Arizonans living in mobile or manufactured homes are at higher heat risk, research shows

We know Arizona summers are deadly, but new data from Arizona State University researchers have found that some residents are much more at risk in our heat.

Homeless people are at serious risk of heat-related death, but so are homeowners. That being said, not all homes are created equal.

Research by ASU’s Dr. Patricia Solis found that those who live in mobile or manufactured homes fare worse.

“If these deaths occur indoors, they disproportionately occur in people who live in mobile homes and manufactured homes,” Solis said.

They found that 30% of the 200 confirmed heat-related deaths in Maricopa County occurred in mobile or manufactured homes.

Mary Alice Theroux lives in a mobile home and sits on the board of the Arizona Association of Manufactured Home and RV Owners.

In a meeting with the Solis team, she said finances were tight.

“We have a lot of single earners, and unfortunately a lot of widows or single earners, in the parks who can’t afford utilities and rising rents,” Theroux said. “Rising rents are a big problem.”

Solis agreed that’s a big problem, but not the only one.

“People who live in this type of housing may be older and on fixed incomes, and they may have aggravating health conditions and may not be able to afford it when utilities go up, when prices rents go up, all of these things come together to put our families at much higher risk,” Solis explained.

They try to take that information and find ways to present it to lawmakers for action and change.

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Casey J. Nelson