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Tiny house can't be moved to mobile home park, for now

6:53 PM, Aug 29, 2013   |    comments
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(WBIR-Anderson Co.) A downsizing dream has been stalled for one Anderson County man who spent his entire life savings building a tiny home that the state says is not certified to move into a mobile home park.

Bob Pritts built the 208-square-foot home himself. It's only 8-feet wide and 26-feet long, but is equipped with a bathroom, kitchen, and living room with a couch that converts to a bed.

"This is all I need. I just want to finally move," said Pritts. "The movers are ready to go. The mobile home park is ready to go. I'm ready to go. But the county says 'no.'"

Pritts said that's because he registered his tiny house as an RV, which are considered temporary structures that cannot legally be permanently housed in mobile home communities.

Pritts created a blog and his followers sent emails to the Anderson County Mayor, Terry Frank.

"We don't have a lot of experience with this. And apparently there's not a lot of folks in Tennessee who do," said Frank.

The mayor reached out to state officials to try and find a possible solution. She said the state inspector cannot inspect the tiny house because it is less than 500-square-feet and does not have a HUD, or Housing and Urban Development, sticker.

"When we followed up there, we were told 'Well, unfortunately he's not going to be able to ever be certified as a mobile home because the laws require the home be manufactured by a certified manufacturer in a certified facility,'" said Frank.

Thursday, Frank sent information to the office of State Representative John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge).

"We are researching," said Tyler Lane. "A lot of it has fallen into the HUD criteria that he does not meet. The issue seems to be that he built the home himself. But we'll keep working."

"Sometimes the laws have to be changed to fit changing situations in society. And just because something is a law doesn't mean it's always going to be a law," said Frank. "I'm going to keep working and doing everything I can to help him out."

With the mayor and Representative Ragan's office looking into his issue, Pritts said he is optimistic.

"I have to be. It's either this or nothing. I'm too stubborn to quit. I refuse to quit. This will work, it has to," said Pritts.

He said he will continue to camp on his brother's yard while he waits for answers. Pritts said technically the property is not zoned for his tiny house so he hopes those answers come soon.

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