by Leontina Hormel
Rutgers University Press, 2023
Cloth: 978-1-9788-2947-3 | eISBN: 978-1-9788-2948-0 | Paper: 978-1-9788-2946-6
Library of Congress Classification HD7303.I2H67 2023
Dewey Decimal Classification 363.556109796

In rural northern Idaho in the winter of 2013-2014, Syringa Mobile Home Park’s water system was contaminated by sewage, resulting in residents’ water being shut off for 93 days. By summer 2018 Syringa had closed, forcing residents to relocate or face homelessness. Trailer Park America chronicles how residents dealt with regulatory agencies, frequent boil order notices, threats of closure, and class-based social stigma over this period. Despite all this, what was seen as a dysfunctional, ‘disorderly’ community by outsiders was instead a refuge where veterans, women heads of households, and people with disabilities or substance use disorders were supported and understood. The embattled Syringa community also organized to defend the rights and dignity of residents and served as a site for negotiating with local government, culminating in a class-action lawsuit that reached the federal level. The experiences Syringa residents faced in this conservative, predominately white region of the United States are emblematic of the growing national and global crisis in affordable housing and home ownership, with declining work conditions and incomes for the working-class.