Reconsidering the Trailer Park

A new study finds that manufactured housing (also known as mobile homes), despite their reputation, offer important advantages for low-income households.
October 3, 2008, 12pm PDT | Tim Halbur
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"In terms of developing a housing policy that would improve the quality of housing for lower income households, it seems appropriate to explore the merits of an often-ignored alternative, namely manufactured owned housing. This article employs data from the American Housing Survey (AHS) collected between 1993 and 2001 to compare manufactured owned housing with rented housing and traditional owned housing as a tenure alternative for low-income households. Our results contradict several preconceived notions regarding manufactured owned housing. For example, manufactured owned housing is found to be a low-cost housing alternative. Importantly, it is observed to have higher average quality rankings across both the neighborhood and structural dimensions of housing services than rented housing does (even when the sample is stratified by metropolitan and nonmetropolitan location). Furthermore, those factors that contribute to lower structural quality or lower neighborhood quality, as well as changes in those quality measures over time, are similar between manufactured owned housing and traditional owned housing."

Thanks to Jon Cecil, AICP

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