UCLA Luskin Study Looks at Quality of Life in Mobile Home Parks

A significant number of U.S. residents — 6 percent — live in mobile homes. However, little scholarly work exists on the location or quality of life compared to other housing. A newly released study in the international journal Land Use Policy by researchers at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs looks at conditions in California, where more than one million residents live in mobile homes — the vast majority, 75 percent, in mobile home parks (MHPs). Using data specifically for Los Angeles County, the study addressed two questions: Are MHPs in worse neighborhoods in terms of socioeconomic status, zoning, local land uses, accessibility to jobs and environmental quality? Which neighborhood factors are most strongly correlated with MHP locations and concentrations? The researchers found that MHPs are more likely to be located in lower-density neighborhoods and at the urban fringe; that more than 41 percent are in areas zoned for commercial or industrial purposes, with more environmental hazards; and that MHP access to public services is worse than in the average neighborhood in the county. While not surprising, says co-author Silvia González, an urban planning doctoral student and assistant director of the Center for Neighborhood Knowledge at UCLA Luskin, “nonetheless, I think these types of units are an important source of affordable housing and policymakers need to pay more attention to how they can improve the quality of life for these communities.” —Stan Paul

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