WebStamp August 30, 2017
Tiny House Living Devastating Blow
Even though the city is saying they are helping develop tiny house living with secondary suites and laneway homes, they are actually destroying entire well developed tiny house communities at the same time. The 49-year-old Midfield Mobile Home Park is one of those victims. In 2007 plans began to close the mobile home park in five years and have the inhabitants move into a newly developed East Hills Estate trailer park.
In 2011 council revisited the plans for the redevelopment of the mobile home park and in 2014 council approves a plan to close Midfield by September 30, 2017. They also cancelled the plans to develop a new trailer park leaving many of the residents of Midfield without any place to go. Many of the inhabitants are low-income households and retired seniors that can’t afford to move or find other costlier accommodations.
The Midfield trailer park was built along the Trans-Canada Highway on the outskirts of Calgary by a private company in 1968. In 1973 The City of Calgary assumed operation of the Midfield mobile home park. It was in 2010 that city council decided that constant repairing of the aging sewer and water system was becoming to costly and replacing it would be unfeasible. Notices were then sent to the mobile home owners that the park would close in 2012.
Residents were told that they could move their homes to a new park that would be developed on land that the city purchased at no cost to the homeowners. However, in 2014 plans for the new park were stopped. With no new park, Midfield residents had no place to move their homes to since all other parks were full. A few managed to pay of their mortgages selling their house and with the small $10,000 moving compensation. The other up to $10,000 expenses where usually used to cover cleanup expenses. Read their trials and tribulations on being forced out of their close-knit community on the Midfield Trailer Park website.
I find it really appalling that city council is looking for ways to create more affordable housing and yet they are demolishing affordable housing communities without creating places for them to move to. Isn’t it obvious that since all the mobile home communities are full, there is a need for more tiny house communities? This city needs more affordable housing instead of high-priced condos (rumours of what’s next for Midfield) that many can’t afford.
What is the solution to prevent homeowners from being displaced? Tiny house communities where the homeowner owns the land and pays maintenance fees to maintain the common areas, similar to a condo, come to mind. These communities need to be creatively designed as micro neighbourhoods that allow for comfortable stress-free low cost accommodations.
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