More than 20 million Americans live in mobile/manufactured/modular homes, which cost roughly half the amount (per sq ft) of traditional homes. Biased zoning laws across the country have relegated some mobile home parks to areas that are prone to inclement weather damage like floodplains and fire-prone urban outskirts. Helping mobile home communities adapt to new and increased inclement weather conditions brought about by climate change is increasingly important. There are a number of ways to protect people who find themselves in these situations. Let’s go through some ways that mobile home communities can adapt to climate change.
By making homes more climate resistant
Building resilient homes helps deal with climate change events, storms, floods, heatwaves, floods, extreme heat & cold and saves money in the long run. Modern mobile home manufacturers know that one of the most important selling points for mobile homes is durability against harsh weather conditions. The newer, modern units that are available on the market are tested to weather harsh conditions, while also providing a safe, affordable housing unit that is easily customizable. By reinforcing the structure of the housing unit, and raising units to withstand floods, mobile homes can be made more resilient to inclement weather changes.
By decreasing ambient temperatures in mobile homes
Another problem that mobile homes face is high indoor temperatures in the summer and freezing cold temperatures in the winter. The problem with a hot mobile home, despite the use of air conditioning, is that thermal energy is allowed to transfer throughout the home. Whether you have an unbelievably hot or cold unit, all air leaks can and should be sealed with caulking and weatherstripping to create air-tight seals around doors, plumbing, and ducts, so that no air transfers from the outside to the inside.
Insulation is extremely important in these situations. Properly installed insulation creates a middle layer between the differing degrees of two surfaces. In a mobile home, the insulation will thermally separate the interior wall, which is cooled by the cool air inside from the exterior wall, which is heated by the outside air and sun.
By allowing residents to install their own climate mitigation devices & improvements
Newer appliances, such as high efficiency water heaters and heating/cooling equipment, will make a huge difference in an older mobile home. They will use less energy and create less ambient heat because they are more efficient than the generic appliances.. Residents of mobile homes should be allowed to install their own climate control devices, such as air conditioners, insulation, energy efficient appliances and more (especially if they have older mobile home units). By making changes to their unit, communities can empower residents to do their own research and find solutions to their climate change problems. In communities where residents aren’t allowed to make their own improvements, the likelihood of weather causing chaos is much higher.
By granting access to utility and weatherization assistance programs
Mobile home communities can gain a lot of assistance from utility and weatherization programs that are run within their zones. By affording them access to these programs, mobile homeowners are able to use funds to improve their living conditions, while also receiving important information from various experts who could weigh in on the best options available to them. There are a number of damage control and repair mechanisms available to people with regular, traditional housing, and these same resources can be made available to those living in mobile home communities. In times of severe flooding, tornadoes, or hurricanes, mobile home communities all around the US can benefit from having utility assistance as well as relief packages in case of widespread damage and/or destruction.
By confirming reclassification as real property, rather than personal property
A large number of mobile homes are currently classified as personal property and are therefore not subject to the same standard for insurance as traditional homes. In classifying modular & manufactured homes as residential property, they will receive the exact consideration as that of a traditional home, especially in case of damage or destruction caused by extreme weather. Local councils and zoning boards can also make it easier for homeowners to own and live in mobile homes just as they would allow one to live in a traditional home. No one should be discriminated against because of the type of home they choose to live in.
By empowering collective ownership, which allows for independent decision making
A large number of decisions related to home stability during inclement weather depending upon the people that have the power to make decisions. If these decisions are made by a giant conglomerate or mobile home dealers who would rather sell than repair or replace units, a large number of people will lose their homes. Instead, when communities own their homes and the land upon which it rests, they have much more power and control over what happens.. They can choose to use their insurance to get a new unit or rebuild their old unit, and also recover personal belongings and other possessions. They can approve measures that can better protect their homes and surroundings from climate change events.