Mobile Home University, where the rich teach others how to rip off poor living in trailer parks


#1

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#2

This is a weird question that probably come from a place of privilege. But - what’s the appeal of living in a trailer or other manufactured home? I looked into it once, and it was more expensive than living in a much nicer apartment in the area. Maybe looser screening on credit or low deposits?


#3

Trailer equals proper is mobility. There are people that have jobs that move from site to site across the country but they stay put for longish times when there. That makes some sense. But yeah why that over an apartment for a lot of people is an interesting choice.


#4

How many trailers are bought new compared to resales? People buy them used or repoed for next to nothing.


#5

I don’t understand the tone of this article. How would you expect mobile home parks to be financed and operated? They are businesses like any other. Do you have similar objections to the operation of commercial or residential REITs, who profit from the fact that non-poor folks need to work and live places?


#6

That’s not true everywhere. In some places it’s cheaper, especially if you go a little bit rural.

I had a friend who bought a mobile home in a (kinda crummy) mobile home park because she had three cats and no one would rent to her. She also wanted (and had) a garden, which wouldn’t have been possible in an apartment.


#7

The really dismaying part was how the residents seem to have internalized the “it’s just business” justification.

Yeah, sucks for me, I gotta go be homeless, but it’s just business, like a law of nature. Can’t blame a man for his actions when they’re basically just physics, right? This hand punching me in the face repeatedly, why, it’s Invisible. Couldn’t belong to my landlord, for he is a corporeal entity. You think he’s invisible, try bein’ late with your rent!

ETA: Look, an IJB comment showed up here just as I was typing that!


#8

welcome to boingboing, feel free to check out some of the other articles and don’t forget to “like” comments and posts that you appreciate.


#9

Most of the house trailers I personally know of (parents’ vacation place, their neighbors, relatives) are not mobile. They tend to get delivered and stay put. The trailers get sold, often very cheaply, when the residents move or die.


Worse fates than raising rents: Two trailer parks near me (Aloha and Beaverton, Oregon) were shut down for redevelopment a few years back. Huge, sprawling places. I could have let my dog run free in the vacant lot of the Aloha one w/o her getting in too much trouble.

The redevelopment caused a minor scandal, or at least editorial tut-tutting. The lots are now filled with nice-but-not-upscale apartments and townhouses, and in one case (a corner lot right near the Nike world HQ) a big fancy sports/fitness complex.

The trailer parks that are left abut the light rail line. Or more properly, the ones that are left that I know about; they tend to be out of the way, and it could be that I only see the ones I see because I ride the train now and then.


#10

dear people who exploit others and laugh at them while you do it: eat sh*t and reincarnate as those people in your future life.


#11

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/may/11/trailer-park-king-sued-by-residents-in-texas-for-raising-rents


#13

What are the park owners supposed to do? They don’t make the people poor, and those people do have to live somewhere. Are they supposed to house them free? They even talked a lot about the one owner whose rent was below market. Why is she a bad guy for that? And sex offenders do need to live somewhere, and no one else wants them.

All landlords raise the rent occasionally.


#14

If a business needs to lie, trick or extort it’s customers in order to stay in business then such a business might not deserve to stay in operation.

This story isn’t about trailer parks just scraping enough to stay operational it’s about how to make millions and millions by trapping the poor and disabled into no win situations where you make bank no matter what.


#15

Person you’re replying to signed up less than an hour ago, but you did make a good point in responding to them.


#16

Yeah, I know but it was a convenient entry point for what I wanted to say.


#17

Midway through the video, the tour guide says something to the effect “you couldn’t do this in the 50’s, there weren’t enough poor people, but now we’ve got more and more poor people”.

There are similar discussions about convicts and sex offenders and how they have nowhere else to go.

It’s about the big picture man. Or at least it should be, it does seem like the video wastes some time trying to pick on business men, when the real problem is the rules and the system within which they operate.


#18

If I recall correctly, the highest rent mentioned in the film was $500 for a room in a shared trailer. That may be high for trailer living, but it hardly sounds usurious compared to what I might pay for a room in a shared apartment.


#19

I don’t know the appeal to living in a trailer in a park. I get perhaps having a small plot of land somewhere and staying in one. But I’d much rather live in an apartment.


#20

I grew up in a manufactured/mobile home (which is the politically correct term, please don’t say trailer). Unlike most of the ones in the video, it was a double wide and was quite nice. We lived on a street that was all mobile homes and had an HOA. Some people rented their land (.25 acre) from the original land-owner who set up the HOA and some (like us) purchased the land from him. Other than the stigma, it was really no different than living in a regular home in a regular neighborhood. To be fair, our neighborhood was not a trailer park, but I did have friends who lived in trailer parks and there really is a depressing feel to some of them. It really depends on how people take care of the places. In trashy parks, the homes aren’t taken care of and neighbors can be scary. In other parks, people have pride of ownership and a sense of community and it’s quite lovely.

Some of you asked the appeal. In my area it was affordability. We never could have afforded a “real” house, but we had a nice place and our own land. Having your own land and space is also a big selling point.


#21

Did you have to pay rent to live there though? If you owned the plot of land I could see the appeal (economically). But from that video they are paying what appears to be apartment prices - and they have to fucking mow the yard - while renting the plot of land.

But yes, people who only have a little can still make it look really nice and well kept and take pride in what they do have.

ETA - I do realize that in small towns and rural areas that apartments are less common and trailer parks are the main alternative.