responsibilities.

For more information, contact Richard St. Onge.

Frequently Asked Questions



IBTS is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization established to provide unbiased professional building code compliance services directly to, or on behalf of, government agencies at all levels. These services include inspections, plan reviews, building department services, education and training, staff augmentation, policy and procedure development, cost evaluation, energy ratings, and auditing.
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