Why GAO Did This Study
Since 1976, HUD has been responsible for developing construction and safety standards (the HUD Code) for manufactured homes. Concerns have been raised by Congress and others about existing HUD code requirements that are intended to ensure proper indoor air quality, including protecting occupants from potential carbon monoxide exposure. As requested, GAO examined 1) existing standards for separating air intakes and exhaust vents in both manufactured and site-built homes; 2) reasons for differences in ventilation standards for manufactured and site-built homes; and 3) the number of manufactured homes built, the distances between their air intakes and exhaust vents, and the performance of their ventilation systems. GAO reviewed documentation from HUD and building standards organizations to determine differences in requirements tied to ventilation and air quality, reviewed the rulemaking process and status of proposed updates to manufactured housing standards related to ventilation and air quality, analyzed data on the occupancy of manufactured houses subject to HUD's standards, assessed HUD's efforts to ensure compliance with certain standards, and interviewed agency officials and indoor air quality experts.
What GAO Recommends
GAO recommends that HUD test the performance of installed ventilation systems and reassess its ventilation standards. HUD generally agreed with both recommendations and stated that it would bring them before the MHCC for consideration.