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Posts tagged ‘Affordable Housing’

Sooke’s Seaview Mobile Home Park Eviction Notice Upheld

A rezoning sign has re-appeared at Seaview as of yesterday.

A rezoning sign has re-appeared at Seaview as of yesterday.

I received a phone call yesterday from one of the residents in the Seaview Mobile Home Park, who, along with his neighbours, had been served eviction notice by landlord Jeff Zigay last fall. It seems that what I was afraid of has come to pass: their challenge of the landlord’s eviction notice has failed, and the eviction notice for October 31st, 2009 has been upheld.

Despite Sooke Council adopting a new mobile home park redevelopment policy, Jeff Zigay’s lawyer has found a loophole in either the new policy, or the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act.

My source in the park said that Zigay’s lawyer mentioned that Mr. Zigay intends to live in the mobile home park in one of the cabins on the property and operate a home-based landscaping business, for which he needs vacant possession of his land. To me, this sounds like a loophole in the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act, rather than Sooke’s Mobile Home Park Redevelopment Policy. It appears similar to the Residential Tenancy Act, which allows for eviction of tenants if the landlord is to undertake major upgrades or renovations, or to need vacant possession of the property for personal use. Vancouver Blogger Miss604 has been covering one such situation in the West End of Vancouver.

The residents of this park need help. If you know anyone who has experience in these matters, please contact me, and I’ll get you in touch with one of the park residents. If you’re a news media person, please do the same.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Sooke’s Seaview Trailer Park Residents Served Eviction Notice

Update – Oct 28, 2008

It was reported this morning that residents of the Seaview Mobile Home Park in Sooke (that’s the one behind Pizzability in the centre of town) have been served their required one-year notice to vacate the property upon which their homes sit by the owner of the property, Jeff Zigay. The notice states that the owner intends to redevelop the property to another use (likely townhouses or some other multi-family project), that all required permits and applications have been approved, and that the tenants must be gone by October 31st, 2009.

This is the latest in a growing list of mobile home parks that have had their tenants evicted as land values have risen and owners sell to developers.

For those reading that don’t live in the area, this is an extremely difficult situation, as these people own their mobile/manufactured homes, but not the land upon which they sit. Most of these homes have been there for decades and cannot be simply moved to other locations for several reasons: many have had additions or alterations made to them, are too old or in poor condition to survive a move, and there really isn’t anywhere to put them. No new parks are being built, and most municipal zoning does not allow for them on private lots.

When the notice expires, these people are essentially homeless, and will have to find accommodation which will invariably be more expensive. Pad rent at the park is around $350 per month; where can one rent or buy for that? And for those that have a mortgage on their home in the park, they’re stuck with paying for a home they no longer live in.

Interestingly, the eviction notice comes down just as Sooke Council is hammering out a bylaw to protect residents of these parks from eviction. Similar to a policy passed in nearby Langford, the plan would call for compensation to the residents and/or assistance moving their home to another suitable location. Currently, Provincial legislation calls only for compensation for 12 months of pad rent, which is not enough to discourage owners from redevelopment of their properties.

Mobile home parks are a source of affordable housing, and need more protection under stricter legislation. I don’t blame the park owners for what is occurring, it’s their land and they should be able to do with it what the law allows. It’s up to Provincial and municipal lawmakers to protect affordable housing in our community.

What do you think?

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Another Large Condo Development for Langford?

Application sails through Planning and Zoning Committee this week.

An ambitious proposal by a local landowner to develop a 6.5 acre parcel consisting of three separate lots on Happy Valley Road in Langford includes plans for daycare, commercial space, and 171 units of condominium and row housing/townhouses.

Happy Valley Road Langford Condo Proposal

Development cost charges paid by the developers are to be substantial, contributing an estimated $3.6 million to city coffers. Projects and funds that would be paid for by this money are to include traffic lights at Happy Valley and Sooke Roads, crosswalks to Happy Valley School, traffic studies, fire protection, drainage improvements, city park fund, ALR acquisition fund, and the archaeological assessment fund.

The owners see the project breaking down as follows: 94 fee simple brownstone-style row/townhouses, 74 units in two four-storey condominiums, two residential units above 112 square metres of commercial space, and one single-family dwelling on a separate lot.

Nine units will have to be provided as affordable housing to satisfy Langford’s affordable housing policy. Also included on the proposal are various open spaces, including a children’s play play park, community garden, pocket park, rooftop gardens, and a plaza with a fountain. The plan also calls for open space to front Happy Valley Road.

What an exciting plan for Langford! The project still needs to go to public hearing and receive council approval, but there were no naysayers at the committee meeting this week.

Tim Ayres- Victoria and Sooke BC Real Estate Expert