B.C. helping owners of manufactured homes protect their investment

John Horgan

B.C. is increasing security for owners of manufactured homes by increasing the compensation they will receive if they are forced to move because of redevelopment.

“People deserve to feel safe and secure in their housing. For too long, manufactured home owners have faced uncertainty due to rising land values and redevelopment, and they have not had adequate protections when evicted. No one should have to face financial ruin or potential homelessness when facing eviction from a manufactured home park,” Premier John Horgan said on Tuesday. “We are taking action to give people increased peace of mind by strengthening protections for owners of manufactured homes.”

The Province is proposing changes to the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act that will create fairness for tenants when landlords choose to close or convert a park.

The proposed changes will provide stronger protections for people affected by manufactured home park closures by:

* ensuring the effective date of a 12-month notice to end tenancy is the same for all tenancy agreements under the act;

* increasing the amount of compensation landlords pay tenants who have been given a notice to end tenancy, in order to convert a park;

* increasing the amount of compensation a landlord owes a former tenant if the landlord gave notice, but did not do the conversion;

* providing additional compensation if a manufactured home cannot be relocated; and

* clarifying that a tenant who is unable to relocate their manufactured home is not responsible for disposal costs of the home.

Legislation will be introduced to enact the changes later this month.

Current compensation is too low to cover a tenant’s moving costs, or loss of equity and loss of affordability that happens when tenants can’t find a place to move their home. The proposed amendments will assist displaced tenants to move their home to another site, if possible, and compensate them for the loss of their home if they are unable to move it.

These changes to better protect manufactured home owners are part of government’s 30-point plan for a fairer housing market.

Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, said: “Manufactured homes are an important source of affordable housing often used by vulnerable groups, including seniors, people with disabilities and those on fixed income. The current laws are not strong enough to protect these people, and we are taking action to give tenants the security of knowing they will be fairly compensated if they have to find new homes.”

Hugh Chown, President, Penticton and District Manufactured Home Owners Association, added: “The strengthening of protections for owners of manufactured homes in situations when park owners decide to close or convert a park is long overdue. What many people don’t realize, is that when a park is closed, the tenant doesn’t just lose a place to live, they also lose the equity in the home. It can cost $15,000 to relocate a home, and that’s assuming you can find a place to move it to.”

Andrew Jakubeit, Mayor of Penticton, said: “We appreciate the Province’s commitment to strengthening protection for tenants affected by circumstances beyond their control. When government can implement measures to protect those who are struggling with housing security and housing affordability, all members of our community benefit.”