This report explores various disparities based on race that exist in the lives of residents in manufactured (mobile) home parks within the State of Minnesota. Through several case studies, numerous inequalities were found between parks with predominately Latino residents and parks with non-Latino residents. Specifically, it was found that although Latino residents pay approximately the same in lot rent as non-Latino residents, the quality of parks with predominately Latino residents is drastically lower. In addition, Latino residents are more likely to experience unsatisfactory management practices and received less support from city officials.
"It is important to note that, based on the 2000 U.S. Census, 10% of park residents statewide are people of color. Taking this fact into consideration, it is disturbing to learn that 54% of the residents displaced due to park closings are people of color. It must be questioned as to why people of color are being displaced at a disproportionate rate,” said Julia Wells the report's author. “This report is a call for action to allow manufactured home parks to be communities free of disparities based on race.”
The Latino population living in manufactured home parks is both substantial and increasing. It is thought that this trend will continue, and according to census data, “Minnesota’s nonwhite and Latino populations are projected to grow significantly faster than the white population.” Based on a report by Centro Campesino and the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA), 31% of migrant workers live in a manufactured home. Currently, within the 7-county metro, five percent of those who own their manufactured home are Hispanic or Latino. Clearly, Latinos have a significant presence in Minnesota as a whole, as well as within manufactured home parks explicitly.
This report looks at three case studies:
"Manufactured home park residents clearly face many disparities as a consequence of their race. In order to reduce the inexcusable disparities found in parks, some simple steps must be taken by both the municipality and the parks themselves," said Dave Anderson, APAC executive director. "Correcting the issues covered in this report will help bring justice and equality to Latino residents. This is the first step in a long process that must be undertaken in order to reverse these widespread disparities."
Throughout Minnesota, many problems experienced by park residents fall more heavily on park communities with substantial Latino populations. APAC is working in a number of park communities around the state where Latino residents are dealing with racial harassment, unlawful evictions, illegal residency denials, steering towards parks or sections of parks with fewer amenities and significant health and safety issues.
"Racism is not simply a matter of intentional actions by individual actors. In examining the above case studies, a more subtle form of racial injustice is revealed. Although there may not be deliberate discrimination on the part of government or private parties, the end result is stark segregation along racial lines," said Margaret Kaplan, APAC staff attorney. "Not only are park segregated, but the quality of life in many parks are divided along racial lines and is evidence of a discriminatory impact. While it is difficult to pinpoint solutions when it is not possible to identify individual bad acts, this is no excuse for what, at a quick glance is obvious: living conditions are worse for Latino manufactured home park residents than for non-Latino residents."
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