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Gov. Kasich Proposes Merging of Mobile Homes Commision and Commerce Department

photo of mobile homes

900,000 Ohioans live in mobile or trailer homes – manufactured homes, as they’re known.  Gov. John Kasich wants to merge the 9-member commission that oversees those homes with the Department of Commerce, which has more than 800 employees.

State fire marshal Larry Flowers says 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,” he 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. 

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.