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Budget Proposes Merging Manufactured Homes Commission With Department of Commerce

Mobile homes at Enchanted Acres on South Parsons Avenue.
Debbie Holmes
Mobile homes at Enchanted Acres on South Parsons Avenue.

Some 900,000 Ohioans live in mobile or trailer homes – manufactured homes, as they’re known. Gov. John Kasich wants to merge the small nine member commission that oversees those homes with the Department of Commerce, which has more than 800 employees.

State fire marshal Larry Flowers said a four-year study of state data shows there are more fatal fires in manufactured homes in Ohio than in any other surrounding state.

“We found that you are 4.2 times more likely to die in a manufactured home residence than you are in a standard one- and two-family," Flowers said.

The Ohio Manufactured Homes Commission does inspections and issues licenses with a $1.2 million annual budget.

Kasich has proposed streamlining inspections by folding the commission into the Department of Commerce, which includes the fire marshal’s office. But the commission says it disputes the state’s fire deaths data and says it has the support of manufactured home residents, and that resident complaints have dropped since the commission was created.