It’s hard not to sympathize with the residents of Thetis Lake Campground in View Royal.
Placed in the undesirable situation of an impending eviction and the likely destruction of their modular homes, the residents, some of them lower-income, face the prospect of entering a crippling housing and rental market that’s unlikely to be kind on their bank accounts or their stress levels.
Still, while it’s certainly a tough situation, it’s difficult to call it an unlucky one.
By all accounts, the campground owner has been very forthright with residents about the future of the property for many years.
For the past 16 years or so, anyone moving into the site has been informed that the future of the campground is uncertain and that redevelopment is likely.
Those who moved to the park before then have had ample time to sell their mobile home, or come up with a contingency plan in the inevitable event that the redevelopment train leaves the station.
The owner also appears to be doing his part to ensure that residents are well taken care of, offering more than double what’s required by law as compensation and giving residents a chance to have their homes removed and demolished free of charge, the latter of which represents thousands in savings.
In a different market, the $10,000 offer would be more than enough to set up each of the residents in a decent apartment or even contribute a sizeable chunk of a down payment on a house.
The Greater Victoria market being one of the most unaffordable in Canada is what makes this a truly difficult situation for these residents, as 10 grand simply doesn’t go very far these days whether you are looking to buy or rent.
In that respect, these residents are hardly alone.
It’s hard to envision a scenario that would make the residents comfortable with losing their home. But we hope that an agreement can be reached between all parties that leaves them set up for success in their new life, wherever that new life happens to take them.