Re: Panama Cohousing Village Announcemen
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sat, 21 Sep 2013 08:05:22 -0700 (PDT)
On Sep 21, 2013, at 12:54 AM, John Leet <jwleet [at]> wrote:

> Here is a link to an insightful article I found in Utne reader, reprinted 
> from Pacific Standard Magazine:

I hope people will click through and read this article. It's a nice piece of 
journalism and a thorough history and analysis of manufactured homes, which is 
what most "trailer parks" are. They are also wonderful communities as the 
article discusses. A number of nice profiles of residents. Links to studies, 
information, and other journals. Anyone who is interested in senior cohousing 
should read this.

My sister moved into a trailer years ago in a family emergency and it offers 
many benefits that are not immediately obvious. The article says in 1976 the 
Department of Housing and Urban Development started regulating their 
construction so homes can last as long as site-built homes when they’re well 
built and maintained. But the cost far less: $41 per square foot versus $85+.

But the cost savings go much further than that. The furniture is built in. The 
price of the home includes most if not all of the furniture. My sister was able 
to move right in to a complete home after stopping by a large thrift shop for 
linens and dishes and a TV. With two small children that was a blessing right 

So you have few furniture costs. The rent may be $400-$700 a month and they are 
taxed like cars/RVs. In communities, some live on $900 a month and others on 
$25,000. Some have a central clubhouse with showers and laundry because some 
units don't have this. 

I didn't know about the regulatory changes in 1976 but most of the rumors about 
unsafe trailer homes probably date to units made before that.

Another statistic -- in some counties 60% live in them.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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