People keep talking about how great it is to be a homeowner. For instance President Bush speaks about the "ownership society." Yet increasingly, home ownership is not available to folks of modest means.
Mobile homes are usually a lot cheaper.
So, when one rents the space in a mobile home park, is that "renting" or "owning?"
Unless the place is cheap, getting into a home usually requires one to earn lots of money.
"Push those products through your store and out to the customers and landfills."
I keep saying, in 1965, the store manager could pay a mortgage by selling roughly 85 televisions. If TVs cost around $300 and houses cost around $25,000.
These days, TVs cost less, but houses cost a lot more. One must push 1,000 TVs, or comparable products and services, through the pipeline to pay for their keep, or at least buy their house.
If it was a mobile home, it would be less expensive, thus creating less of a need for pushing products through the pipeline in order to earn one's keep.
No wonder everyone seems to be scratching their heads trying to figure out how to keep the American consumer going, but what about the environment or people's peace of mind?
Some folks thought they could join the homeowner ranks by purchasing houses with sub prime mortgages. That's the illusion of "affordable home ownership," at least until regular pricing kicks in. Then it's foreclosure time.
Also, the average American moves every few years anyway.
Mobile homes make more sense. The home can travel with you. Travel to the new job, the city you are transfered to or the new marriage.
It is kind of ironic that we are such a mobile society, yet there is so much interest in what is called "home and hearth."
Renting needs more respect also. If we are trying to lower our carbon footprint, living in dense urban settings with a lot of rentals is a good way to go.
For homeowners, clustered condominiums are better than sprawl, but why are condominiums so expensive?
If we were to price housing in terms of "carbon footprint," apartments and condominiums should be cheapest. Unfortunately they are not.
This leaves mobile homes for lower income, lower "carbon footprint" living.
That is, if the mobile home is in a park rather than sitting on one or more acres out in the middle of nowhere.
Since mobiles are often not allowed in the city, people move out into the county and set up on some acre. Unfortunately, that's what many folks do to find affordable housing.
"Buy a remote acre, set up a mobile and then drive everywhere."
"Drive, drive, drive." Ever heard the phrase "drive till you qualify?"
That's not good.
That's sprawl, but a mobile home park on the bus line can be considered infilling, rather than sprawl. It can even promote car free living.
One shouldn't have to be wealthy to live in clustered environments.
If you own a mobile home and rent in the court, are you a coveted owner, like Bush wants to see more of, or a renter?
Are mobile homes the reasonable person's gateway into an ownership society?
Are they good for the environment when clustered?
Most people don't talk about them in this way. Even low income housing advocates seem to ignore them, for the most part.