ReMobile home: an exploration of mobile homes in rural North Carolina

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Emily-Kate Hannapel (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Travis Smith

Abstract: Mobile homes are a ubiquitous site in the Southern rural landscape. In rural and suburban regions across the United States, mobile homes are often the best, or only, affordable housing option for low-income and working-class individuals and families. In the U.S., 20 million people live in manufactured housing, or about 6.5 percent of the total population. In North Carolina, this figure is much higher: 14 percent of residents live in manufactured homes (U.S. Census Bureau, 2015). The prevalence of manufactured housing reflects the financial and logistical challenges of site-built construction in rural areas that lack infrastructure. The high number of mobile homes also demonstrates the lack of other affordable housing options, like multi-family residences that are common in urban areas. Approximately 12 percent of all mobile homes in the U.S. are vacant or abandoned. While no data is kept specifically for North Carolina, if this percentage holds true, that would equate to approximately 75,000 vacant or abandoned mobile homes across the state. The cost of removing and disposing of an abandoned unit can be upwards of $10,000 and it could cost approximately $750 million to remove all the existing abandoned or vacant mobile homes. ReMobile Home uses a mixed method approach to examine whether rehabilitating older, vacant, or abandoned mobile homes is a viable way to increase affordable housing options in rural North Carolina. This thesis consists of a proposed redesign of a 1974 mobile home as well a Photovoice project. Photovoice uses photographs to capture aspects of an individual's daily experience and share them with others. Individuals take their own pictures about a subject or question, and then describe their photo in either written or oral form. Participants in my project are asked the question “What makes your mobile home feel like home?” This method allows mobile home dwellers to be the experts and helps dispel some of the stigma and stereotypes about mobile homes and who lives in them. The thesis examines the complex problems and issues surrounding rehabilitating older mobile homes and seeks a better understanding of what it means to call a mobile home, ‘home.’

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2018
Architecture, Interior Design, Manufactured Homes, Mobile Homes, Photovoice, Rural
Mobile homes $z North Carolina
Housing, Rural $z North Carolina
Home $z North Carolina

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