UCLA researchers in the Luskin School of Public Affairs found that mobile home parks in California receive inadequate, poor-quality water service.
In a study published in October, Gregory Pierce, an adjunct assistant professor in urban planning, and Silvia Gonzalez, a doctoral student in urban planning, assessed drinking water quality and access in mobile home parks in California.
Pierce said they chose to focus on mobile home parks because he and Gonzalez think they are an understudied but large portion of California’s population. Mobile home park water systems comprise 13 percent of all state systems, according to the study.
He said they used public sources and databases to compile data on factors such as the affordability and reliability of mobile home water sources and their compliance with water quality and access laws. Pierce added they also performed content analysis of news articles to determine common causes of water access and quality problems.
The study found that mobile home parks are more likely than the general population to experience water service shut-offs for more than 24 hours, rely on groundwater and incur more health-related violations.
Pierce said mobile home parks tend to be served by small water systems that are poorly managed by mobile home park managers or landlords. Landlords failing to pay water bills or neglecting water maintenance often led to most of the water access and quality problems within communities, he said.
Pierce said he thinks one way to address water accessibility issues is to consolidate mobile home park water systems. He added he thinks the California Department of Housing and Community Development should pay more attention to the issue.
“They should be eligible for the same quality upgrading programs other small systems are,” Pierce said.