A Window Into Park Life: Findings From a Resident Survey of Nine Mobile Home Park Communities in Vermont

Daniel Baker, Kelly Hamshaw, Corey Beach


Affordable housing is a critical issue facing many rural communities. Mobile home parks are a form of affordable housing prevalent in rural areas that is being lost as parks close across the United States and few new parks are developed. Limited research on how residents view their parks and the public perception that mobile home parks are undesirable may diminish efforts to prevent park closures. This paper considers how mobile home residents view their quality of life and housing issues living in this type of rural community. Findings from a survey of two hundred and fifty-six residents at nine mobile home parks in Vermont are reported. Respondents were asked how they viewed their housing, neighborhood, park management, and infrastructure. Residents were found to have lower incomes than other households in the state. Most were satisfied with life in the park, though lower income residents were significantly happier with the social atmosphere than those with higher incomes. For many households mobile home parks are not transitional housing but are rather places they have lived, and plan to live, for many years. This research can aid rural planners improve and develop future affordable housing, including the evolution of the mobile home park.

Keywords: affordable housing, manufactured housing, mobile home parks, rural communities

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