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Heat effects on home and well being among mobile home dwellers of Mesa, Arizona: risk and resilience landscapes

Authors: Katsiaryna Varfalameyeva*, Arizona State University, Patricia Solis, Arizona State University
Topics: Economic Geography, Environment, Urban and Regional Planning
Keywords: mobile homes, heat, health, resilience
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Despite that mobile homes are an affordable housing alternative for many, the heat exposure and economic burden of living in trailer parks present a unique challenge for adaptation. The purpose of the study is to better understand how individuals and families living in mobile housing in Mesa, Arizona are constrained against adaptations to extreme heat. Our interest centers on how their dwellings and the utility frameworks and the built environment together render them ineligible to receive federal programs (e.g. LIHEAP) or bill relief (e.g. SRP), or structural constraints (solar panels) plus low income levels to afford more expensive solutions like alternative energy or major home upgrades, yet their heat morbidity and mortality are disproportionate. We undertook a major data effort to specifically measure the impact of heat on home and well being in terms of the actual dollar impact on the individual household level, especially for lower and middle class struggling families, and temperature / humidity exposures to paint the particular constraints that this housing assemblage presents to residents. Climate readings, building audit data, and survey responses provide detailed evidence to inform systematic understanding about exposure, risk, and behavior across a variety of conditions in mobile home parks. Our research also incorporates data from the utility bill and health care cost landscape, rapidly changing and complex, which can be incorporated in our understandings about heat in the built environment more broadly and the unique configuration of heat resilience strategies available.

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