Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
The owner of Glendale Mobile Homes Park has come up with three new options for tenants forced to move their homes next year — including buying into a new development.
The catch is the development will only accommodate small one- or two-bedroom chalet-style homes.
"I thought $500 (mandated by the Residential Tenancies Branch for moving costs) is not enough," Glendale Mobile Homes Park owner Kenny Choy said Thursday. "I thought give them extra money and help them to make a move."
The owners of 23 mobile homes situated along a Manitoba Hydro right-of-way received letters dated July 16 from Choy informing them they have to move their homes by Oct. 31, 2021, when a 10-year licence negotiated with Hydro expires.
After previously saying all the tenants received copies of the licence in 2011, Choy admitted Thursday he doesn’t know if that actually happened.
"I’m not 100 per cent sure," he said, adding that would have been the responsibility of the former manager. "I think possibly she didn’t do it."
In a letter to the tenants dated July 27, Choy presented three options:
• Starting in October, tenants may discontinue paying their lot rent, but must continue to pay the city licence fee — property tax collected with the lot rent each month — until the home is removed from the lot. The value of the unpaid rent combined with the $500 Choy must pay tenants for moving costs as required by the Residential Tenancies Branch equals approximately $3,300, according to the letter. The lot must still be cleared and cleaned up;
• Tenants who continue to pay the lot rent would receive a $3,300 cheque once the lot is empty and cleaned up;
• Tenants would pay the lot rent, and once the mobile home is moved and the lot cleaned up, they would receive $4,500. That money, the letter states, would go toward the purchase of a small mobile home in the new development, acting as a down payment. Tenants who choose this option would have a choice of lot.
Choy said he is developing a parcel of land adjacent to the newer portion of Glendale Mobile Homes Park that will accommodate 21 small mobile homes.
He said they are in the planning stage of getting quotations from a construction company for sewer and water hookups, as well as streets and curbs. He said the development should be finished next summer.
A one-bedroom chalet should cost less than $100,000, he said.
Choy acknowledged those homes won’t be large enough for many people along the right-of-way who have families.
Stephanie Fraser, who with her husband Bill have six children, said Thursday none of the options floated by Choy works for them.
"I’m not sure, at the end of it, if he’s (Choy) going to fulfil those deals, is my concern," she said.
Fraser said it would cost at least $5,000 to move her mobile home "and that’s at minimum."
Like others with older mobile homes, they can’t even find another park willing to accept them, she said, adding that even demolishing it would cost thousands of dollars.
While she has no issue with paying the city fees, Fraser said she would rather pay them directly at city hall and not to Glendale Mobile Homes Park.
"I have no problems with the city," she said. "This isn’t the city or Hydro. This is a Kenny Choy issue."
"It offers no choice; those are just three different ways of trying to make it look like he’s helping, when in fact he’s not," Debbie Parrott, who owns one of the affected mobile homes, said in an email to the Sun.
Parrott said she purchased the trailer in 2011 for her son, who had moved back to Brandon, intending it to be short-term solution while he got back on his feet.
While he is still living there, a plan was made in May that he would apply for Manitoba Housing, and once he got in, she would sell the trailer and recoup some of the money meant to be part of her retirement.
"In my case, trying to sell a 1974 trailer, even though in very good shape (with all new windows, doors, new furnace, installation of central air, new water heater, newer washer/dryer) plus outside cosmetics (new back fence; new skirting; eavestroughing on the porch) ... that has to be moved is going to be extremely difficult," Parrott wrote.
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