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In a city of 211,000, in a county where one in five earn less than the $10 an hour required to afford a modest apartment, one in twenty-five houses is a steel-framed aluminum home. An estimated 5,412 Boiseans occupy 2,706 manufactured houses in 50 mobile home parks. Half are seniors with a median annual income of $20,000. Most are female. Nearly half have a chronic medical condition. One in four rent space in a park listed for sale or slated for redevelopment. At least 900 have been evicted since the peak of the real estate boom in 2004. In September 2006, as reports of the displaced spread alarm through the Treasure Valley, the Office of the President at Boise State University launched a policy study to consider what might be done. The researchers were three social science professors, three graduate students, and the city’s housing manager. In 2007 a mailing of 1,485 questionnaires yielded 548 respondents. The researchers also examined the history and economics of manufactured housing and searched for policy options from other cities and states.

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