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Summerside asks P.E.I. government to safeguard mobile home residents

Residents from Heritage Trailer Park listen as Summerside city councillors put forward a resolution requesting the provincial government update or create legislation that would better protect residents of mobile home parks on P.E.I.
Residents from Heritage Trailer Park listen as Summerside city councillors put forward a resolution requesting the provincial government update or create legislation that would better protect residents of mobile home parks on P.E.I. - Millicent McKay

SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. - Summerside councillors are asking the provincial government to re-evaluate current legislation that governs mobile home parks in Prince Edward Island.

Coun. Brian McFeely, who represents Ward 3, Green’s Shore-Three Oaks, put forward a resolution Monday urging the provincial government to update legislation to provide mobile home park residents with increased protection and compensation should they face eviction by park owners.

Councillors approved the resolution unanimously.

“The city has no legal jurisdiction over (Heritage Trailer Park). So, we’re trying to find a way to help them,” said McFeely.

Heritage Trailer Park falls within his ward. The trailer park, off Water Street East, is slated for closure, and residents were given six months, until Nov. 30, to have their homes moved.

A six-month extension was requested but hasn't been granted.

“Right now, it seems there is no housing available, so we are hopeful that an extension would give them more time,” McFeely said. “I’ve met with some residents, council has met with community groups and we’re trying to narrow down some ideas. Like I said, we are hopeful, but these things take time.”

Related: Residents angered by closure of Summerside mobile home park

While residents understand the process of saving the park is long and tenuous, they can’t help but be frustrated by the situation.

“I’m extremely frustrated. This is the third council meeting I’ve been to and, while I’m on board to help other parks, they’re doing nothing for the residents of Heritage Trailer Park,” said park resident Pamela Deltor.

“The clock is ticking, and it feels like they they’re going to let it run out of time.”

Deltor says the situation is dire.

“If we have the councillors talking, community groups talking, provincial representatives talking, and no one is committing to anything, where does that leave us?”

Morgan Gaudet, another Heritage Trailer Park resident, says the steps taken by city council are in the right direction.

“It sucks that it probably won’t be in time to help us. But at least, for every other person or family moving into a trailer park in the city, they won’t have to worry about what we’re going through.”

Related: Summerside still considering options to help Heritage Trailer Park residents

Prince Edward Island isn’t unique to the situation facing Heritage Trailer Park residents.

In April, British Columbia’s provincial government changed legislation to better safeguard residents from such situations.

The Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act now makes it harder for landlords to evict trailer park residents, increases the compensation tenants would receive if their park closes or were forced out. Landlords would also have to compensate former tenants who were displaced due to a planned redevelopment that doesn’t proceed.

The Journal Pioneer requested a comment from the provincial government on the city’s resolution.

“As part of our government's housing initiatives we are looking at regulations and/or legislation that would improve protections for residents of mobile home parks this fall,” read a statement from the Department of Communities, Land and Environment.

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