The city has decided to close a mobile home park in northeast Calgary in three years.
A letter from the city was sent to tenants of the park, explaining that the site at 954 16 Ave. N.E. is closing because the deteriorating water and sewer lines are more than 40 years old.
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The northeast Calgary trailer park residents have faced uncertainty for years.
“City council weighed all the facts very carefully before making this difficult decision,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi in a statement.
“Now that the final decision has been made, tenants know that they have three years to find other accommodation and that they will be given a package to help ease the transition.”
Nowhere to go, say residents
The park has 173 mobile homes and many residents are seniors, some who have lived there for 40 years.
Resident Eunice Knelson says she doesn't know where she could move in Calgary.
"I don't know where to go. There are no senior's places to be had. There's no other trailer parks where we can go and I'm not sure this is the right thing to put a burden on mostly older people in the park."
The city is offering counselling services, a lump sum payment of $10,000, and up to $10,000 to cover the cost of moving a trailer.
That's a deal Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra says balances the needs of the future and the needs of the tenants in a "very respectful way."
Carra says the city had to close the park, despite opposition from residents.
"It is falling apart and we can no longer afford to go in there and fix waterlines that are falling apart. And this is a valuable piece of inner city land," he said.
Resident Sylvia Zettel said she has checked and all of Calgary's trailer parks are full.
"It's about 20 grand to move a trailer," Zettel said. "Someone has to come in and move all the sheds and everything and the decks and then take the skirting off and then move it and then put it back — and that's only if it's movable."
'Opportunities' coming, says counsellor
Carra says there are a lot of changes coming and residents should have no trouble finding a place to live.
"The expectation is that three years from now there will be more mobile home opportunities. There will be attainable housing opportunities. There will be senior's housing opportunities. And there will be market rate housing opportunities," said Carra.
A plan to build a new mobile home park on 84 Street N.E., known as East Hills Estates, has been discarded because officials say it’s not financially viable.
According to the city, the developer built the park in 1968, turning it over to the city five years later. The Calgary Housing Company has managed the park since 2001.