When Peter Savage bought a trailer in the Shirlmae Trailer Park two years ago he thought he’d finally found the answer he’d been looking for.
The 71-year-old retired teacher had been looking for housing solutions for his 40-year-old son Colin who lives with cognitive disabilities and struggles to live in shared accommodation and hold a job. He moved into the trailer from the streets of Penticton.
“He doesn’t work well living with others. He’s been attacked and had items stolen when he lives with roommates,” said the concerned father. “He needs to live on his own.”
Colin has $905 of government assistance to live off of each month and that goes to pad rent in the Hoylake Avenue mobile home park that consists of 18 units and one condemned house.
His parents say they paid $65,000 for the Langford mobile home on line-of-credit. When word came Langford businessman Ron Cheeke was applying for rezoning for the park, Colin panicked and immediately packed his belongings into small plastic bags and told his parents he would be living back on the streets.
Peter plans to find his son new accommodation if the rezoning is approved.
“They’ve only offered us $12,000 and two-years’ pad rent,” said Peter. “If we took that we’d be out $40,000. I am going to be paying for that trailer forever.”
Before purchasing the trailer Peter researched the options and selected the trailer in Langford due to the city’s mobile home policy written in 2007.
The policy states if a park is closing the owner must pay to dispose of homes that cannot be relocated, help residents find new accommodation and offer them the right of first refusal for new homes built on the property. In total the policy includes 10 stipulations the park owner must oblige by.
Dina Belusic has lived in the park since 2009 and was also aware of Langford’s policy when she purchased her home for $123,000. She still owes $106,000 on her mortgage.
The policy is states, “… payment of a value equivalent to the assessed value of the mobile home are provided to the tenants whose manufactured homes cannot be relocated, or where relocations cannot be found.”
B.C. Assessment calculates Dina’s home is worth $80,500. She also hired a private appraiser whose calculations say $85,000.
She says Cheeke offered $25,000 after hiring his own appraiser.
“If this goes through I don’t know what I am going to do. I looked into bankruptcy, but I can’t file with the type of mortgage I have,” said the single mother.
With both parents deceased, she has no other family for help and used an inheritance from her grandmother to purchase the home.
“Ideally I want to stay. I don’t want to lose my home,” she said. “We should be financially compensated, these are our homes.”
Peter’s B.C. Assessment was calculated at $58,000 and he too has hired an appraiser.
“The question here is appraisal versus assessment,” Peter said, adding the Langford policy uses the word “assessment.”
Many residents of the park have already accepted offers and only a few are fighting the battle for compensation
If the rezoning is passed the residents will get one-year notice to leave the park.
Langford council has to approve all of the compensation offers given to the residents before rezoning can be granted.
Staff and council could not comment on the manufactured home park redevelopment policy as it’s one created by council as a collective.
“It will be defined by council collectively as they review the application for rezoning once they’ve received a recommendation from council’s planning and zoning committee,” said Matthew Baldwin, Langford’s director of planning.
A rezoning application has been made but isn’t yet scheduled for a planning and zoning committee meeting.
If the rezoning application is granted the land would be used for commercial development.