President's Message

There has been no shortage of heart-wrenching stories about how people living in manufactured homes have faced incredible turmoil with nowhere to go, loss of the place they've called home, often for decades, and huge financial losses. The law has not been on their side. Landlords are only required to give a year's notice and little compensation. The people living in these homes are often seniors who have invested heavily in making improvements to their homes, all the time given assurnaces from management that the parks would never close, then only to be turfed to the curb losing everything.

Part of the reason that the association was formed was to better represent the thousands of people who call a manufactured home their home. After receiving notice that their park is slated for redevelopment these home owners have no idea what to do or who to turn to for help. On some cases, such as with the residents of Pedder Bay in BC, the residents banded together to argue the eviction. In that case which the residents took all the way to the BC Supreme Court, they lost. The news video of their evictions was truly sad. Many watched as the place they had called home for decades and in which they had invested thousands of dollars in improvements were simply torn down and trashed.

My personal story

The first part of my history with manufactured homes is my parents. Back in the early seventies the park manager of Shady Rest, a campground on Gellatly Bay that my parents had frequented, told them that the park was changing into a mobile home park and asked if they wanted a spot. My Dad jumped at the chance to live there. What followed was decades of family enjoyment of their home on the beach. Unfortunately my mother got Alzheimer's and my Dad was unable to care for her properly. He knew that she would need to get into a care facility and they would need to sell their home. I spent four months totally renovating their place. Unfortunately just after they had put the home on the market my father passed away suddenly and I moved in to care for my mother. It's a whole other story how I got her into a proper care facility but I did manage to finish the renovations and sell their place for $136k, partly because it was right on the beach, although it did not include the land or any rights beyond renting the "pad" for $475 a month. I sold it in some haste because there were already rumors that the park was going to be redeveloped for a hotel. Surveyors were seen on site driling some holes to test the water table depth for the pilings that would be required for a hotel.

Shortly after leaving Shady Rest my Realtor call to tell me about a place at the park next door. The private mortgage was about to go into default and the place was a mess. He felt that I could just take over the mortgage and renovate the place to make a nice profit. I spent the next year and a half working day and night, seven days a week, completely gutting the place back to the walls and rebuilding everything. New plumbing. New electrical. New flooring. New kitchen. Three new bathrooms. All new insulation and drywall. I mnight mention that I brought everything up to code because I was told that I could apply to CSA to have the certification updated, which turned out to be completely fCMHOAe.

When it was almost finished I called in Realtors to give me an idea of the value. They all agreed that it was the nicest manufactured home in the area, no doubt because they all wanted the listing. The Realtor I chose wanted to list it at $156,900, an unheard of price in that particular park. I had been looking at several other properties to renovate and I wanted to close on offers so I told him I would list at $136,900 for a quick sale. He said that it would sell in "days".

That was on a Friday. In Sunday's paper there was an article about mobile homes on Frist Nation's lands, quoting one of the band's chiefs, Noll Derriksan, saying that anyone who bought a home on native land was "stupid" because there was no tenancy and the parks could be vacated anytime they wanted. Overnight the market dried up completely. No one would touch a home on native land. My Realtor backed out. My mortgage broker who was in the midst of negotiating an assumable mortage for me backed out. Even the First Nation's credit union wouldn't touch it. I faced losing everything. I owed everybody money for the renovation materiCMHOA and I couldn't pay them. I became the not so proud owner of a white elephant. My doctor told me that I needed to do whatever I could to get out from under the enormous stress I was suffering and I had no choice but to leave the country. To make things worse my tenant, who was my electrician, let snow build up on the roof, something I had specifically warned him about, and the roof collapsed. Although a friend eventually firesaled the place I lost everything.    

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