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Chilliwack man speaks up for seniors as mobile-home park eyed for redevelopment

Homeowner says seniors should get reimbursed at market value for manufactured homes
Terry Hanson is seen at Fraser Village Mobile Home Park on Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

A Chilliwack resident is urging city hall to consider the plight of senior owners in Fraser Village Mobile Home Park who may soon be forced to sell their manufactured homes and move.

Terry Hanson said he and fellow park residents learned about redevelopment plans for the park across from Townsend Park after reps of Westbow Group held a meeting explaining their intent to build townhouses on the property.

Hanson estimates the market value of his trailer at about $225,000. But the reimbursement offer was only for $130,000.

The crux of this is that many of the long-time owners won’t be able to purchase a home elsewhere to replace the one they would have to sell, said Hanson, who is a member of the Lower Mainland Manufactured Home Association.

It bears a second look by city hall, Hanson said since Fraser Village is one of about a dozen manufactured-home parks in Chilliwack.

“We are the first to go down the tube here,” he said.

Terry Hanson is seen at Fraser Village Mobile Home Park on Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Hanson said he was told there was not much the city could do because it’s more of a provincial issue. But he points to a redevelopment policy approved by Langley council that recommends developers reimburse owners at the market value – not the lower assessed value.

“They’ve taken care of their seniors with this,” he said about the Langley approach, adding that developers could still make “a handsome profit,” going that route.

“These citizens are fragile and require cooperation and support from Westbow Developers, Chilliwack city hall, Chilliwack mayor, council and planners.”

City of Chilliwack officials confirm that the planning department received an application at the end of February to rezone 45111 Wolfe Road from an RMH (Manufactured Home Park) Zone to an R4 (Low Density Multi-Unit Residential) Zone to facilitate a future townhouse development.

“The application (for rezoning) is currently in the queue for processing,” according to the city statement.

Asked about Hanson’s concerns, Mayor Ken Popove said council is cognizant of the need for “more affordable housing options” for local seniors, pledging to continue to take steps to support “diverse” housing opportunities for local seniors.

A seniors’ housing study was commissioned by the city to pinpoint these needs, and actions by the city and partner organizations “to address this important issue,” Popove said.

Terry Hanson is seen at Fraser Village Mobile Home Park on Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

“Guided by this study, the city continues to support affordable housing projects through donated land, expedited approvals, and waived fees for supportive housing projects like the Paramount, as well as reducing development cost charges and parking requirements for smaller, affordable apartments, and advocating to the provincial and federal governments for supports,” he said.

Owners of manufactured-home parks are required to follow the provincial Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act, so the mayor urged the resident to connect with local MLAs for information about the province’s regulation of mobile home parks and protections for owners of mobile homes.

The mayor said it’s not clear yet when the rezoning application will come before council.

“Once staff begin to actively review the application, both the city’s seniors’ housing study and the housing needs report will inform staff’s recommendation to council regarding the proposal. Staff will continue to monitor how other jurisdictions handle the redevelopment of mobile home parks. At this time, staff do not have an anticipated date for when this application will be brought forward for council’s consideration.”

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Jennifer Feinberg

About the Author: Jennifer Feinberg

I have been a Chilliwack Progress reporter for 20+ years, covering the arts, city hall, as well as Indigenous, and climate change stories.
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