City of Odessa New MH Skirting, Steps, and Landing Ordinance

For all our members with an interest in the City of Odessa manufactured housing market, we have an update on proposed regulations the city council is expected to pass.  TMHA’s local ordinance alert system notified us of the proposed new ordinance. The issue first appeared as agenda Item #5 on the August 14 city council agenda. TMHA immediately alerted our potentially impacted members, and strongly encouraged them to get involved on this issue with city council members and city staff.

The new regulations will increase the skirting, steps and landing requirements for manufactured homes placed in the City of Odessa.  The new skirting requirements will only allow skirting that is, or has the appearance of brick, poured concrete, wood material or finished metal that matches the exterior of the home.  The step requirements for both front and back doors will be “permanent in nature” and made of “brick, stone, or poured concrete.”  The landing area will have to include “wooden accents” or a column porch with a roof.  The purpose of the changes, according to the city staff, is to create an “aesthetic upgrade” to manufactured homes coming into the city.

The video of the city council meeting, discussion and then unanimous vote to proceed with the new MH requirements is now available online.  Skip to the 13:40 minute mark to watch the discussion on the new skirting, steps and landing requirements.

The discussion regarding manufactured homes begins back at the 11-minute mark.  The issue and discussion was led by councilman Malcolm Hamilton from District 1.  Mr. Hamilton inquires on the possible loss in tax revenue that city is missing by allowing “trailers” rather than “slab concrete stick-built” housing.  Council members asserted that the lower appraised values of manufactured homes create a disproportionate tax burden on the stick-built homeowners because their taxes are higher while city services are provided to everyone, including the lower taxed manufactured home owners. Mr. Hamilton directly asks city staff to report back to the council how much the city, “is missing out on” in terms of tax revenue by, “allowing this mass of trailers to come within the city.”  The city manager is now going to report back the tax generation of “mobile homes” compared to stick-built housing.

The new skirting, steps, and landing regulations which passed first reading with a unanimous vote, is expected to pass on second reading at the August 28 meeting.  However, listening to the discussion and follow up questions asked by council members to city staff, in particular on the perception of a loss in what some council members think would be an increased tax base, could lead the city to require additional regulations or ban manufactured homes outright in the future.

In 2017, 324 new manufactured homes were installed a location with a City of Odessa address. TMHA, again, encourages any members with an interest in the City of Odessa market to contact city council members, city staff, and get involved.