Yukon's mobile home owners need to get organized and fight for a better deal, says Charles Behan.
The Whitehorse man has started a group called the Mobile Home Owners' Association of Yukon.
Behan lives at the Takhini Mobile Home Park. He says the rising cost of pad rent in Yukon is threatening people with low incomes.
"Many people in this park are seniors and there are a lot of people on social assistance," he says. "Many of them cannot afford rent increases.".
In 2007, the cost of renting a pad in the Takhini Mobile Home Park was $285 a month. This year it's $385 a month and that will increase to $410 on June 1. 144 mobiles
"What can you do?" Behan says. "You've got to pay it otherwise they put a lien on your house."
Behan says residents aren't getting their money's worth and need collective bargaining. He says the park roads are dusty and water pressure is low.
As a result of the pad rent increase, Behan says many residents have chosen to leave.
"Families don't want to come here. They don't want the mortgage and then having to pay the high pad rental. They just can't afford it," he says.
Owners of the Takhini Mobile Home Park could not be reached for comment.
MLA wants limits on pad rent increases
Takhini-Kopper-King MLA Kate White brought up the issue in the legislative assembly. Her riding includes three mobile parks including Takhini.
White says the government should enact a limit on pad rent increases. P.E.I., Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and B.C. set limits on annual pad rental increases.
"The cheapest way into the housing market in Yukon is mobile homes," says White.
"And I think one part that made this resonate with people is that as soon as it crested that $400 a month point, it doesn't seem affordable anymore."
Minister of Community Services Brad Cathers has said the government will not consider the idea.
"(White) is not the first person to suggest this with good intentions, but there is clear research that shows that over time the net effect of rent controls is a reduction in the number of affordable housing choices," he told the legislative assembly.
Plans to spread across Yukon
The Mobile Home Owners Association of Yukon was officially incorporated this week.
Behan says the group already has 50 members and has spread from the Takhini park to other parks in Whitehorse.
He hopes the group will eventually come to change the relationship between the owners of parks and those who rent land.