Imagine roaches crawling into your bed! Imagine drinking uranium-contaminated tap water! Imagine being forced to leave your home without any notice! For many people living in trailer parks, these scenarios are real.
Trailer parks are common across the US as they provide non-subsidized affordable housing. "Trailer-park America" is huge - figures show there are more than 8.5 million mobile homes and around 20 million people living in trailer parks.
Yet, people living in trailer parks carry a negative stigma. While the majority of people living in trailer parks are poor, TV and films often aggravate the problem as they represent trailer parks as hotbeds of crime, domestic violence, poverty, and ignorance. We all remember Trailer Park Boys, right? Paradoxically, trailer parks are profitable for landlords and real estate agents.
Here are 16 raw pictures that show the harsh reality of trailer parks.
16 The Harsh Reality Of Living In Inhumane Conditions
Trailer parks are defined as areas designed for mobile homes and travel trailers. Yet, people living in trailer parks have to deal with some inhumane conditions, such as sewage problems, leaking pipes, roaches, and crime. In fact, a tenant told nbcpalmsprings.com that living in a trailer park "is like worse than living in a third world country."
15 Do Poor Children Perform Poorly In School?
Though people are fascinated with wild children, growing up in a trailer park in a rural area may harm one’s social skills and academic achievement. Studies show that poor children often perform poorly in school - simply because high-income families can invest in their children and afford books and extracurricular activities.
14 Invasion Of The Rats
Although some trailer parks feature luxurious homes, some trailers parks are like an infestation nightmare. People report that when their neighbors’ trailers get infested with roaches and rats, there’s nothing that can stop pests from crawling on in the grass and on the streets. No surprise bucket rat tarps are so popular.
13 Of Trailer Parks And Safety
Imagine seeing a notice on your front door stating there’s a danger in the drinking water? Will you start using bottled water? Some families living in trailers compromise on safety due to financial issues. According to businessinsider.com, people living in a trailer park in California's San Joaquin Valley – one of the most fertile farm regions in the world – were forced to use uranium-contaminated tap water.
12 The US Eviction Crisis Is Real
The US eviction crisis affects thousands of people. As trailer park residents may own their homes but not the land beneath them, landlords and real estate agents can abuse their status and start clearing out trailer parks for new development. According to citylab.com, protections are poor and landlords do not even provide a simple notice.
11 "Trailer Trash" No More
Trailer parks across the US shelter millions. Yet, this form of housing is widely mocked and people living in trailer parks are often called "trailer trash" - a derogatory term for poor people living in mobile homes. However, more and more mobile homes feature patios, decks, lawns, and scenic views, fighting the stigma that marks trailer parks.
10 Handling Sketchy Neighbors
Although mobile homes are not a conventional housing option, they come with common public services and problems. One of the main problems is dealing with sketchy neighbors. From screaming parents and careless pet owners to people leaving trash cans in the grass and complete weirdos, trailer parks often shelter "interesting" individuals.
9 My Trailer Is My Castle
It’s not a secret that trailer parks are portrayed negatively and people living in residential areas near trailer parks often perceive their neighbors as sketchy people. Yet, trailer parks represent a solution to a housing crisis. For some families, owning a trailer home is a hard-won job and provides stability and accomplishment.
8 Living In A Noisy World
Living in a trailer park teaches people to cope with small spaces and lots of noise. From crying babies to partying couples, noisy neighbors are quite common. As the walls in a trailer are paper-thin, tenants share they often hear not only people outside but the noises in another trailer.
7 What About Pet Policy?
Pet policies vary between trailer parks, but as spaces are communal, pets are often seen as a problem. They can create a mess and cause extra noise. On top of that, according to campgrouprevies.com, some owners neglect their pets and do not clean up after them. In addition, families have to deal with wild animals, such as raccoons and possums.
6 Child Development Vs. Life In Trailer Parks
Living in a trailer park can be detrimental to a child’s development. The lack of running water, security, and privacy can be really stressful. As stated above, some families living in trailer parks can’t invest in their child’s education, which leads to poor outcomes in school. Sadly, people often judge and mock kids that live in a trailer.
5 Trailer Parks Are Actually Profitable
Trailer parks represent popular non-subsidized affordable housing. Data shows in the US, there are more than 8.5 million mobile homes and 20 million people living in trailer parks. No surprise trailer parks are actually profitable for landlords and agents as they make up a huge portion of the US housing sector.
4 Are Trailer Parks Hotbeds Of Crime?
Despite the stigma that marks families living in trailer parks, studies show that trailer parks are not hotbeds of crime. Although vandalism, litter, beer cans, and noise are common problems, not everyone living in a trailer park has a criminal record. After all, it’s not a crime to be poor.
3 Needs Or Luxuries
Imagine you wake up to drink some water... and nothing is coming out of the tap! For many people living in trailer parks, basics such as running water and electricity are a luxury. In fact, many trailer parks have problems with unreliable water supply. A tenant told wyso.org that residents receive no notice, and have no water to flush the toilet.
2 Trailer Parks Can Become Traps During Tornadoes
The sad truth is that mobile homes are not mobile - they can actually trap people during tornadoes or other natural disasters. According to babygaga.com, their temporary foundations and thin walls cannot resist extreme weather conditions. A flash of lightning, for example, can easily fry the electric systems in a trailer park.
1 Old And Poor
"Trailer-park America" is diverse. Data shows that 57% of households are in full employment, but their income is half the national average. On the other hand, 23% are retired. But not everyone living in a trailer park is poor. As Professor Charles Becker says, "You also have retirement communities in Florida where people aren't poor at all." Despite the harsh reality of trailer parks, maybe it's time to break social-class stereotypes!
Sources: BabyGaga, Business Insider, CityLab, NBC Palm Springs, WYSO