This site was the sequel to what I had originally created as The Okanagan Manufactured Home Owners Association. At the time there were thousands of mobile home parks under threat of evictions, especially those on Native land. The laws in BC were pathetically weak and the most a home owner could get was a year’s rent if they were evicted. Many people had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in buying their homes and doing extensive renovations. The newest home that had been moved into a park next to where I lived was right on the beach and apparently cost close to three hundred thousand dollars! Tenancy only came with a thirty day notice so just imagine these new home owners getting their notice after spending that amount of money. 

I formed the association in the hopes of better representing the owners of some eighty thousand homes in BC, all of which were under the same threat. Many of the parks in the Okanagan were on prime land right on the lake so developers were itching to build condos where the manufactured homes had stood, many for decades. Just as I got the organization going there was a tragic story of a park that was kicking everyone out, many of them in their eighties who had lived here for decades and spent a fortune upgrading their homes. 

Part of the process was to lobby every level of government to adopt what I referred to as the Colorado Model, which had been in place for years and a huge success. Instead of treating manufactured homes like vehicles as they had always been going back to the days of the “mobile” home, instead they were given a transportation permit to go from the manufacturer to the site. Once properly installed on the permanent foundation and hooked up the utilities there was a licensed inspector who then issued a building permit and the home became just like every other stick built home. The owners paid school and property taxes just like everybody else, which had always been a bone of contention with “mobile” homes. Any renovations, such as adding on a garage or deck would require a building permit subject to the same building codes. 

The biggest part of this concept was that developments were built on what’s called Land lease, which means that there’s no cost for the land in the price of the homes. People like the government would grant ninety-nine year leases for these developments and there would be considerable tax advantages if it was private land. Because the homes were considered permanent structures and not vehicles I got CMHC to agree to offer traditional financing. I then contacted WestCorp in Edmonton who agreed to do all the infrastructure, roads, sewers and son on  for a share in the property management company. I then got a local manufactured home builder, Chaparral Homes, to agree to provide a model home, plus they agreed to give a ten percent commission on sales. I even contacted the WestBank Indian Band who had just done a major land swap with the government to build the new bridge across the lake and they were open to meeting about the concept, mostly because under the Indian Act they are not allowed to sell any property, so it made perfect sense to them. I then contacted local government, both the City of Kelowna and the Region and they both agreed to the proposal. During the time of all this work I did, aboiut six months, there was word that the Provincial government was going to develop a park with a thousand units. I thought that my timing could not be better, but I was SO wrong. 

I submitted a detailed proposal to Rich Coleman, who was the provincial Housing minister at the time. His response? He didn’t want to do anything that would threaten the development of manufactured home parks in BC, this despite the fact that there was not a single development proposed other than mine. The whole thing dies overnight, thanks to him.