One week before Hurricane Charley slammed into Florida’s Gulf Coast, three homeless families in Port Charlotte moved into new manufactured homes built with the latest technologies to resist storm damage. With the exception of minor roof damage in two of homes caused by falling trees, all three homes survived Charley intact while others homes in the neighborhood were seriously damaged, the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today.

HUD Assistant Secretaries Dennis Shea and John C.Weicher today joined representatives from the National Association of Home Builders and the Manufactured Housing Institute to showcase the home at 3405 Douglas Road in Port Charlotte as an example of how advanced building technologies can create safer, more durable and energy-efficient housing.

“Today we see the proof that HUD’s new construction standards for manufactured housing are creating better and safer homes,” Shea said. “Working closely with our industry partners, we can say that properly installed manufactured housing is as safe and storm resistant as any other new home.”

Following Hurricane Andrew in 1994, HUD developed new construction standards to significantly increase the wind resistance and structural integrity of manufactured homes. Today, these new standards along with new technologies such as “structural insulated panels” and “fiber cement sheathing” aim to improve the wind and impact resistance of manufactured housing.

Meanwhile, HUD continues to study the performance of newly installed manufactured homes in real-world conditions. Homes fitted with impact-resistant windows, reinforced garage doors and hurricane shutters weathered the recent storms particularly well, HUD reported. In addition, the Department is studying how to better improve the performance of roofs. Over the next few years, HUD will study new roof systems in an effort to make roofing more disaster resistant, durable and energy efficient.

HUD is a federal agency that implements housing policy.

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