Amanda Turner and her youngest child

Amanda Turner and her youngest child

Fraser region native housing society sells properties, displacing tenants

Money from selling the houses will be used to help build a new multi-family residence, society says

The three-bedroom rancher at 4601 Tyler Street in Yarrow was a little small for a family of six, but Amanda Turner and her husband were managing.

The house, one of several operated by the non-profit aboriginal Mamele’Awt Qweesome Housing Society (MQHS), had an open-plan kitchen with room for two freezers and a living room that did double duty as a fourth bedroom.

The subsidized rent was $450 a month.

Just over two months ago, Turner said the housing society told them they would have to move out becaquse the house was being sold and the family began searching for new accommodations.

As far as she knows, there was no issue with the way the family was looking after the house and they had received no complaints.

They were unable to negotiate a transfer to another MQHS unit, Turner said.

“They said our family was too big (to accommodate elsewhere).”

Last month, the couple and their four children moved into a non-subsidized two-bedroom townhouse in Chilliwack that costs $650 a month.

“It’s a run-down place but it’s what we can afford,” she said.

The Turners aren’t the only MQHS clients to be displaced.

Another tenant, who asked not to be named, said she was told her family would have to move from her house because it would be sold.

She said one manager told her the non-profit society needed the funds from the sale to cover a funding shortfall.

“They said they had no more money for upkeep and maintenance,” the woman told The News.

She was relocated to a smaller MQHS housing unit, a townhouse.

Managers at the Mamele’Awt Qweesome Housing Society did not respond to repeated requests for comment from the News.

When Simon Gibson, the MLA for Abbotsford-Mission, looked into the matter at the request of The News, he forwarded a written response via email to The News.

It said the society was selling three properties it owns in Yarrow, Chilliwack, and Mission and the money from selling the houses would be used to help build a new multi-family residence.

“Proceeds from the sales will be reinvested in the building of new affordable housing in Chilliwack,” the statement said.

The new housing project was described as a “mixed-market urban village.”

One of the three houses was unoccupied at the time of sale, the society said.

“All tenants at the (occupied) properties were given substantial notice that the properties would be sold, and offered several options for suitable relocation,” the statement said.

The houses were among a number of low-income “older single family houses in rural and remote areas” that were transferred to MQHS from another housing agency, the statement added.

“The intention in transferring ownership of these properties was to have them assessed for their long-term sustainability, and their usefulness in serving MQHS’s client base … it was understood the properties may be sold or redeveloped, and the revenue repurposed for other MQHS projects.”

While the statement did not directly refer to the Turner family, it identified one of the three houses as being located on Tyler and said the tenants of that house were “given 18 months notice, and offered several housing options, including the choice to stay at Tyler and pay sliding rate/near market rental rates, or move to other suitable subsidized housing.”

Turner said the option of paying a higher rent was not raised when she spoke with the society.

The MQHS website said the non-profit urban aboriginal housing society currently owns and manages 122 rental units for “low and moderate-income aboriginal elders, special needs individuals and family clients, predominantly focused on support for aboriginal people” in Abbotsford, Agassiz, Chilliwack, Harrison, Hope, Mission, and Yarrow.

The registered charity declared $2 million of revenue in 2015 to the Canada Revenue Agency, 72 percent of it coming from government funding.

It reported spending slightly more than it took in, with total revenues of $2,019,540 against total expenditures of $2,093,199.

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

Just Posted

sdf
Another Mission student arrested for assault, in 2nd case of in-school violence this week

RCMP notified of local Instagram page with videos (now deleted) showing student assaults, bullying

Two people on a paddleboard take advantage of a calm Cultus Lake on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
WEATHER: Forecast calls for lots of sun in Fraser Valley this coming week

Most of next seven days will be sunny for eastern Fraser Valley, according to Environment Canada

gdffdg
Mission’s Fraser Valley Music Award winners credit hometown with fostering musical talent

Rebecca Sichon won the pop-category award; Roads Unknown took home the roots-category award

BCCDC photo.
16 school exposures in Abbotsford schools in 2 weeks

Fraser Health’s list grows by 11 for 2nd week of 2021

Ron Restrick lives with mild cognitive impairment, but has worked to stay active and engaged in his community.
Abbotsford residents invited to Alzheimer Society webinar

Session on Wednesday, Jan. 27 looks at dementia and long-term care

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

(Photo by Kevin Hill)
40 cases linked to Surrey Memorial Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

Fraser Health says two death are associated with the outbreak

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Most Read