Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Policy responses to the closure of manufactured home parks in Oregon
by Tremoulet, Andree, Ph.D., Portland State University, 2010, 459; 3389414
Abstract (Summary)

This is a case study about policy responses to a specific form of gentrification at the urban fringe: the closure of manufactured home parks in Oregon.

The study analyzes the following research questions: (a) What factors affected the quantity and distribution of manufactured home parks? (b) Why did parks close? (c) How did the state legislature respond and why? (d) What are the likely impacts of the state response? A wide variety of sources (e.g., key informant interviews, observations of meetings and public hearings, focus groups of park residents, archival materials and secondary data about manufactured home parks) are employed to investigate a phenomenon imbedded in its context.

Parks subject to development pressures, as evidenced by their location in an area experiencing population growth and within an Urban Growth Boundary, were significantly more likely to close than other parks. Manufactured home parks were replaced by compact, mixed-use development in urban or urbanizing areas—smart growth. Based on this evidence, this study concludes that gentrification, in the form of park closures, is integral to Oregon’s process of metropolitan restructuring.

In the wake of mounting publicity about park closures, the 2007 Oregon legislature adopted legislation that supported two ameliorating strategies: (a) reduce the harm caused to displaced manufactured homeowners through financial assistance, and (b) preserve parks where possible through enabling resident purchases from willing sellers. Who pays for the costs of this legislative package and preemption of local ordinances were the most contested issues.

This research is one of the first to analyze gentrification in urban fringe areas. To understand the economic dynamics, it applies rent gap theory to the special case of divided asset ownership. It explores the likely efficacy of two types of policy remedies. Finally, by establishing park closures as a form of gentrification related to metropolitan restructuring, this case study raises the question of whether policies could support a kind of metropolitan restructuring that does not take the toll on people and places exacted by gentrification.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Adler, Sy
Commitee: Abbott, Carl, Everett, Margaret, Neal, Margaret B., Toulan, Nohad A.
School: Portland State University
Department: Urban Studies
School Location: United States -- Oregon
Source: DAI-A 71/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Urban planning
Keywords: Gentrification, Manufactured housing, Mobile home, Oregon, Oregon planning policy, Suburban gentrification, Urban restructuring
Publication Number: 3389414
ISBN: 978-1-109-55998-9
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