Monday, April 13, 2015

Redevelopment of Manufactured Home Parks in the Township

The Township of Langley has over 1,300 manufactured homes in 14 manufactured home parks throughout the community. This style of housing is extremely affordable. According to research done by Township of Langley staff, manufactured housing is 19% to 30% cheaper than condos or townhouses, and have lower monthly fees than most stratas.

With rapid growth in the Township of Langley, there has been pressure to redevelop manufactured home parks. Because manufactured housing is extremely affordable, people who live in these parks have a hard time finding comparable housing when they are evicted due to redevelopment.

Legally, owners of manufactured home parks have to follow the provincial “Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act”. If an owner is going to redevelop a manufactured home park, they need to give its residents twelve months’ notice, plus pay residents the equivalent of twelve months of fees. They can only give eviction notices to residents after the owner has all the proper paperwork in place from a municipality to redevelop a manufactured home park.

The Township of Langley, or any other municipality, cannot force an owner to compensate a residents, or find a resident comparable housing if the owner desires to redevelop a manufactured home park. The Township can negotiate relocation or reimbursement as part of a rezoning bylaw for a redevelopment.

In the fall of 2013, Township Council directed its staff to update the Township's Manufactured Home Park Development Policy.

Township staff looked at the policies in place in Maple Ridge, Abbotsford, Coquitlam, and Surrey. Based on this survey, Township staff are recommending that the municipality’s policy be updated. The proposed changes suggest that owners of manufactured home parks:

Provide a more comprehensive communication plan for residents impacted by redevelopment;

Investigate demographics about the people who live in a manufactured home park, and if their homes could be moved;

Find out what residents’ housing preferences are;

Perform an assessment of possibly incorporating affordable housing into the redevelopment proposal, and;

Work with the Township in developing an assistance program for residents that are impacted by a redevelopment proposal.

Township staff is also proposing that owners demonstrate that they are in compliance with what they’ve negotiated with the Township of Langley before final approval of a redevelopment proposal is given.

This updated policy goes before Township Council this afternoon.

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