March 13, 2013 - 7:00 AM
By Julie Whittet
Current mobile-home owners residing in the Hiawatha RV Park have been offered a number of options for leaving the site, now slated for a major tourist-commercial development. Shortly after purchasing the park in 2007, Edmonton-based Westcorp launched a relocation strategy intended to meet the various needs of home owners.
Westcorp has held individual meetings with residents over the past few years to answer their questions and concerns. Since that time, 80 per cent of the park's residents opted to sell their homes to the developer.
“We never forced anyone to sell,” says Gail Temple, Westcorp spokesperson. “There is no timeline dictated for them.”
But with the growing buzz around the development, the remaining 18 residents are well aware of the coming changes. One resident said he wasn't leaving until he had to.
Alternative compensation plans include relocating the resident's home to another park or offering the resident a unit at new development, which will boast over 600 condos and townhomes. For those with less financial mobility, Westcorp has offered to help residents find affordable housing in the city and subsidize some of their rent. Temple says four to five seniors will likely choose this option.
Some of the Hiawatha mobile homes are close to 45 years old, Temple says, and would not be suitable for relocation to another RV park. Temple also added that few of the home-owners are interested in buying into the development, given the lengthy construction phase.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Julie Whittet at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (250) 718-0428.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013