Surprise: the situation Tangerine is really a commentary on modern American society. All over America, more and more people choose to live in hastily constructed but expensive and fancy suburbs or exurbs, which are generally not too awesome for the land where they're built. But someone like Mrs. Fisher doesn't care about the muck fires: she just cares that her house signals her money. Even though the people who live in the older parts of Tangerine are safer and happier, they're still losing the game of life (according to Mrs. Fisher): it's all about the benjamins.
The quality of a home's construction reflects the quality of the people who live there.
The place a person chooses to live says a lot about who they are and what they value.