Mobile Home, America: A Look Inside the Lives of Manufactured Homeowners Facing a Disappearing Space




Charpentier, Marisa

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This creative thesis is a work of long-form, narrative journalism. Since mobile homes grew in popularity after World War II, these spaces have come to be some of the most affordable avenues to homeownership. However, as cities and suburbs expand across the nation, mobile home parks are often removed to make way for new developments. This thesis tackles the question: how are mobile home park residents affected by urban development? Mobile Home, America centers on Austin, Texas, one of the fastest- growing cities in the nation. A culmination of interviews with displaced residents, developers, community activists, city officials, and affordable housing experts, it is a deep dive into vulnerable communities that often go unnoticed. The story follows four families displaced from two mobile home parks in Austin and chronicles the city’s response to their displacement. Finally, it ends with the most recent update on Austin’s mobile home park policies, which are being discussed in CodeNEXT, the city’s proposed change to the land development code.


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