Trailer parks in America, 20% of the US population lives in one




A tightening of credit since the recent crash has slowed sales of new homes but the market has been strong at the top end. Paradise Cove in Malibu is a trailer park inhabited by actors Pamela Anderson, Minnie Driver and Matthew McConaughey, where homes fetch up to $2.5m and come with marble floors.

Mobile homes make up 6.4% of the US housing sector and there are 8.5m of them, down slightly on 2011, according to the US Census. The number of occupants is not recorded but it's estimated to total about 20 million.

"In the Great Depression in the 1930s, people started living in trailers which were designed for travelling and vacationing but out of necessity, people started to make these tiny mobile units their homes," says Andrew Hurley, author of Diners, Bowling Alleys and Trailer Parks.

"They started parking them on the outskirts of cities and that's when they become associated with working class and impoverished people."

There was institutionalised discrimination, he says, as federal-backed mortgages were denied to owners of mobile homes, while zoning laws forced these communities to the very outskirts of towns and cities.

The 40s and 50s were their heyday, helped by the innovation of "double-wides", which meant they came in two separate units and formed a larger home.

"But the idea of permanent living in a mobile home didn't really catch on and by the 60s and 70s the private housing industry had caught up with demand so people that could afford to move out gave up their trailers for a more conventional suburban type of housing," says Hurley.

Found on http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-24135022
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Trailer parks in America, 20% of the US population lives in one
Trailer parks in America, 20% of the US population lives in one
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