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.