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Kelowna mobile home residents worried about eviction as park faces development

Hiawatha Mobile Home Park worried about looming eviction
The mobile home residents said the majority of the people living there are low income and will have trouble finding an equivalent living situation.

An Edmonton-based development company has major plans for its 18-acre property on Lakeshore Road in Kelowna.

The development plan is proposing 200 townhomes on an existing mobile home park, Hiawatha Mobile Home Park, which was purchased by Westcorp in 2007.

However, the current residents of the mobile home park are unsure of what their next steps will be.

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“I don’t know, I didn’t realize how hard it is finding low-income housing in Kelowna,” said Jeff Felardeau, a Haiwatha Mobile Home Park resident.

The mobile home residents say the majority of the people living there are low income and will have trouble finding an equivalent living situation.

“It’ll be tough, I’m on disability and I’m a single father,” said Robert Nicholson, a Hiawatha park resident.

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”There’s nothing like what I’m paying here. I’m looking at $1,600 to $1,800 a month? I’m paying $1,000 here.”

While Westcorp hasn’t given them official notice, Hiawatha Park residents have already been told to expect to get their four-month notice within the year.

Westcorp talked to Global News last week about the proposed townhomes on Lakeshore Road.

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“We operate the campground,” said Temple. “We’ve let everybody know that it [the campground] will be its last season.”

Unfortunately, Hiawatha Park residents say they depend on the affordability of the park and are worried about where they will find new homes.

“[I’m] just going to have to continue looking and see where it goes,” said Felardeau.

“There’s nothing I can afford at this point on my own.”

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Westcorp said it understands how the Hiawatha Mobile Home Park has long been an affordable area for families and said it wants that to continue.

Hiawatha Park residents don’t agree with Westcorp, however, that the new townhomes will be affordable.

“I can imagine a new build, a two-bedroom and three-bedroom townhouse, is going to be way out of my fixed income,” said Felardeau.

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“Townhomes? I bet you at least $2-3,000 a unit. It’s not affordable,” said Michael Petry, a Hiawatha resident.

Westcorp has submitted an application to the city for the proposed 200 townhomes.

If council approves the application, Westcorp believes construction on the Lakeshore Road property will begin after the summer.