Community resources are being mobilized to find homes for those about to hit the street.
Sixty-day eviction notices have been issued to the tenants of the Green Valley Motel on 25th Avenue, across from Vernon’s Polson Park.
“It’s something we always knew that if the Green Valley closed, it would have a serious impact,” said Annette Sharkey, with the Social Planning Council.
“As a community, we are going to try our best to help these tenants.”
There are 27 units and while about 15 units are currently occupied, the exact number of tenants is not known.
Most of them are considered low-income and a lack of financial resources means finding a new home could be challenging.
“The question is where do these individuals locate housing?” said Sharkey.
Information has been provided to the tenants about services available through the John Howard Society as they look for new accommodations.
Other contingency plans are also in place to assist the tenants once they leave the motel.
One of the owners, who declined to be identified, says eviction is necessary because the bank has called the mortgage and the hope is the property may be easier to sell if it is vacant.
“We have no other recourse but to ask people to leave the place and we may find someone else to take it over,” he said.
The property was listed for sale in April for $1,195,000. However, there have been no buyers.
The current owner says he and his partners purchased the motel in 2006, and while there was a sense of optimism, the economic downturn and evolving clientele had a negative impact.
“The property has been deteriorating for six years,” he said, adding that revenue flow has been challenging given the turnover of customers on a monthly basis.
“We don’t have enough money to cover the mortgage and expenses.”
The owner admits that eviction will create hardship for those living there, and because of the need for low-income housing, he says he approached service agencies to take the motel over.
“I went to the city and asked for a break in taxes and there was nothing.”
According to Sharkey, there is a concerted effort among social agencies to ensure housing is available for all income levels.
“We know there is limited housing out there so we’re working with all levels of government to address that gap.”