'It's like walking on Mars to me': B.C. senior still paying mortgage on 'not livable' property after November floods
Imagine paying the mortgage on a home that no longer exists, for a property that's now virtually worthless.
Such is the case for a senior from Hope, B.C., whose home was swept away, along with part of his property, during last November's floods.
“I can't afford to rent a home. I can't afford an apartment. I'm lost absolutely loss of what to do,” said Graham Zillwood.
Eighteen years ago, Zillwood purchased just over an acre of property along the Coquihalla River. But where there was once his home, lawn and gardens, there's now rocks, stumps and a river bed.
“It's like walking on Mars to me. It's hard to picture what was here,” he said while showing CTV News what was left of his property, which he describes as “not livable.”
“We've been told by Fraser Valley Regional district we can't live on it,” said the 67-year-old who narrowly escaped before the floods hit.
His property assessment for 2021 shows the value of his home and property, which was just over acre, at $445,000. He said it's now valued at $1.
He said after the flood, he contacted his mortgage company. He claimed the company verbally agreed to defer payments, but didn't.
“They never deferred. Every month they've been taking my payment. And I'm on old age pension,” he said.
CTV News contacted First National Financial LP, but it declined an interview for privacy reasons.
An email from the company's CFO, Robert Inglis, said in part, “We can assure you that First National cares about this customer and the hundreds of thousands of other Canadians who choose us as their lender.
"In the meantime, we continue to work with the borrower and insurers toward a solution satisfactory to all stakeholders in this unfortunate situation.”
Zillwood did have house insurance, however, he said the maximum he could be insured for “overland water” was about $30,000.
He put that payout entirely toward his outstanding mortgage.
Zillwood also said he's yet to receive any funds from the province.
He was recently approved for $100,000 in Disaster Financial Assistance, but says that won't be enough to rebuild and doesn't amount to the 80 per cent of his home value he had anticipated.
Emergency Management BC wouldn't comment on the specific case.
However, in an email it said, “To date, we have received more than 2,200 applications for DFA from individuals, small businesses, farms, charitable organizations, and local governments impacted by the November 2021 flooding.”
Typically, Emergency Management BC receives an average 450 applications a year.
EMBC said that so far, 949 DFA applications have been processed though not everyone was eligible for payment.
“So far, $7.5 million has now been paid out through DFA,” the email said.
Meanwhile, Zillwood has been living with his daughter and her family, having taken over his grandaughter's room.
“I can't stay there forever and it's not fair. She needs her bedroom back,” he said.
“I need a home but I just can't pay it while I'm doing the mortgage.”
An online fundraiser set up to help him has raised almost $18,000.
Vancouver Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Thousands of people wearing red and white and waiving Canadian flags packed downtown Ottawa to celebrate Canada's 155th birthday on Friday, while groups of protesters popped up around Parliament Hill to protest COVID-19 vaccines and federal restrictions.
It's been 25 years since Saskatchewan's last residential school closed, but some are still healing.
Biden intends to nominate a conservative, anti-abortion lawyer to federal judgeship, Kentucky Democrats say
U.S. President Joe Biden intends to nominate an anti-abortion Republican lawyer to a federal judgeship, two Kentucky Democrats informed of the decision say.
Canada Day has kicked off the unofficial start of summer, and the tourism sector is hopeful the first season in three years largely free of COVID-19 restrictions will marshal a much-needed boost for a pandemic-stricken industry.
A California man has posted a widely-shared video in an attempt to educate people about the monkeypox virus outbreak, to encourage people to get vaccinated if they're eligible and to make it very clear: 'You do not want this.'
When Dan Fine returned from his first trip volunteering at animal shelters on the Polish-Ukrainian border in late April, he immediately felt compelled to return to continue helping pets that have been left behind in the war.
Moving toward reconciliation doesn't come from jumping 'the queue to perfection,' but by building bridges and trusting one another, Canadian singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk told CTV News Channel during Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa on Friday.
In the wake of last year’s discoveries of unmarked graves at residential schools and the prominent displays of the Canadian flag during 'Freedom Convoy' protests, some Canadians are re-evaluating the meaning of the national symbol.
'Not going to happen in our lifetime': First-time homebuyers share their struggles with purchasing a home
A recent survey shows nearly 50 per cent of Canadians who rent expect to do so forever. As rising interest and inflation rates contribute to a sense of pessimism among first-time homebuyers in Canada, some are sharing their struggles with purchasing their first house.
A Vancouver Island real estate agent has lost his bid to recover a deposit he made on a new Ford Mustang that he intended to offer as a prize in a year-long contest in 2020.
A search for two "suspicious" men in Saanich Thursday afternoon ended with no risk to the public, police said.
There was more frustration for BC Ferries passengers at the Horseshoe Bay terminal Friday, with some waits extending upwards of five hours at the outset of the long weekend.
Thousands of Calgarians gather for restriction-free Canada Day festivities with focus on reconciliation
Friday marked the first Canada Day in two years without any public health restrictions, which meant Calgarians were finally able to gather at several in-person events across the city.
Members of Calgary’s Vietnamese community gathered Friday at The Journey to Freedom Park to celebrate the unveiling of a meaningful monument.
The Flames lost their longtime organist Friday, when Willy Joosen died.
From drumming circles, charity runs, to a healing walk, Edmontonians found a way to celebrate their country or reflect on its past in a manner that felt right to them.
An explosive comeback will light up the Edmonton sky Friday night as Canada Day fireworks return to pre-pandemic proportions.
Jalen Collins recovered a fumble and scored on a 14-yard return in the fourth quarter to give the Edmonton Elks their first win of the season with a 29-25 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Friday.
One person is dead, and seven others have been injured in a collision in downtown Toronto, police say.
Ontario drivers experienced some relief from record-setting prices at the pump on Friday as the province's gas tax cut came into effect.
One of Toronto’s Canada Day fireworks displays has been cancelled and another has been postponed after a vendor pulled out at the last minute.
A prominent housing advocacy group fears Quebec could see an increase in households left without a permanent place to live as leases expire across the province on July 1.
A motorist died after suffering serious injuries in a collision early Friday evening in Quebec’s Montérégie region.
A group of Indigenous people in Quebec expressed disappointment and concern Friday after learning that only 400 seats will be reserved for residential school survivors at the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré during Pope Francis' visit on July 28.
In-person Canada Day festivities made a return on Friday for the first time since the pandemic started, with residents bringing back old traditions and creating new ones.
A pro-choice rally was held at the Manitoba Legislative Building on Friday -- a week after Roe v. Wade was reversed by the United States Supreme Court.
Officers with the Manitoba RCMP have confirmed that a body was found in the Assiniboine River on Thursday.
Canada Day will look a little different in Saskatoon as things move downtown.
It's been 25 years since Saskatchewan's last residential school closed, but some are still healing.
The City of Saskatoon will be running 46 summer play programs from July 4 until August 25.
The COVID-19 pandemic hindered Canada Day celebrations for the past two years. But on Saturday, the red and white was back in full force in Regina with events all around the city.
Both the City of Regina and the provincial government remind travellers to stay safe due to the increased number of people travelling for the Canada Day long weekend.
Regina police responded to an early morning report of a break and enter into a business on the 3700 block of Eastgate Drive East on Friday.
The spouse of the gunman in the Nova Scotia mass shooting will testify mid-July before a public inquiry, but she won't face direct questions from lawyers representing victims' families.
As Claire Mahaney-Lion dropped her son off at school this morning, she questioned the reasons behind scheduling a school day that would last fewer than two hours.
Saint John is having its dog day. The host city of the 2022 Memorial Cup is celebrating after the Saint John Sea Dogs bested the Hamilton Bulldogs 6-3 in front of a capacity crowd during Wednesday's championship game at TD Station.
With his wife Joyce on his arm, Tom Hennessy left Victoria Park in London, Ont. to complete his 100-mile walk to raise money for homeless veterans.
After a two-year break due to COVID-19, the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics was back Friday in London.
Close to 1,000 people are at Victoria Park in London, Ont Friday morning for the second annual Turtle Island Healing Walk.
People in the Sault once again gathered at the Roberta Bondar Tent Pavilion on the waterfront for some Canada Day fun.
Science North and the Sudbury Multicultural and Folk Arts Association held an event showcasing many cultures, traditions and tastes that make up their diverse city.
Hundreds of people lined up for free hot dogs and for fun in the suds in Hollinger Park in Timmins on Canada Day. The event was hosted by the City of Timmins and the Timmins Community Park Association.
Emergency service workers in the Region of Waterloo kicked off a friendly competition Friday to see which team can donate the most blood by Labour Day.
OPP are trying to identify a man who they say was involved in an "unwanted residential paving incident" in Puslinch, Ont.
Waterloo Region held its first in-person Canada Day celebrations since 2019 and there were several local events for residents to show off their Canadian pride.