When considering equitable building decarbonization for rural and Tribal communities, it’s imperative to consider not only the affordability, but also the quality of the housing stock.
This map shows the proportion of Washington households living in manufactured housing paired with average energy burden (the percentage of annual household income spent on energy costs). Manufactured housing, also known as mobile homes, refers to prefabricated homes that are designed to be transportable. This housing tends to be less energy efficient due to limited insulation, older windows, and outdated appliances.
Many families struggle to secure safe and affordable housing in rural communities. It is far more likely that homeowners are unable to afford housing repairs, let alone energy efficiency upgrades. Housing stock in rural and Tribal communities also tends to include more manufactured homes: the median for rural communities inhabiting manufactured homes is 13% of residents versus 1.5% in urban communities.
For communities with more than 10% of residents living in manufactured homes, energy burden ranges from 2–8%, whereas the range is 1–5% for communities with fewer than 10% of members in manufactured housing. This means that a person making the median income in Washington State ($77,006) and living in a manufactured home in a rural community could pay upwards of $6,160 annually on energy bills, while someone living in an urban community in non-manufactured housing might expect to pay as little as $770.
Note: For the Community-Defined Decarbonization project, the definition of a rural community is a census tract that lies beyond a metropolitan tract (including micropolitan, small town, and rural tracts). Read the full Community-Defined Decarbonization report here.
The map is divided into census tracts, which are color-coded to show the community-level relationship between the proportion of households living in manufactured housing and average energy burden. Black lines indicate counties and red lines indicate Tribal Lands.
The darkest green (top right square in the legend) indicates communities with both high proportions of households living in manufactured housing and high average energy burden. The blue (bottom right) indicates communities with high energy burden but low proportions of households living in manufactured housing, while the light green (top left) shows communities with low proportions of households living in manufactured housing but high energy burden.
Lastly, the light yellow (bottom left) shows areas that have both low proportions of households living in manufactured housing and low average energy burden. Note: The white area between Yakima County and Franklin County is Hanford, a decommissioned nuclear production site where no one is permitted to live within 35 miles and hence is not a census tract.
Click on the map to see associated data, including the rurality of the census tract (rural or urban). Use the + and – buttons in the upper left to zoom in and out of different census tracts and use the search bar in the upper righthand corner to search for an address.