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Outdated facilities and infrastructure lead to discussions with students on status of mobile home park

The University of Texas at Austin has initiated a study of its mobile home park on Lake Austin Boulevard.

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AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas at Austin has initiated a study of its mobile home park on Lake Austin Boulevard.

The mobile home park currently contains 77 mobile homes owned by UT students who lease space there while attending the University. More than 60 percent of the spaces are leased to single graduate students. The park is located next to Brackenridge Apartments, one of the University’s married student housing complexes.

Concern about the condition of the mobile homes and the utilities infrastructure prompted the study and discussions with students residing in the park. UT Austin’s division of housing and food services requested that a site survey be conducted by an independent consulting engineering firm after studies by University staff indicated potential problems. This survey has identified major deficiencies that include overcrowding of the mobile home sites, access by emergency equipment, a deteriorated infrastructure, and placement of structures adjacent to the mobile homes by residents.

Interim steps are being taken. Parking restrictions to limit traffic congestion along arteries will be instituted to improve access by firefighting and other emergency equipment. Smoke alarms have been provided for every mobile home. Residents will be asked to remove temporary structures they have placed alongside mobile homes. Implementation of these measures is expected to improve, but not solve, the problems.

The division of housing and food services is concerned about the impact resolving these problems will have on the mobile home park residents and is working with the residents to minimize the hardship and disruption that may result. The University is consulting with the residents to formulate plans, which may include relocation assistance and alternative housing arrangements. At this time, no formal plan has been formulated, but the University’s goal is to make the resolution of the problems as smooth and simple for the residents as possible.

Some of the identified problems in the approximately 50-year-old mobile home park have resulted from the increased size and utility needs of current mobile home units, most of which are larger than those first moved there after World War II. Additionally, utility infrastructure of this age requires constant repair and maintenance. In the end, this infrastructure is incapable of supporting the current volume and type of unit now manufactured.

For additional information, contact Dr. Floyd Hoelting, director of housing and food services, at (512) 471-3136.