Hiawatha RV Park will be demolished starting in February, to make room for a new condo development. Residents have four months to leave. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)

Hiawatha RV Park will be demolished starting in February, to make room for a new condo development. Residents have four months to leave. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)

‘I don’t know what to do’; Another Hiawatha resident pleas for eviction extension

Hiawatha RV Park residents have four months to leave the neighbourhood

Robert Nicholson says if he can’t find a home by February, he’ll likely have to live out of his van.

He’s one of many residents at the Hiawatha RV Park speaking out against a four-month eviction notice, issued to them this week.

Resident Victoria Fox spoke out yesterday (Oct. 29) against the notice, saying it doesn’t give residents enough time to find a new home.

READ MORE: Eviction notice leaves Kelowna trailer park resident fearing homelessness

READ MORE: Westcorp revives controversial development at Kelowna mobile home park

At the end of, February 2021, Edmonton-based developer Westcorp plans to begin demolishing the 44 homes that remain at the complex in order to erect a large condo development.

Nicholson says he, like many others in the neighbourhood, would like an extension to the eviction notice. An online petition in support of extending it until April has garnered nearly 1,500 signatures. He said “pretty much everybody” in the park shares the same view.

“There are people like Victoria, myself, Nicole, Geoff, Eddie and his wife down at the end… Stacey, Mike, we’re all on disability… now we’re all struggling here to figure out what we’re going to do, and where we’re going to go… I just don’t know what to do.”

He said the timing of the eviction notice came as a surprise.

“We knew it was coming, but we didn’t expect it to be coming so soon. They had sent us a notice on the 6th of October, stating we wouldn’t be getting our four-month notice for a few months. And then all of a sudden, 21 days later, it’s in our mailbox.”

Nicholson knows those watching from afar may not understand.

“I read the comments online as well, people are saying, ‘well you had ten years to find a place’. But they don’t understand that the rents in here are so affordable… where am I going to find a two-bedroom place for what I’m paying right now?”

He echoed what Fox previously said, saying the affordable housing in Kelowna comes with one to two-year waiting lists.

In addition to the low availability of affordable housing, Nicholson says moving during the winter would be a nightmare for people with disabilities, like himself.

A severe back injury has made it difficult for Nicholson to perform tasks during the winter. He said outdoor activities are next to impossible, should they last more than five minutes.

“I broke my back, right… I’ve got titanium in my back, so I have a really hard time being out in the cold… If I do five minutes of work outside in the cold, my back is killing me for two days. I can barely walk.”

A single father, on disability income, with a disabled child, Nicholson is out of ideas.

He says he picked up a van from a late friend, in case he’s forced to sleep outside.

“I had to, I just had to pick up something. If there’s enough room in the back for a little double air mattress, and me. My son’s going to be over at his mom’s.”

On Oct. 29 Westcorp said a proposed extension to the eviction notice, “remains to be seen.” With regards to the petition receiving nearly 1,500 signatures by Oct. 30, Westcorp was not immediately available for comment.

“We know it’s coming, we know we’ve got to go, but all we’re asking for is a couple of extra months so we can get our affairs in order… a couple of months, that’s all,” said Nicholson.

READ MORE: Kelowna city staff wave down proposed Byrns Road development

READ MORE: More help from province needed, says Kelowna mayor following spike in crime

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: phil.mclachlan@kelownacapnews.com


 

@newspaperphil
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

DevelopersKelowna

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(File image)
Break-in suspects arrested after foot pursuit by Kelowna RCMP

Two men have been charged with break and enter, theft under $5,000, and breach of a court order

Kate Pauling selling her cookies. (Contributed)
Kelowna newspaper carrier spreads joy to children in need

Kate Pauling fund-raises for Samaritan’s Purse Shoe Boxes

Ashley Stone’s Village App is one of the semi-finalists for the Total Mom Pitch. (The Village App - Facebook)
Kelowna mom’s app semi-finalist in Canada’s Total Mom Pitch

Ashley Stone is developing an app called Village, a community-based messaging platform where people can ask for and offer help

Business district is pictured during a traffic jam in Jakarta, Indonesia, June 20, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
Morning Start: By 2050, 95 percent of North Jakarta could be submerged

Your morning start for Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
UPDATE: Garage on Lakeshore Road burns to the ground, blaze deemed suspicious

Fire crews responded to the scene just after 4:30 p.m.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

A fentanyl test strip is used at Vancouver Coastal Health in Vancouver, Tuesday, January, 21, 2020. The test strips will be made available to drug users to ensure that their drugs are safe and free of Fentanyl. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Drug overdoses lead to 5 deaths each day in October; drug toxicity continues to increase

COVID-19 crisis continues to exacerbate the overdose crisis

The Vernon Public Art Gallery is looking to the community to support its programming, which VantageOne Credit Union is matching for Giving Tuesday. (VPAG image)
Vernon art gallery gets a boost for Giving Tuesday

VantageOne Credit Union matching donations

The Vernon swimming pool is closed Friday. (morning star file photo)
Swim, skate and play fees rise 5% in North Okanagan

Weekend hours also reduced as rec centre struggles with fewer people and fewer funds

The City of Salmon Arm erected a fence around the Ross Street Plaza on Nov. 24/2020, citing reasons centering on safety and security due to camping by people who don’t have homes. The closure is temporary but it’s not known when it will be reopened. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
City of Salmon Arm erects fence around public plaza to prevent camping

Lieutenant says lack of public space affects people without homes but he understands city’s decision

An employee of the Adventure Hotel was taken to hospital on Nov. 20 after she confronted a customer of Empire Coffee about not wearing a mask. File photo.
Nelson hotel employee suffers heart attack after being assaulted in anti-mask incident

An accountant at the Adventure Hotel is in hospital in Kelowna

Interior Health and School District 83 are responding to a confirmed COVID-19 exposure at the Salmon Arm Secondary Sullivan campus. (File photo)
COVID-19 exposure confirmed at Salmon Arm Secondary Sullivan campus

School District 83 says member of school community self-isolating at home

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Gord Portman has been reunited with his dog Zippy after reaching out to the community for help covering the cost of Zippy’s surgery. Zippy had successful mouth surgery Nov. 19, 2020 and has made a full recovery since. (Jesse Day - Western News)
Penticton rallies to save dog’s life

Gord Portman reached out to the community to help with the cost of his dog’s surgery

Most Read