Midfield Mobile Home Park residents given eviction notice say they’ve been discriminated against
Published Tuesday, November 7, 2017 7:30AM MST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 7, 2017 6:24PM MST
Lawyers representing less than a dozen residents who remain at the Midfield Mobile Home Park in northeast Calgary have filed written arguments, contending that their clients have been treated unfairly by the city.
The City of Calgary said it would be closing the Midfield Mobile Home Park, located at 954 16 Avenue N.E., in 2014, saying that the water and sewer lines are too old and too costly to replace or refurbish.
Officials offered residents $10,000 to help with relocation costs of their mobile homes and an additional $10,000 lump sum payment.
Many residents took that offer ahead of the September 30, 2017 deadline, but others, like 82-year-old Rudy Prediger, refused and put his name into a class-action lawsuit as part of a fight to stay.
He says the payment offered is far too small. “That will buy my porch.”
Prediger, a retired truck driver, says he won’t leave the home he’s had for over 40 years.
“I don’t want money. I want to stay here in my home. If they come give me money for this, I gotta go buy another one. I’m back where I started.”
Matthew Farrell is representing Prediger and the other residents in a lawsuit and says that the city breached the Mobile Home Site Tenancies Act by neglecting the park’s infrastructure then using that as reason to evict them. He adds that the city also violated the residents’ Charter of Rights.
“By doing what they’re doing, the city is perpetuating and promoting those stereotypes and making the lives of these people harder and worse in an unfair way.”
Mayor Naheed Nenshi says the city wants to let the residents to have their day in court.
“We are confident that the city has acted within all its legal parameters and has acted properly. We’re happy to have an arbitrator look at that as well.”
Prediger says the city isn’t planning to do anything with the land, even if he is gone.
“They just want us outta here. I can see the judge saying ‘well, if there’s nothing planned, if the developers haven’t got it, and blah, blah, blah, leave them people alone.’”
Farrell wants to see his clients treated fairly and given proper compensation for what’s being done to them.
Councillor Druh Farrell, who inherited the Midfield Mobile Home Park when ward boundaries changed ahead of the last election, says that she expects city council to discuss the matter in camera before it goes to court on November 22.
The city has until Friday to submit written arguments in the case.