Jackie

Goose comes galloping through family home, little hope for tenants

Saanich family with toddler forced out to make way for McKenzie Interchange

UPDATE: On Monday, July 11, the Westwoods were on the verge of moving into a motel when they found a temporary housing situation to move to in James Bay through Jim Westwood’s employer.

A family who live in a house bordering the Galloping Goose is running out of options in the face of the McKenzie Interchange.

Jim Westwood was given notice on April 30 that his family needed to be out of the home they rent at 3220 Admirals Rd. by July 1 to make room for the upcoming $85 million project. The house will be razed and the rebuilt Galloping Goose will run through the property where the house currently sits, as the new HOV lane will sit on the current section of the Goose, Westwood was told.

As of Friday (July 8), however, the family was still there. They’ve been unable to find a new place in the supremely competitive Greater Victoria rental market.

“We’ve been looking feverishly to get out of here, we’ve been to so many open houses, it’s madness how many people show up to them,” Westwood said.

Westwood is not at his wit’s end yet, but he could be soon. He was given a July 11 extension by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure but it came with the threat of losing their compensation, three months worth of rent.

“When they first gave us notice I thought, OK, no problem, we’ll find a place in two months, but obviously that hasn’t happened,” he said. “The government is just doing its job, I don’t blame them, but I don’t know what we’ll do.”

The 51-year-old courier, his wife Roberta, and their three-year-old boy Jackson have lived at the acre-sized property since Jackson was born. They’ve applied to more than a dozen homes but with a vacancy rate of nearly zero in Greater Victoria, the rental market is too competitive for a family with two dogs and a toddler.

The expropriation is also displacing Roberta’s older son and a friend of the family who lives in the house as well.

“One Saanich landlord was taking photos of everyone who applied to remember who was who,” Westwood said. “Mostly it’s open houses and we don’t have a chance. We can barely even get to the places to see them, they are rented so fast, before I can get home from work.”

Westwood’s family is currently paying $1,750 for the three-bedroom home. Father and son built a tree fort in the large back yard, but Westwood knows his son will likely lose the freedom of roaming the natural space of yard and trees at whatever their next home is.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Transportation wouldn’t confirm what addresses will be affected by the McKenzie interchange and highway expansion project, but they did confirm that there are a few residential properties that will be affected, along with the properties of Marigold elementary and Spectrum Community school.

Westwood’s mother Jackie lives in Colwood and is supportive as best she can be.

“Everyone who meets Westwood likes him, he’s a truly good person. It’s a shame the rental market is like this, and that this has to happen to a good person, a hard worker,” Jackie said. “Why can’t the government can build another house on the edge of the property and rent it to (Westwood’s family), the way the government is finding and building homes for the homeless, and finding homes for Syrian refugees. It’s ironic.”

In the meantime, Westwood has moved several of the family’s belongings into a storage facility and they are ready to move quickly.

“We’ve been out as far as Rocky Point Road [in Metchosin] but still couldn’t get a place,” Westwood said. “I’ll do whatever I have to, if I have to drive in from Shawnigan Lake, then that’s what I’ll do.”

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Esquimalt gives six-storey rental complex the green light

A new apartment building is set to go up on Admirals Road

Colwood field lacrosse camp aims to get more kids involved

Victoria Field Youth Lacrosse hopes to inspire future athletes

Light up August with a lantern building workshop in Sidney

ArtSea workshops in preparation for Aug. 24 Salish Sea Lantern Festival

WATCH: Our Place Therapeutic Recovery Community turns into a ‘place of healing’

500 volunteers, 120 businesses worked to transform View Royal community

A party for 11 pups and their adoptive families in Beckwith Park in Saanich

The coonhound siblings reunited at a barbeque on Saturday

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

Most Read