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Surrey trailer park residents mobilize to save homes

by murray bush - flux photo

Surrey trailer park residents mobilize to save homes
Surrey trailer park residents mobilize to save homes
Surrey trailer park residents mobilize to save homes
Surrey trailer park residents mobilize to save homes
Surrey trailer park residents mobilize to save homes
Surrey trailer park residents mobilize to save homes
Surrey trailer park residents mobilize to save homes
Surrey trailer park residents mobilize to save homes
Surrey trailer park residents mobilize to save homes

SURREY - Residents of a Surrey mobile home park rallied outside Surrey City Hall today. The tightknit community, consisting mainly of disabled, retired, elderly and low-income families, is facing destruction to make way for an "Innovation  Village" planned by developers and the City of Surrey along King George Blvd.

Most of the park residents say they will be left homeless if the plan goes ahead. Most of their mobile homes on the property can't be moved. As well as the homes, the residents say two salmon creeks, songbird nesting, abundant wildlife and heritage trees are also threatened by the redevelopment plan.

Park Mobile has lots of families with several generations - and they fear displacement from the destruction of their park and separation from their extended families. The residents, who own their trailers but rent the land, say the Surrey bylaws on mobile home parks are unclear. That led city council to call today for more information on developer responsibilities for helping relocate mobile home park tenants.

The residents say that "in a market where low income housing is becoming more scarce, and the low income class is getting displaced, the redevelopment of our parks will further add to the problems of not only the individuals, most of whom could not recover from such a huge loss, but to the city and perhaps even province as well. Have no doubt - this is austerity."

"To expect fixed or low income residents to cut their losses, in the tens of thousands of dollars, and move on, is criminal. Some of the residents would be required to move into care facilities based on fixed income, meaning they could very realistically lose the freedom, and livelihood they have worked their lives to achieve."

WestStone Group has applied to build a multi-use $250-million, 12-story complex for seniors and medical offices on the five-acre site next to the Surrey Memorial Hospital.

Surrey City Council approved the first phase of the development process today but says it will still hold public hearings on the plan in the Fall.

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