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Title page for ETD etd-05262011-192306


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Stoltz, Zoe Ann
URN etd-05262011-192306
Title FROM CAMPING TO PERMANENCE: A HISTORY OF MONTANA MOBILE AND MANUFACTURED HOMES
Degree Master of Arts
Department History
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Jeff Wiltse Committee Chair
Keywords
  • resource extraction
  • manufactured housing
  • trailer houses
  • mobile homes
  • Montana housing
  • transportable housing
  • manufactured home zoning
  • discriminatory zoning practices
  • restrictive zoning practices
  • Montana manufactured housing
Date of Defense 2011-04-26
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
This thesis examines the history of Montanans use and perceptions of manufactured homes. Nationally, manufactured housing has enjoyed a dynamic historic and social evolution, as revealed by federal, state, and local documents, newspaper reports, periodicals, and interviews. Yet, manufactured housing struggles to escape its mobile origins and the negative stereotypes acquired during its rich history. In Montana, the housing form has experienced unprecedented success, both as transportable housing in the boom and bust cycles of the State as well as permanent housing. Montana’s rural population has embraced mobile home’s convenience and affordability. However, public misperceptions persist despite its success as a housing alternative for a diverse population. Their nontraditional appearance and negative stereotypes have led urban governments to pass discriminatory zoning, affecting homeowners, dealers and developers. Responses have included lawsuits, stigmatization, attempts to cooperate with county commissioners to address public concerns, and the imposition of strict community regulations on trailer court tenants to counter negative stereotypes. Montana has made progress, with legislation passed in the 1990s forbidding discriminatory zoning practices and protecting tenant rights. Prejudice, however, continues to influence the housing forms acceptance and to marginalize both manufactured homes and their owners.

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