Title

Improperly-zoned, spatially-marginalized, and poorly-served? An analysis of mobile home parks in Los Angeles County

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-10-2018

Publisher

Elsevier B. V.

Abstract

More than 6% of Americans live in mobile homes, and yet there has been limited scholarly attention to mobile home location or quality of life compared to conditions in other housing types. There has not been a single comprehensive study to date that assesses where mobile home parks (MHPs) are located within metropolitan areas, that explores why some neighborhoods have a greater concentration of MHPs than others, or examines what environmental or basic service conditions are like in those neighborhoods. In California, more than 1 million residents live in mobile homes, with the vast majority (75%) of these living in MHPs rather than standalone units. We answer two questions in this study. First, are MHPs in “worse” neighborhoods in terms of socioeconomic status, zoning, local land uses, accessibility to jobs, and environmental quality? Second, which neighborhood factors are most strongly correlated with MHP locations and concentrations? We answer these questions using data for all mobile home parks in Los Angeles County, California. We find that MHPs are more likely to be located in lower density neighborhoods and at the urban fringe. More than 41% of MHPs are in areas zoned for commercial or industrial purposes rather than residential uses. Not surprisingly then, we find that MHPs are located in areas with more environmental hazards. A multivariate analysis of neighborhood factors confirms our hypotheses. Moreover, we find that MHPs’ access to public services is worse than the average neighborhood in the county. We recommend that policymakers engage in targeted efforts to address disparities in service access and mitigate environmental hazards.

Share

COinS