The Tiny house Blog

Nebraska’s Tiny Home Regulations

Updated on:
June 9, 2023
Nebraska’s Tiny Home

The tiny home movement is sweeping the U.S. Tiny home living continues to rise in popularity because it helps people spend less. However, the best combination for saving money is moving into a tiny home in a state with a low cost of living.

This brings us to Nebraska. The overall cost of living in Nebraska is well below the national average. So the midwestern state is one of the most affordable places to live in the United States. For this reason, many tiny house enthusiasts who want to go tiny are considering Nebraska.

Since tiny homes are not legal in many places, the question is whether Nebraska is a tiny house friendly state. Are tiny homes legal in Nebraska? What are the “tiny house regulations” in Nebraska?

Nebraska is tiny house friendly. There are no state-wide laws regarding tiny houses, so the regulations vary from one location to the other. 

This guide will tell you everything you need to know about building and living in tiny homes in Nebraska. Thinking of owning a tiny house in Nebraska? Then you need to read this guide first!

Are tiny houses legal in Nebraska?

Tiny houses are legal in most places in Nebraska. However, like all other houses, tiny homes in Nebraska are subject to the zoning requirements of local jurisdictions.

Nebraska does not have specific guidelines for site-built tiny homes. But it has specific guidelines for tiny homes built off site. To be legal in Nebraska, off site tiny homes must have an appropriate State or Federal label affixed to them. This label attests to compliance with the relevant building codes.

Nebraska has an official document describing the types of tiny houses it recognizes. The types of tiny houses recognized by Nebraska are:

Manufactured (mobile) homes

These are tiny homes built following the rules and regulations of the HUD’s Federal Manufactured Home Act. This is the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Federal Manufactured Home Act. 

These tiny homes must pass a HUD inspection and be issued a HUD manufactured home label.

Modular housing units 

Modular units are tiny homes built following applicable codes. These include International Residential Code (IRC) and National Electrical Code adopted by Nebraska. Modular housing units built following these codes must pass relevant inspection. Such homes passing inspection will be issued the Nebraska Modular Housing Unit label.

Trailer parks 

These are tiny homes built following one of two standards. The first is the Park Model Recreational Vehicle Standard. The other is the National Fire Protection Association Standard on Recreational Vehicles. These tiny homes must pass relevant inspection. Such homes passing inspection are issued the Nebraska Recreational Vehicle label.

The first step for a prospective owner of a tiny house in Nebraska is to check with the local jurisdiction. The zoning laws vary widely by jurisdiction.

Some of the things regulated by local zoning laws are land use, location, and building size. Thus, while tiny homes are allowed in some areas, they may be banned in others. Also, even in places where tiny houses are permitted, they must meet specific requirements to be legal.

What Nebraska counties allow tiny houses?

Virtually all of Nebraska’s 93 counties allow tiny houses. However, this does not mean you should build in any county. Some Nebraska counties have extremely strict building regulations for tiny houses. 

Thus, some counties are more friendly than others regarding building tiny houses in Nebraska.

Some very friendly Nebraska counties and cities for tiny houses are:

  • Douglas County. The most welcoming city for tiny houses in Douglas county is Omaha.
  • Garden County. You’ll find lots of tiny houses in Oshkosh.
  • Lancaster County. Lincoln is ahead in the tiny house movement in Lancaster county. Tiny houses are very popular in the city, especially in residential neighborhoods. Martell is another city in Lancaster county city where tiny houses are popular.
  • Adams County. You'll find most of the tiny houses in the county in Hastings.
  • Custer County. A few modular homes and accessory dwelling units dot Custer county.
  • Sheridan County. Hay Springs in Sheridan county has a few mobile tiny homes and modular housing units on both rented and private land.
  • Harlan County. The city of Huntley has many of the tiny dwelling units in Harlan county.
  • Antelope County. Tiny houses are popular as affordable housing options in Orchard.
  • Hall County. Subject to zoning laws, tiny homes are permissible on private properties in Hall county.
  • Dawson County. Lexington has a few mobile homes.

Can you permanently live in a tiny house in Nebraska?

In Nebraska, you can live permanently in some tiny houses, while others are classified as temporary residences. 

Tiny homes classified as manufactured homes or modular buildings can be permanent residences. But they must comply with local jurisdictions’ applicable construction codes and zoning regulations. However, tiny homes classified as recreational vehicles are considered temporary residences. 

Craftsman Cottage
View the Craftsman Cottage - perfect for a getaway cabin in the woods 

How tiny can a house be in Nebraska?

How tiny a tiny house can be in Nebraska depends on local regulations. But generally, the minimum size is 120 square feet. The maximum size is 320 or 400 square feet, depending on the type of tiny house.

Nebraska tiny homes having a HUD approval label must be built according to the rules U.S. HUD’s Federal Manufactured Home Act. The regulations specify that the homes must be at most 320 square feet in size.

Tiny homes with a Nebraska Modular Housing Unit label must be built according to the International Residential Code (IRC). This means they must be at least 120 square feet and at most 400 square feet.

Tiny homes with a Nebraska Recreational Vehicle label must be built according to the Park Model RV Standard. This means these tiny homes must have an area of at most 400 square feet.

Heirloom-X - a tiny house
See the Heirloom-X - a tiny house you can customize to your heart's desire.

Tiny house regulations in Nebraska

In Nebraska, cities are responsible for tiny houses’ building requirements and zoning regulations. So, the tiny house regulations in Nebraska vary from place to place.

However, the rules vary widely depending on whether the tiny house is a permanent, temporary, or transitional dwelling.

Rules for permanent structures

Permanent tiny houses are also called Tiny Houses on Foundation (THOF). As this other name suggests, they are tiny houses built on permanent foundations.

Tiny houses on foundations generally have less strict rules. So, they are the best option if you want to deal with less restrictive regulations when switching to tiny living. However, these tiny homes are not mobile because of having a permanent foundation. So, you cannot attach your THOF to your truck and travel with it. 

That said, permanent tiny homes must have foundations meeting the IRC foundation requirement. For example,

  • The foundation should be capable of accommodating all loads on it and transmitting the load to the supporting soil.
  • The lot should be graded to divert surface drainage to a storm sewer conveyance.

Permanent structures do not have to meet only foundation requirements. They must also meet all local building ordinances. Also, the permanent structures must be connected to water, electricity, and sewer utilities.

Permanent structures meeting applicable construction codes and local zoning requirements qualify as permanent residences.

Rules for temporary tiny houses

Temporary tiny houses are “tiny houses on wheels” (THOW). As this other name suggests, they are built on the base frames of motor vehicles. This assures the initial and continued transportability of the home. A tiny house on wheels can be a recreational vehicle, motor home, park trailer, or travel trailer.

In Nebraska, a temporary tiny house on wheels must be built in accordance with ANSI A119.5 or NFPA 1192. ANSI A119.5 is the Park Model Recreational Vehicles Standard. 

NFPA 1192 is the National Fire Protection Association Standard. A THOW must also have a federal label attesting that they comply with these standards.

Haven tiny house
View the Haven tiny house - one of the larger tiny houses out there

The regulations regarding temporary tiny houses are tighter than those for permanent tiny houses. This is because the IRC’s standards for permanent structures are higher than the standard for Recreational Vehicles.

Lucy 28 tiny house
View Lucy 28 - a certified road-worthy tiny house on wheels with a one-of-a-kind design

Rules for transitional structures

The transitional structures are ready-removables or portable shelters. They are used to provide temporary shelter to solve problems of homelessness.

Generally, transitional structures are not considered legal living spaces. There are very strict regulations regarding transitional structures. This is to protect people who will stay in these houses.

In Nebraska, if you plan to live in a transitional structure, you must check with local rules and regulations. You must obtain permits from the local building department. They’ll check that the structure meets applicable safety regulations.

Where can I build a tiny house in Nebraska?

Where you can build your tiny house in Nebraska depends on local regulations and codes.

You’ll be able to build your tiny home in Nebraska:

  • As a single unit on private land
  • As an additional unit on your property
  • In tiny home communities

Some of the things that’ll determine where you can build your tiny house in Nebraska are:

  • Whether it has a permanent foundation or it is a mobile home
  • Whether you will live in the tiny home full time, or you intend to use it as a temporary vacation residence
  • Whether the tiny house will be a single unit on the land or an additional dwelling unit behind another building.

Do I have to pay property taxes for my tiny house?

One of the reasons Nebraska is a good place for tiny home living is that you may not have to pay property taxes.

Nebraska's property tax rate is 1.61%. This is the ninth-highest average property tax rate in the United States. So, before building a tiny home in Nebraska, it is good to check with your local tax authority to know what applies to you.

That said, depending on specific conditions, switching to tiny living will help you avoid a massive property tax bill. 

If you own the land where the tiny home is set in Nebraska, you will pay property tax on the land. However, you will not pay property taxes if you do not own the land. If your tiny home is on wheels, you will have to pay personal property taxes on the home as a recreational vehicle.

Interestingly, you may be able to reduce your tax bill by taking advantage of Nebraska’s homesteading property tax exemption.

Where can I park a tiny home in Nebraska?

Tiny houses are subject to the zoning requirements of each local jurisdiction, so the tiny house regulations vary from city to city. For this reason, people have to check with their local laws to know where they can park their mobile tiny homes.

You may be able to park your tiny house on your own land. Many people take their mobile homes to their land in rural areas.

You may also put your tiny house in your backyard. In this case, you’ll have to look for lands zoned for multi-family housing. Ensure that the land allows you to build accessory dwelling units.

That said, some of the places you can park your tiny home in Nebraska are:

  • Your own land 
  • The backyard of an existing apartment
  • Rented property
  • Approved Tiny home of wheel (THOW) campground
  • Tiny house communities
Beach Bungalow Tiny House
View the Beach Bungalow - a beautiful and functional tiny house that makes a great vacation home

Are there tiny home communities in Nebraska?

There are tiny residential homes in different places in Nebraska, especially in cities like Lincoln and Omaha. However, the state does not have tiny home communities yet.

The Siena Francis House is currently constructing a tiny house community project in Omaha dubbed “The Cottages.” Upon completion in 2023, The Cottages will be Nebraska’s first tiny home community.

The community will span about 2.4 acres, near 17th and Charles streets in north downtown Omaha. It will have fifty (50) tiny homes. The homes are designed for a single occupant and will have about 275 square footage of floor area.

Each unit will have a living area, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and covered porch. The community’s amenities will include a community center, gardens, and a shared laundry room.

Shannon R. Harner, the Executive Director of NIFA, expects “The Cottages” to open the door to more tiny home communities in Nebraska. NIFA is Nebraska Investment Finance Authority.

Takeaway: Know the tiny house regulations in Nebraska before moving in one

The tiny house movement in Nebraska is relatively weak as the state does not have tiny home communities yet. However, there are tiny homes in many parts of the state because it is tiny home friendly. Douglas county and Lancaster county are two of the many counties in Nebraska that welcome tiny houses. 

Nebraska leaves tiny home regulations to its municipal government, so the tiny house regulations vary from city to city. For this reason, it’s important to check local zoning laws and building codes before building a tiny house in Nebraska. 

The zoning restrictions show you where you can build your tiny house in Nebraska. The building codes show you what standards the house must meet.

If you need the best tiny homes in the market or inspiration to build a one-in-town tiny home, you are in the right place. is the one-true hub for tiny house builders and owners.

  • We have some of the best tiny residential properties in the market. Whether you want a tiny house for a permanent stay or one for temporary vacation getaways, we have you covered.
  • We offer comprehensive step-by-step tiny home plans. Our professional designs and instructions will save you hundreds of hours in research and building time. This will help you build your dream tiny home.
  • We offer expert advice on tiny home building. We’ll help you navigate zoning requirements and local and state building codes. This will help you avoid pitfalls that can make your tiny house illegal. 

Ready to explore the benefits of going tiny? Let us help you design and build your tiny home. Start your consultation today!

Did you enjoy this post and find value in it? Share it with your friends with the links below!

Need more info? Get

By submitting your email, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms

Subscribe to get the latest news

This is a new way to communicate faster than any communication platforms

Thank you!
Your submission has been received! Check your inbox for an email from with more info!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Please try again or email us at Thanks!
Want all the latest tiny house inspo and news?

Get free resources, updates, tips & tricks, and special offers by joining the Tiny House Plan Newsletter.

No items found.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers — straight from the author — for the most common questions about this article.

Don't see your question here? Contact us!
No items found.

Join The Tiny House Community

Occasionally: Community Events, DIY Tips and Tricks, Tiny House Guides
Never: Junk or Spam and we don't sell or misuse your email.
Welcome to the fam! We're excited to have you join the community.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Please try again or use the form below.