Government went over the top

BC Housing client met with cold words from the organization supporting them

Dear Sir:

This is a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing.

I have been living for the past 25 years in the BC Housing Willows apartments and have faithfully paid my rent and done the other tenant things; but recently I had a rude wake-up call that left me frazzled.

I started getting eviction notices for information I had hitherto not been required to give. And they kept changing their demands for different information with each eviction letter. Most of it included bank statements and assessment info.

I should say here that up to last year I was on provincial disability [assistance] and then jumped over to senior income.

This sudden attention to my income increase was the sudden cause of such rude mail. I’m told this had a lot to do with threatening notices in general.

My niece tells me that in the geriatric facility where she works they get downright nasty, sending her notices like, “Your driver’s license will expire on your birthday. If you don’t renew it you will be fired.”

BC Housing recently shuffled eastward from Prince Rupert to Prince George and I assumed my troubles stemmed from this – but I later learned the eviction notices were not coming from Prince George but from the Lower Mainland.

In the first covering letter they demanded information from all my bank accounts. When I called Prince George they assumed I was remiss and emphasized that all my bank accounts must be included.

I explained that I had just opened my first bank account in September since becoming disabled and it was the only one. Welfare doesn’t leave you enough to have a bank account. Again they emphasized I must surrender information on all my bank accounts. But I only have the one—nope, all my bank accounts.

Apparently tenants like to open bank accounts all over town. The eviction notices are form letters chasing after the tenants who keep their total income secret from officials.

BC Housing subsidizes most tenants by charging only 30 percent of their income for rent up to the market value of the apartment.

I was threatened with such an increase in one of their eviction notices. This does leave a bad taste with tenants who are up front with their stay in BC Housing buildings.

Talk about your changing climate, it started with head offices and if you aren’t careful it will leave you with frost bite.

Civility is down the toilet and I, for one, have learned some lessons since 1984 when Big Brother started watching. Who is watching us now?

I would like to thank Chris Wetmore, who assists disabled people with BC Housing issues. He can be reached at 1-800-667-1235, extension 2166.

Brian Gregg,

Terrace, B.C.