April 02, 2015 - 8:30 AM
KELOWNA – It cost them their entire life savings, but evicted Westbank tenants Ross Arnot and Ed Schneider found a way to keep their home. They just have to figure out where to put it.
Last January, Arnot, 65, and Schneider, 67, were evicted from their pad rental at 144 in Jubilee Mobile Home Park and given until April 1 to either abandon their manufactured home on the lot or move it. The couple believe they were evicted because they refused to give up a garage they thought was included in their rental agreement but say regardless of the reason, they were in no position to continue the fight.
"It's taken all our life savings," Arnot says. “It’s cost us far more than what we had (saved) but we do have a side business that pulls in some money. We’re certainly not rich, that’s for sure. Tonight we’re deciding if we want macaroni and cheese or hot dogs for dinner.”
The Jubilee park is on Westbank First Nation land and Arnot and Schneider lost two attempts at arbitration, hoping to stay where they were. Now their home has been sectioned, moved and stored, something Arnot says he never wanted to see happen. The manufactured home, where they have lived since 2007, was on a large lot with a private dock and extensive landscaping.
“It was devastating for both of us,” he says. “It was heart-wrenching to see it being cut up and watching the two main halves being moved off the property.”
The couple are living temporarily in a motorhome while they search for somewhere more permanent. They think they have found a lot they can afford to buy in Summerland and are just waiting for the proper permits before they can start pouring the foundation and hooking up water and power.
Arnot says although the 14-month-long ordeal has been difficult, the pair, who have been together more than 30 years, are closer than ever.
“The relationship is still strong,” he says. “Ed is an incredibly strong person and certainly my bedrock. I am much more emotional than he is so he’s had to deal with a lot of meltdowns but we’ve come through it together and will continue to go through it together.”
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015