HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 04-092
Brian Sullivan
(202) 708-0685 x7527

For Release
September 23, 2004

HUD offers new construction tips for those who lost their homes

PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - 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.

Housing and Urban Development 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," said Shea. "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."

"HUD and the building industry learned several lessons after Hurricane Andrew," Weicher said. "Today, HUD's new manufactured building standards are creating homes that are significantly more hurricane resistant, giving families more peace of mind that they can weather any storm."

Following Hurricane Charley, two of the homes that were installed for the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition suffered minor roof damage that was quickly and inexpensively repaired. Other homes in the Port Charlotte community experienced much more significant damage and are still shrouded in blue tarps awaiting repairs.

We were just so pleased to be able to provide a safe and affordable home for families with children," said the Coalition's Connie Thrasher. "After Charley, we can still say these homes are safe and affordable."

HUD today also released new consumer information designed to help homeowners to repair and rebuild their damaged or destroyed homes using the latest advanced building technologies (see attached). In partnership with the housing industry, HUD is working to improve the safety, quality, durability and affordability of manufactured homes through these advanced building technologies. For more information about HUD's Partnership for Advancing Technologies in Housing (PATH) Program, visit

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" are greatly improving the wind and impact resistance of manufactured housing. In addition, HUD's new building standards and the industry's latest innovations are creating energy efficient homes that are also termite resistant.

Meanwhile, HUD continues to study the performance of newly installed manufactured homes in real world conditions. Since Hurricanes Frances, Charley and Ivan, HUD's initial assessment found the newer on-site and manufactured housing preformed quite well. Homes fitted with impact resistant windows, reinforced garage doors and hurricane shutters weathered the recent storms particularly well. 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 the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and



If your home was recently damaged in this year's hurricanes, it is important that the rebuilding process be done properly to insure your damaged home can be built to withstand future storms. Choosing the right contractor who uses the right building materials and who pays attention to construction details is key to rebuilding your home.

Choosing a renovation or rehabilitation contractor is always a difficult process.

  • The best source of information is from ones you trust. Did you learn of the contractor from friends or acquaintances? Have they had a good experience with the contractor?

  • Has the contractor been in the community a long time?

  • Is the contractor willing to give you number of recent references, not just one or two?

  • Ask if the contractor will rebuild all elements to the latest hurricane requirements in the building code

When working with the contractor here is some technical issue to consider. These recommendations come from the PATH research.

  • Reduce dangerous uplift through the use of hurricane straps and clips. In hurricane-prone areas, use hurricane ties or clips to connect the roof to the wall system, which helps keep the roof on the home. Line up bracing and truss tie-down points, and anchor each level to the level below. Use light-gauge steel straps to anchor the first story to the foundation. Over the years, hurricane ties had a 92% success rate.

  • Wall bracing: Make sure that contractor in rebuilding walls uses a rated bracing material such as oriented strand board or plywood.

  • Construction practices with durability in mind: Material durability is key to future disaster resistance. Buy and install materials that will last. Also, attention to small details - lapping wall top plates at intersections with interior walls and attaching sheathing to a common stud in corner construction - can make all the difference, according to full-scale shear wall testing done by the NAHB Research Center.

  • Proper nailing schedule: Size, type and placement are all factors. Inadequate nailing in older building codes was implicated in the widespread roof sheathing damage in Hurricane Andrew. When inspecting roof-sheathing nails, attention to a gable end truss is especially important.

  • Ring-shank nails: To secure sheathing panels in hurricane-prone areas with basic wind speed of 110 mph or greater, ring-shank nails are necessary for their higher withdrawal capacity.

  • Protection from wind-borne debris: Reduce forces on the structure and minimize water and wind-related damages to the interior by protecting windows with approved shutters or properly fastened wood structural panels in coastal homes that might experience a hurricane.

  • Proper garage doors. If your garage door needs replacement, make your that your new door is reinforced to better resist hurricane force winds. Garage door failure opens homes to the full force of hurricanes with often-catastrophic damage to the home.

  • Assure quality and energy efficiency. In the haste to rebuild and restore, avoid building practices and materials result in homes and businesses that are not properly weatherized and energy efficient. By properly flashing and sealing buildings, you will minimize future water damage and mold growth. By selecting and properly installing energy-efficient HVAC equipment, lighting and appliances, and by weatherizing the buildings, you will maximize resources and minimize your future energy bills.

For additional information on disaster resistant technologies and practices as well as other information on building homes that are safer, more durable, energy efficient and affordable, visit the PATH website at


Content Archived: April 22, 2010