Over the last several months, family by family, people have been moving out of Midfield Mobile Home Park in northeast Calgary.
But many say what has happened to the 180 people who’ve been evicted is shameful.
“Basically I had 1,100 square feet and now I’ve got maybe 100 square feet and that’s being generous,” Mike Latour said. “I live in a truck.”
Latour is a long-haul truck driver. He had called Midfield home for almost a decade. He invested everything he had, but feels he was forced to walk away from it all to live in his “highway home.”
“At least I was working on something toward retirement,” Latour said. “Here I am, 56 years old and starting over.
“They say: ‘You’re worthless. Get out.'”
Years ago, the City of Calgary said due to aging and irreparable infrastructure, the property was closing permanently.
“I will never again buy a property in Calgary,” Latour said. “I am so disgusted the way the city has treated the people at Midfield.”
Residents had until Sept. 30 to leave.
“I was scared come September 30th they’re gonna close that gate, shut off power or gas,” former resident Carla Chalanchuk said.
The single mom raised her family in Midfield but had to surrender her home. She’s moved three times since September.
“I have a hard time talking about it,” Chalanchuk said through tears. “It’s so emotional to lose your home.”
“It’s just been hell. You wake up in the middle of the night wanting your home back.”
Watch part 1 of Midfield of Dreams from Jill Croteau below:
A lawyer fighting for the Midfield residents feels there should be a better payout to those who are staying and those who have already left.
Mathew Farrell of Guardian Law Group is set to head to court representing Midfield on Nov. 22.
“A lot of these houses have been destroyed. They are in tiny pieces in a dumpster somewhere and you can’t un-ring that bell,” Farrell said. “In a perfect world, a judge would say, ‘Pay compensation to everybody.'”
Because the case is now before the courts, the mayor, city officials and the ward councillor at the time these decisions were made — Gian-Carlo Carra — have all turned down requests for comment.
The city has offered to compensate the residents $10,000 and another $10,000 for moving or demolition.
The settlement deal has now expired. But there are a handful of residents, like Lori Sperling, who vow they’re staying put despite an eviction notice.
“People think they can throw me in the garbage and my house in garbage and say, ‘Here’s $10,000, shut up,'” Sperling said. “Ten thousand is a slap in the face…like who cares?”
Long-time resident Rudy Prediger has called Midfield home for nearly 50 years.
“Look, if I come to your house and offer you 10 cents on the dollar to get the hell out, you gonna go? No,” Prediger said.
“I’m not moving. They’ll have to come and get the sheriff to take me out.”
Nearly 10 years ago, the city had intentions of relocating residents to a new park on a plot of land in East Hills. The deal was scrapped because city council said the project wasn’t feasible.
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