KELOWNA —; Matthew Jensen was confronted with a sight no parent wants to see: mould in his children’s bedroom.
Jensen has had ongoing issues with leaks in his house at Hiawatha Mobile Home Park since he moved in two years ago. The wet ceiling in the living room, creating an environment were more mould could grow.
“We have a fear factor about the mould that’s present. ” said Jensen.
“We have a standing concern that it is going to have long-term implications, even though it isn’t manifesting itself, it’s too risky, so we have to go.”
The issue has already forced one of his neighbours to move out earlier this past spring.
READ MORE: Mould forces Kelowna family out of their home
Westcorp Property Management purchased the park in 2007 with plans to develop the land.
Due to mould complaints, the developer hired inspectors this past spring, who confirmed more than half of the trailers in the park have issues.
“Fifty-one units have been identified as having mould or have the susceptibility for mould because there’s already elevated moisture content,” explained Gail Temple, a vice-president of Westcorp.
“We are waiting for their lease to end, and then we are not going to extend the lease to them. We are just going to decommission the units after that.”
She said two homes had dangerous levels of mould so those residents were assisted to move right away, adding other residents of the other units shouldn’t be concerned.
However, resident Michelle Simpson believes the exposure of the mould outside of her trailer and in neighbourhing homes is the reason why her young son is consistently sick.
“He gets coughing, vomiting. It is just horrible,” Simpson said.
Her lease ends in September but despite her health concerns, Simpson said she has nowhere to go.
“I can’t afford a place on my own in Kelowna. It sucks. It’s going to be hard.”
Simpson won’t be alone trying to find rare, affordable housing.
Westcorp has warned all Hiawatha residents it won’t be renewing any more leases past this winter.
It plans to start constructing townhouses next year.