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Temporary Housing as Defined by Housing Codes

Housing > Small House Society > Resources > Glossary

Summary. This page describes how Temporary Housing is defined according to typical housing codes.

The tiny home on wheels pictured here, from Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, is an example of an dwelling that is considered temporary housing. Despite this legal definition, people are able to live in these small houses year-round because they are built with high quality commercial-grade materials and designed for very comfortable daily living.

The text below is taken from the City Code of Iowa City, Title 17 (Building and Housing), Chapter 5 (Housing Code), Section 3 (Definitions).

TEMPORARY HOUSING: Any tent, trailer, motor home or other structure used for human shelter and designed to be transportable and not attached to the ground, to another structure or to any utilities system on the same premises. Such temporary housing may occur for no more than twenty one (21) consecutive days nor exceed a total of forty five (45) days in any calendar year.

It’s unfortunate that durable homes built with the latest sustainable technology are categorized in the law as similar to tents, yet this is how many municipalities consider tiny homes on wheels.

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com