December, 2007

Tornado shelters and the manufactured home parks market

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Find the article at SpringerLink.

Manufactured or mobile homes represent a fast growing portion of the housing market but are particularly vulnerable to tornadoes. In the US over 40% of tornado fatalities occur in mobile homes even though they comprise about 8% of US housing units. We examine the market for tornado shelters in manufactured home parks in Oklahoma. Almost 60% of parks in the state have shelters, with 90% of the shelters underground. Parks with shelters are not concentrated in urban areas but spread across the state, with parks with shelters in 32 counties. We find that rents for lots in parks with shelters are 5–8% higher, which generates sufficient revenue to approximately pay for shelters, but the point estimate is statistically significant in only one specification.