Mayoral candidate David Habib and brother help clear squatters from Kelowna problem home

Problem home cleared out

Rob Gibson

Residents on Nickel Road in Kelowna are breathing a sigh of relief now that it appears the problem house has been cleared of squatters.

"I'm glad that David got the squatters out, I'm very happy. I was going around in circles nobody was willing to help me," said Surrey-based realtor Amit Chopra, owner of 235 Nickel Road.

Kelowna mayoralty candidate David Habib, his brother Dale Habib, and individuals who David says work for him were on location Friday clearing out the inside of the house and making sure the people living there were gone.

"It's done everybody's vacated it's now into the clean-up phase," David Habib said, explaining he got the squatters to leave by negotiating with them.

"I consider it sad. I think it's unfortunate. This is something that can happen in any community. Unfortunately, these people are desperate. I think they're gone now and everybody's happy," said Habib.

Neighbours are hopeful this latest development at the home will bring an end to the issues that have plagued their neighbourhood for months. Previous attempts by the owner to evict the tenants failed. The owner said at some point the tenant on the lease—who was not paying rent—abandoned the home and squatters moved in.

"It's great news as long as they move on and move out of the neighbourhood," said a neighbour, Shane, who says it has been heartbreaking to watch some of the activity around the house.

"To see the stolen items that go in and out of that house, it hurts me because I know the people that got stolen from, they worked hard to get that stuff, myself included. It just hits home," Shane says.

Another neighbour, Carrie Tibando, was waving goodbye from behind her fence as workers carried garbage out of the house.

"It's been very difficult, I feel I speak on behalf of everybody in this immediate area. My adult daughter has been fearful to even go outside. So hopefully this has come to an end," Tibando says.

Chopra, who Habib says was in Kelowna on Thursday, at first indicated he was going to fix the house up and rent it to a nice family but also indicated that he may end up demolishing the home if it proves to be unliveable.

RCMP were at the scene monitoring the situation at times on Friday.

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