'Snowbirds' scrambling to find a place to live after being forced out of trailer homes
LONDON, ONT -- They are known as Snowbirds; seniors who spend half the year down south, and come back home to Canada just before the summer.
However, since COVID-19, the return for some ‘Snowbirds’ like the Johansen’s, has been a period of fear and uncertainty.
“I am scared, it’s extremely stressful,” said Donna Johansen.
Donna, along with her husband Larry, are being forced to leave their trailer home inside a camping ground near Ingersoll after the Government of Ontario deemed campgrounds non-essential, and forced them shut.
“We are full snowbirds, this is our home for six months, and we have another home down in Florida. So we travel back and forth, we have nowhere else to go,” said Larry Johansen.
After returning from Florida two weeks ago, the park’s management team told the Snowbirds, once their self-isolation periods is complete, they must evacuate.
The couple is leaving their trailer home and will be spending the next month inside a hotel, at a cost of 14 hundred dollars for 28 days, not including meals.
“We’re being taken out of our safe home and put into an environment that is not safe, and not affordable. What little money we have put away will be gone in a couple of months,” said Mrs. Johansen.
In a statement to CTV News, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing said the Government is aware of the situation. Adding, “we are currently looking at how we can continue to protect public safety while allowing seasonal campgrounds to remain open only for residents returning to Canada who have no other place to go.”
Larry says imposing on family and friends is out of the question because they too are in self-isolation. And moving the 5th wheel trailer is not an option.
“Where do I go, you can’t park on the highway, you can’t park in the parking lot, people are not going to accept that, and don’t forget we still got to have sewage, we still need water, and we still got to have electricity”.