Mobile homes are a primary source of shelter for America’s poor and working classes. A large share of the nation’s mobile home stock is found in mobile home parks where residents own their homes but lease the land under their homes from private landlords. Urban growth has put pressure on park landlords to sell and redevelop mobile home parks. When parks are redeveloped mobile home residents are evicted and entire communities are destroyed. Residents lose their homes and home equity as they struggle to relocate their homes to different parks or are forced to abandon them. Through two continuous years of comparative ethnography inside closing mobile home parks in the two states with the largest mobile home park populations (Florida and Texas) I examine how mobile home park dispossessions are structured from the top down through municipal ordinances and financing regulations and how they are experienced from the bottom up by residents who are dehumanized in the characterization of “trailer trash.” I argue that these mass displacements constitute a dignity taking in that they dispossess residents not only of their homes and communities, but of their full moral worth, autonomy, and voice in the political processes that structure their eviction.
Dignity Takings and “Trailer Trash”: The Case Of Mobile Home Park Mass Evictions,
Chi.-Kent L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.kentlaw.iit.edu/cklawreview/vol92/iss3/12