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Housing

The Other Affordable Housing Crisis

Mobile home park residents typically own their homes but not the ground beneath them. When land values rise, that’s a problem.
Alex Simangas, a cook at a local pizza restaurant, stands with his son Alex and daughter Teresa outside their home at the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park, Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015, in Palo Alto, California.
Alex Simangas, a cook at a local pizza restaurant, stands with his son Alex and daughter Teresa outside their home at the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park, Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015, in Palo Alto, California.AP Photo/Eric Risberg

One peculiar thing about mobile homes is that most are not really mobile. Once it has been lowered onto a pad, a manufactured home can be expensive or even impossible to relocate intact. That reality can make the residents of mobile homes particularly vulnerable to rent hikes and abuses. In recent years, this dynamic has led to conflict as landlords clear out trailer parks to make room for new development.

Trailer park evictions are a crisis affecting a critical but widely ignored segment of affordable housing. The recovering real estate market is likely to put a growing number of these communities at risk.