Only way out is bankruptcy, says resident after fee increase at Calgary trailer park
'"We're currently the most expensive pad rent in Canada'
Residents of a southeast Calgary trailer park held a rally Wednesday to protest what they say has been a 30 per cent increase in rent over the past three years.
"I'm stuck here, the only way out is for me to go bankrupt," said David Bull, who has lived at Cove Communities Calgary Village mobile home park for 12 years and owned for 11.
"We're currently the most expensive pad rent in Canada."
Bull said his rent for his lot has nearly doubled over the past decade, making for sky-high monthly costs when combined with his mortgage, and for many seniors, the increases have outpaced their pension cheques.
Residents said costs have risen as high as $1,075 or $1,250 for some, who had been paying as low as $650 or $850 just a few years before.
"This is not affordable living, this is not affordable housing by any means."
Bull said those wanting to buy a property have to pay $300 as an application fee, and must be approved by the company before they can buy. A nearby trailer park charges just $450 for each pad, residents said. And many of the homes are decades old, meaning they can't be moved and would have to be sold on location.
"It's just greed, that's all it boils down to is just greed."
The residents have a petition calling on the Government of Alberta to update the Mobile Home Sites Tenancy Act to protect residents from mobile home parks they are accusing of preying on low-income families and seniors, by introducing clearer disclosures on projected future price increases, and prevent parks from interfering with the sales of homes in attempts to force foreclosures.
"They're exploiting the seniors … trying to force us out of here is what they're doing," said resident Chuck Thompson.
"They're living in fear is what they're doing and you shouldn't have to."
According to Cove Communities' website, the company owns six parks across Alberta.
CBC Calgary has reached out to the company for comment.
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With files from Justin Pennell