In many cities, manufactured housing communities (also referred to as mobile home parks) are one of the only sources of affordable market-rate housing available to lower-income households. As such, they play a critical role in preserving economic and racial diversity within our cities and towns. However, these communities are increasingly at risk of being lost forever.
Two of the leading causes of loss are:
- Development Pressures. As cities have grown, manufactured housing communities that were once on the outskirts of town are now sited on valuable and developable land.
- Aging Infrastructure. Many manufactured housing communities were developed in the 1950s and so aging infrastructure can lead to health and safety concerns while the park is in operation and the cost of remedying deferred maintenance can be prohibitive at the point of sale.
Whatever the cause, when a community closes, residents almost always face displacement—out of their neighborhood, out of homeownership and, in the worst case scenario, out of housing all together.
Over past two years, Grounded Solutions Network has explored ways that municipalities, community land trust organizations and manufactured homeowners can work together to preserve manufactured housing communities. We are excited to share what we have learned through the two following reports.
Moving Beyond the Mobile Myth by Renia Ehrenfeucht is an introduction to manufactured housing, the role that it plays in our communities and what it takes to prioritize preservation over the long-term.
Promoting Infrastructure Maintenance in Manufactured Housing Communities by Wendy Sullivan, Karen Bauer and Beth Sorce is the first national scan of local policies, practices and strategies for improving infrastructure in private, investor-owned manufactured housing communities.
Together, we hope that these reports will not only make the case for the need to preserve manufactured housing communities but also identify realistic strategies for taking steps towards doing so.
That this work could not have been possible without the support of national partners like CFED and the National Manufactured Homeowners Association and of Members like CASA of Oregon and the City of Boulder Division of Housing.
For more information, contact Beth Sorce (firstname.lastname@example.org).