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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6 thoughts on “Sooke’s Seaview Trailer Park Residents Served Eviction Notice”
I am a resident of the Sea View mobile home park now faced with this most devastating event. This was my first home in which I purchased and hoped would be an investment for my future. I am deeply saddened by the decision to close the park. Needless to say it was very unexpected. With out a commitment to actually establishing the new policy I fear we will all be faced with a hopeless situation. There are no simple answers to this problem especially since all the facts are as clear as mud.
Hi Dustin – I’m so sorry you have to deal with this situation. My thoughts are with you for a good outcome to this. If there is anything I can do, help you with contacting municipal and/or Provincial leaders, direct you to where to get more information, please let me know. I’d appreciate it if you would drop by and keep us all updated as the story unfolds.
Regarding Seaview Trailor Park. I completely understand the owners not wanting to put good money after bad. Would you want to keep your money in an investment that loses money year after year? On the other hand, I can’t imagine anyone being so heartless as to evict people from homes that are not truly mobile anymore, and where it is known that there is no other place for them.
The solution seems to me so blindingly obvious I’m amazed no-one else has suggested it. Turn the organization into a non-profit. Tax benefits abound for the owners. The owners/tenants can hold one or many annual fundraisers. Find a product or service the tenants can produce and sell (100% natural rustic west coast twig wreaths to sell on eBay???) Money from which goes into a central infrastructure fund for maintenance and repairs.
Even if the above ideas don’t fly, get the owners and tenants working together collaboratively so (1) the owners don’t lose any more money and can feel good about doing something for their neighbour and (2) so the tenants have a place to live out their lives that is their own and is affordable.
Thanks for your comment – an interesting and innovative idea.
I think the problem with that would be getting residents on board. Why should they have to do fundraising, etc, to be able to live where they already own a mobile home – remember they are only tenants in the sense that they lease the pad upon which their units sit. I certainly wouldn’t buy into it if I lived there.
I’ll be doing a little research as to what could be done with the units, where they could go, etc. I will also be getting updates on the situation as it unfolds from one of the residents there.
Once again, thanks for the comment – I really appreciate your input.