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Duroville Park Owner Defends his Community

Adam R.'s picture

Posted August 13, 2007

Harvey Duro, owner of a park that houses 4,000 farmworkers in Thermal, California, has decided to respond publicly to efforts to close his park. The park is known as Duroville.

Duro hired Alan Singer, a spokesman. In an article in the Los Angeles Times, Singer is quoted as saying that government officers would be wise to consider the alternative housing supply before shutting down the park. He paints a grim picture of the recent past, when many farmworkers lived in cars or in the open.

In many ways, this statement shows a significant point of tension in affordable housing. Shutting down a residence on the grounds that it does not meet minimum housing standards is important and high-minded. It can be an appropriate intervention when other efforts at regulation fail. Nevertheless, people need a place to live. If the housing supply is constricted, especially at the bottom end of workforce housing, then unintended consequences are likely to take on a dramatic turn.