Councillor's plans for Midfield Mobile Home Park falls flat
Ward 11 councillor Jeromy Farkas was hoping council would offer the remaining residents of Midfield Mobile Home Park fair compensation but when he raised the motion he failed to get a seconder.
As a result, he wasn’t able to get the issue on the table so city council could debate it.
“I’m disappointed. I felt like as a council that we could do more for the Midfield residents but that said there are a lot of services that are on the table and I’m going to be working hard to ensure that no family goes homeless,” says Farkas.
“I think I would have suggested bringing this forward without all the media storm and the frenzy around it so that the issue could have been discussed without all of that extra noise,” says Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi.
After days of secrecy, Farkas revealed what the motion was all about.
He wanted the city to offer more funding to cover legal fees and a better buyout program for those residents which would have been in addition to the $20,000 the city initially offered for moving expenses and the $500 for legal fees.
Some residents say they have nowhere else to go so Farkas was also proposing that any residents facing homelessness because of the closure to be placed into Calgary Housing immediately.
“I knew it was going to be an uphill battle. I wasn’t afraid of losing. I was afraid of living with myself if I didn’t try and I’m glad that I tried and I’ll never regret doing it,” says Farkas.
In 2014, the city offered about 180 people at the park $20,000 in compensation and moving costs.
Some residents refused to move saying the compensation was not enough and launched a civil lawsuit against the city, claiming they were treated unfairly.
On December 8th, a judge dismissed the resident’s lawsuit and said that the city did not act in bad faith and there were no charter violations.
The residents were given a two month extension and were told they had to move out by February 19th, 2018.
Nenshi says seven families are still living at Midfield and the city has a duty to those families to ensure they have somewhere decent to go.