Collaborative Research: Modeling the Vulnerability of Mobile Home Parks to Disaster: A Longitudinal Study of Affordable Housing Loss after Hurricane Harvey
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Hundreds of mobile home parks located in diverse geographic, political, and demographic parts of the Houston area were flooded during Hurricane Harvey. This project examines the damage and tracks the recovery of those parks over time using a combination of geospatial, qualitative, and quantitative research methods. This research design will identify the reasons for differential damage and recovery across parks. This scientific research contribution thus supports NSF''s mission to promote the progress of science and to advance our national welfare. In this case, the benefits will be new knowledge about the vulnerability of the mobile home parks to natural hazards and methods to mitigate risks. The project provides training and mentoring for a diverse group of student researchers, and its findings will be incorporated into graduate education programs. The study''s methodology, modeling framework, and key findings will be made available to policy-makers and planning practitioners through a mobile home park vulnerability assessment guide.The study will identify and analyze factors that influence post-disaster mobile home park recovery, defined by park closure, rebuilding, housing loss, and change in assessed value. A geospatial database of all Houston mobile home parks that experienced flooding will be created to analyze exposure. It will be populated with data from a recovery survey of park owners at one and two years after Harvey and spatial, regulatory and socio-demographic information on parks. Interviews with mobile home park owners, resident leadership, and local officials, and analysis of codes and plans will be conducted in 15-20 mobile home parks strategically sampled from the study population. Indicators representing the factors that enable or impede park recovery will be tested across the study population using quantitative modeling techniques. Results will be interpreted and disseminated to provide a better understanding of vulnerability in mobile home parks, a critical though understudied component of the U.S. affordable housing supply.This award reflects NSF''s statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation''s intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.