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Calls to revive provincial mobile home advisory committee

Madison Muise moved from a mobile home park in South Uniacke, N.S., after she was forced to miss a number of days of work due to poor plowing on the private road last winter. (Name withheld by request - image credit)
Madison Muise moved from a mobile home park in South Uniacke, N.S., after she was forced to miss a number of days of work due to poor plowing on the private road last winter. (Name withheld by request - image credit)

Madison Muise grew up in Valley Gate Mobile Home Park in South Uniacke, N.S., but she decided to move to a triplex nearby last year.

She said issues with snow removal on the private road in the park made her miss work and contributed to her leaving the community.

"Last year, in the winter, I missed almost over two weeks due to snow-related issues," said Muise, whose car couldn't pass through the road.

Muise's mother still lives in the park, and she said residents plowed the road themselves following the historic snowfall earlier this month.

Water quality is another concern for Valley Gate residents, she said. Last year, Nova Scotia Health reported three boil-water advisories at the mobile home park. In 2021, there were seven.

"There's people who have posted on Facebook that there was a boil advisory and people respond with, 'Well, that's crazy. I was never notified of that,'" said Muise.

Allan Havill, who owns Valley Gate Park, could not be reached for comment. CBC News contacted Havill's Mini Homes, which advertises itself as the property manager, but an employee said their policy is not to speak to the media.

Committee is inactive

Under the Residential Tenancies Act, the province can establish a manufactured home advisory committee to address issues affecting residents and landlords in these communities.

"When it was active, the purpose of this committee was not to resolve specific landlord and tenant disputes," said Geoff Tobin, a spokesperson for the province. "Landlords and tenants in Nova Scotia are encouraged to apply to our Residential Tenancies Program to help them resolve disputes that they cannot resolve themselves."

White the committee is currently inactive, that's something Lyle Mailman would like to see change. He previously lived in Woodbine Park in Beaver Bank, N.S., and is part of a non-profit group that aims to improve mobile home parks, which are also known as land lease communities.

Last year, Halifax Regional Municipality implemented a new bylaw to address water testing, drainage, street maintenance, lighting and other issues at such facilities.

Mailman said that was a step in the right direction, but he feels a manufactured home advisory committee should be established.

"Bringing people together from around the province, we would help address those gaps and holes that could be immediately addressed," said Mailman. "I'm optimistic that something good can happen when you get the right people in the same room together."

Bob Richards, who owns land lease lots in Bridgewater, N.S., also believes it is time to revive the committee, which has been inactive for two decades.

"The residents got to tell us their side and we got to tell ours, and in the end we reached agreement," said Richards. "If it's bad for the tenant, it's only a matter of time before it's bad for the landlord, or vice versa."

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