Ron Sanders has spent two years living in a 26-foot motor home, which is parked in the backyard of a property that Tina McNeilly rents in Vancouver.
Harassed by Vancouver bylaw officers, Sanders, who is on disability and can’t afford anywhere else, met McNeilly after a chance encounter in the alley behind her home.
“I ask her, is there any chance I can put my motor home here? Because I’m going to lose it again,” he said, breaking down in tears as he recounted the story.
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McNeilly’s landlords didn’t mind Sanders locating there.
Then a complaint had bylaw officers checking things out in the alley.
Now, he has until Monday to move his motor home, and he’s out of options.
Sanders isn’t sure where he’ll end up next.
He assumes Hastings and Main, in the heart of the Downtown Eastside.
Otherwise, he might end up in Surrey’s tent city.
The City of Vancouver said the motor home is too long and too unsafe. Strangely, it’s also too small — city bylaws require laneway houses to be 280 sq. ft.
The city is building 600 temporary modular housing units, but advocates say the municipal government is forcing people out of the only homes they have.
Sanders will be able to couchsurf for some time. McNeilly said he can stay in her basement bedroom for a few days.
But he still faces the prospect of losing everything he owns, in a city where there’s nothing he can afford.