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Data Spotlight: Profiles of older adults living in mobile homes

May 10, 2022 / Source: CFPB

Where older adults choose to live is often affected by their unique needs and challenges, including having a fixed income, enduring increased medical costs, and needing accommodations that can handle possible physical and cognitive decline. These same factors can influence older adults’ housing experiences.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about one-third of adults who live in mobile homes1 are older adults. As of February 2022, approximately 3.2 million people aged 60 and older reported living in a mobile home. Using data from the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey , we examined the characteristics and experiences of older adults who live in mobile homes.

Many older adults living in mobile homes struggle to afford their regular living expenses. Though a vast majority of older adults who live in mobile homes own their homes outright, many are equally burdened by housing costs compared to older adults living in other housing settings. Though mobile homes tend to cost less than other forms of housing, older adults in mobile homes have lower income and thus pay a similar share of their income for housing-related costs as compared to older adults living in other housing settings.

It’s important for policymakers to understand how different types of housing allow older adults to live safely and independently as they age, both financially and physically. It’s also important to examine the financial situation and characteristics of older adults who live in different types of housing, and to consider what could happen if they face an unexpected expense or are forced to leave their homes. Where do they go? Does an eviction or foreclosure jeopardize their health and safety? This report can help inform decisions, policies, and practices related to the financial well-being of older adults.

Read the report.

1. In its Pulse Survey, the U.S. Census Bureau askes people if they live in mobile homes. The term “mobile home” is often used interchangeably with “manufactured home.” Manufactured homes are factory-built housing that are at least 320 square feet, built on permanent chassis, and constructed after June 15, 1976 in accordance with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Manufactured Home Construction and Safer Standards code. The CFPB believes that the term “mobile homes” as used in the Census and Census Pulse survey likely captures the majority of manufactured homes.