San Antonio mobile home parks closing at an alarming rate, report says

Researchers from UT-Austin determine ways to improve the preservation of mobile home parks in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO – A new report by researchers from the University of Texas at Austin said mobile home parks are closing at an alarming rate in San Antonio.

“Seven out of the nine parks that closed since 2014 were due to substandard conditions. There were serious health and safety violations, which led to the city closing them down. A couple other ones were also due to redevelopment,” said Lizbeth Parra Davila, co-author of the report.

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The report titled “Endangered: San Antonio’s Vanishing Mobile Home Parks and a Path for Preservation” mentions that without intervention from the city, dozens of mobile home parks are at risk of closing.

The study said the city has 88 active mobile home parks, and many are vulnerable to being shut down.

“Residents have lived in these homes for 30-plus years, have never had repairs done to them. There are no city repair programs available. The park’s infrastructure is not the best. There’s plumbing issues, electricity issues, wiring,” Davila said.

The study mentions 10 ways to improve the preservation of mobile home parks, including providing residents with a right to purchase their mobile home parks and providing home repair assistance to mobile home park residents.

“One of the most important preservation tools is rezoning the current parks to a manufactured housing district, which is cost-effective -- at no cost at all to the city -- tool that would help protect these parks from redevelopment pressures,” Davila said.

The report also said the median income for mobile home residents is $36,000.

“Our goals are to preserve these parks -- which mobile home parks are an important source of affordable housing in San Antonio,” Davila said.

Davila said the researchers have sent copies of the study to local leaders and hope to talk to them about how to tackle this issue.

The city of San Antonio said it did not have a lot of information on the study, but officials expect to know more next week.

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