Income requirements for the new affordable housing building at the TriWay mobile home park in Langford could leave some senior residents with no place to go.
Residents are still cloudy about their future with the Capital Region Housing Corporation (CRHC) building at 2782 Spencer Rd. set to be completed in late September.
A meeting scheduled for early May with all residents, may answer some questions, although some worry they might not like what they hear.
A 12-acre portion of the 75-unit park was rezoned in 2020 to allow for an affordable housing building. The taking over of its management by the CRHC in October will be followed by tenant move-ins starting around November.
Impacted residents of the park are having their applications prioritized, Capital Regional District spokesperson Andy Orr said.
That applies to owners of 22 homes being displaced by the new building – other people living in the park can apply, but they won’t be prioritized, he said.
At this point it’s uncertain who will be accepted into the CRHC units. Some owners have already left the park – moving to the U.S. or into children’s basements – while others are left in limbo.
Despite being on the priority list for a new unit, Maria Hayworth, 76, still worries about the future.
“We can’t choose and we have no control over where we are going to live. And that’s not great,” she said.
The development will contain 58 units and target seniors, families and individuals, including those with accessibility needs. Eleven units will rent at a subsidized rate of $375 a month.
Affordable housing units rented by CRHC offer below-market rate rents for tenants, but income criteria are in place that are based on the unit size.
For one-bedroom apartments, applicants needs a minimum annual income of $47,501 and a maximum of $75,730.
Tenants can also have a maximum of $100,000 in assets. Residents compensated for losing their mobile homes may be ineligible for subsidized housing if they receive more than that, or exceed the $100,000 amount with savings added in. As well, if their household income doesn’t qualify them for admittance into the affordable units – the median income for seniors aged 65 and over in B.C. was $34,700 in 2020, according to Statistics Canada.
Hayworth is retired, living alone and is in line for compensation, which she worries could make her ineligible for the new building, leaving her with no place to go.
In its FAQs about the development, the CRD says people admitted for affordable housing could move down to a subsidized rate of rent when their assets drop below $100,000, but before that they would have to pay a higher rate.
Park residents can apply for other affordable housing projects with the CRHC or BC Housing, but won’t get priority for those projects, according to the CRD.
“We’re all hanging by a thread here and have been for three years. People have kind of given up and, ‘Oh whatever happens happens’, but you can’t treat people like this, it’s ridiculous,” said Hayworth.