Kamloops senior comfortable in home with help from company displacing him
A senior man and his cat have found a place to live in Kamloops after facing eviction and potential homelessness last month.
Bernie Bouchie had been renting his home on Nicola Street for 33 years, one of 20 homes that were slated to be moved or removed as part of Kelson Group’s City Gardens multimillion dollar housing project.
With rental vacancy rates lingering below 2% in the area, increases in rent costs and many places not accepting pets, Bouchie appeared to have his hands tied last month with the eviction date approaching, Oct. 2.
His friend and neighbour, Jennifer Adams, said Kelson Group recently went above and beyond for Bouchie.
“Bernie is now at the Pines and doing well,” she said. “Kelson gave him a two-bedroom at a reduced rate and he was able to keep his cat.”
Bouchie said he is thankful for the help by Kelson Group.
“I am living in an apartment with my little kitten, CJ, and am quite happy now,” he said. “We are on the third floor. My neighbours here are beautiful and my old friends live upstairs. Kelson found me this place and they were really good to me. I’m grateful for Jennifer’s help.”
Adams said she was worried about him and is relieved he is safe.
“A one-bedroom suite that allows pets is like hens’ teeth and renting for double or more what he can pay,” she said. “He is a sweet and wonderful gent who is stressed to the max.... He is such a great old guy."
Kelson Group said in a news release Sept. 9, it has worked hard to give tenants time to relocate from the homes.
The company said it also gave tenants a minimum of one month free rent — and others more — to help, and offered resources to find other rental accommodation among its stable of apartment buildings and other vacancies in the city.
“Bernie is living in one of our apartments just a stone’s throw away from his old home," said Kelson Group President Jason Fawcett. "We wanted to make sure all the people that were living in those homes were okay. Bernie being a senior was of greater concern and hopefully he has transitioned well, it is an adjustment moving at any age so hopefully he is well."
Adams said there is still an evicted resident living in a motel and some on Battle Street whose evictions are coming up in January have not found housing yet.
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