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How the Trailer Park Could Save Us All

Stashed in: America!, Homeless, Aging, Social Solutions, Aging, Tiny Homes

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Whether you call them "trailer parks" or "tiny house enclaves", the 8'6" wide home might be what we need to house all those Baby Boomers.

I react negatively to the word "trailer park" but affordable housing is a useful concept. 

Baby boomers aren't going to retire the way their parents did. They are poorer and more likely to live alone. They can't depend on pensions, and the real-estate bubble destroyed almost 50 percent of their wealth. Today one in six seniors lives in poverty, and that proportion is rising; the generation of Americans now facing retirement is so financially ill prepared that half of them have less than $10,000 in the bank. The coming swell of retirees will strain our current system to its limits—in terms of not only health care, but also incidental things like road signs, which are hard for drivers over 65 to read in a majority of American cities and towns.

It's not just affordable housing... the whole point about this article is how much of a true community developed, and the people helped each other. I think even in the best assisted living, the tendency is for the residents to look to the paid professionals for all their needs, instead of to each other... but helping each other is how we all stay involved with life. This little trailer park self-organized all kinds of stuff: daily walking groups, trips to the hospital, nightly "therapy sessions" (aka sit on the porch with a beer), and any number of other things that I have to imagine enhanced the health and happiness of all the residents.

Oh, thank you for the clarification! It's about combatting loneliness:

Most places in America make it hard to grow old. Older people in neighborhoods with high crime, lots of traffic, and poor lighting have been found to "lose functioning" (in other words, need nursing homes) earlier than those who live where they can walk. Those who live in the suburbs lose their social networks when they stop driving and become isolated. Loneliness is a killer: Over a six-year period, lonely seniors are 45 percent more likely to die and 59 percent more likely to decline than those who aren't lonely, according to a University of California-San Francisco study.

Also, what about "tiny house enclave" instead of either "trailer park" or "affordable housing"?

Yes that is a much more descriptive phrase. 

Tiny House Community creates a nice acronym.


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