They are known as the last resort. Millions of Americans are staying in budget long-stay motels as the country's economic problems get worse.

The grisly rooms are seen as the lowest of the U.S. housing ladder, only just above a cardboard box.

In tiny rooms with paper-thin walls and nylon sheets, vulnerable Americans are making their homes for a few hundred bucks a month.
© Getty ImagesLast resort: Brittney Nance walks her children past budget hotels on their way to the grocery store in West Sacramento, California.

Many of the people taking advantage of the rock-bottom charges have been made redundant during the recession.

The motels have strict rules. Drugs are banned, but alcohol is allowed.

Rent must be paid on time, but every 28 days guest must clear everything out of their rooms and check in again so as not break hotel licensing rules.

There is no room service and guests have to clean their rooms and wash their own sheets.

But the popularity of what should be temporary accommodation is apparently causing problems for police.

© Getty ImagesAccommodation: The family stay in the motel room with most of their belongings

© Getty ImagesSomewhere to stay: Brittney Nance watches her daughter Lillie, two, play out in front of their motel room

Officers in Dickson, Tennessee, said there are motels there that have had the same people living in them for years.

Police said the city's two live-in motels are keeping them very busy and they have responded to almost 250 emergency calls between them in the past year.

911 calls have included reports of assault, meth labs and recently even murder.

'I'm sure it is the economy. A lot of people can't afford their homes no more,' Detective Sergeant James Lyell of the Dickson Police Department told local station News Channel 5.

Chief Ricky Chandler believes the motel population is creating an unsafe environment.
© Getty ImagesFood: Brittney Nance makes Sloppy Joes for her three children in their motel room

© Getty ImagesWelcome: Sign outside the Hillcrest Motel, Sheffield, Alabama

'It's not like a regular motel where someone stops overnight and then leaves,' he told the local station.

'This brings in people, friends, relatives, etc. And when you bring those in, that potentially increases the problem.'