It Takes a Village
This spring, low-income seniors living on Buttertubs Drive in Nanaimo started organizing to protest the loss of the ‘heart of their community,’ their community hall, which was demolished in 2019 to make way for a new seniors housing complex.
Beyond the loss of their community hall, they claim a range of issues have emerged in the years since their housing provider, Nanaimo Affordable Housing Society (NAHS), took over: a decline in building maintenance, lack of a regular on-site manager, disruptions and cuts to some support services, confusing changes to rent and billing and higher rents. The tenants say NAHS is putting money over their well-being.
To investigate this series, reporter Julie Chadwick spoke to more than a dozen tenants, former board members and employees, and combed through piles of archive news stories, tenancy documents, contracts, meeting minutes, and communications to form a picture of what happened.
Along the way, she discovers some incredible stories about the resilience and friendship of a community that, despite these challenges, simply refuse to stop caring and advocating for one another.
Read our series, It Takes a Village. Sign up for our Nanaimo newsletter to be the first to read the next story. Got a tip? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The name change follows a months-long investigation by The Discourse into allegations of bullying and mistreatment of older, low-income tenants.
The Discourse recently brought tenants together to brainstorm community-based solutions. Here’s what we learned.
Nanaimo Affordable Housing Society harassed and bullied residents, removed unauthorized funds from their accounts, older tenants say.
The Discourse sat down with Robert Patterson, lawyer at the non-profit Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre (TRAC).
This public-interest lawyer has ‘very little confidence’ in the government’s response, and is calling for tenant-led solutions.
Tenants and advocates are calling for the reinstatement of wellness checks and other safety measures to prevent residents lying injured or dying alone.
Being a local reporter who is also deeply embedded in the community comes with its challenges, writes Julie Chadwick.
Tenants say that services have deteriorated since Nanaimo Affordable Housing Society took over. Julie Chadwick investigates for Part 2 in our series It Takes a Village.
Tenants say Nanaimo Affordable Housing Society is putting money over their wellbeing. This is Part 1 in our series It Takes a Village.