Lawmakers Pushing For Florida To Adopt ‘Tiny Homes’ Building Codes

As the “tiny homes” trend continues to sweep across America, Florida lawmakers are pushing for new codes that would make them easier to build in the Sunshine State.

State Rep. Anna Eskamani, a Democrat from Orlando, has been pushing for the state to recognize tiny homes in an effort to combat Florida’s affordable housing shortage

“It’s kind of a disruptor in a way because it does challenge the typical single-family home dynamic, which, typically these days, ranges from 2,000 to 2,500 square feet. So it definitely is a challenge to what we typically might see in the sprawl communities in Florida,” Eskamani said at the time she filed House Bill 801. “But if we want to build density, if we want to assure there is enough housing for everyone, if we want relief for the affordable housing crisis in Florida, we have to get creative.”

HB 801 went nowhere but that didn’t stop Eskamani, who has filed another housing-related bill. State Sen. Victor Torres plans file a companion bill to Eskamani’s House Bill 6013 for the 2020 session. 

While Eskamani’s House Bill 6013 is focused on rent control, the refile news comes as the Florida Building Commission has proposed adopting new regulations on tiny homes. 

The proposal would see Florida adopt the International Code Council’s “Appendix Q” regulations, which have special rules for tiny homes that include ceiling heights, lofts and egresses.

“Most of the stakeholders I’ve spoken with are really happy with this news,” Eskamani said. “But at the end of the day it will be up to local governments to adopt ordinances that accept Appendix Q. We just hope that with the state adoption, they’ll be more inspired.”

The idea is that a state-level adoption of the rules will help build out the framework for cities and counties to follow suit. 

“This would give those local jurisdictions that are kind of out there right now and trying to find some specific wording, it’ll give them a good start, saying ‘Florida recognizes this. Let’s tweak it for our own municipalities’ benefits,” said Mike Cheatham, the owner of tiny house building company Movable Roots.

If you are wondering if a tiny home is for you, Business Insider spoke with six people who gave the trend a try.

Of the six, four had overwhelmingly positive experiences with little downsides. 

For example, Jenna Spesard told Business Insider that “it didn’t take long before I had a routine and living in a small space was no big deal … the truth is, as long as you downsize and design your space well, it’s an easy transition.”

However, Bekah Taylor told Business Insider that parking was a nightmare, even in Oregon where “the rules for tiny homes are pretty relaxed.” shared seven lessons for people thinking about transitioning to tiny homes. The tips to follow were: 

  1. Have Your Reasons

  2. Cut Back In Categories

  3. Tailor Your Home To Your Life

  4. Stay Space-Smart

  5. Understand Your Utilities

  6. Find a Place To Call Home

  7. Enjoy The Closeness