Friday, February 29, 2008
Landlord predicts owner will sell or close rooming houses if upgrades are forced
Martha Tropea , Daily NewsPublished: Friday, February 29, 2008
A Nanaimo property owner worries that a new city initiative to tighten up on rooming house regulations will force people on to the street.Paul Saroya said he is selling off two or three of his homes because he knows it will cost too much for the necessary upgrades."I've been trying to get rid of (them) for the past four years," said Saroya of his properties, where at least 10 people are living.
The fire department recently handed over a list of about 50 houses to the city, detailing places they suspect of being rooming houses. The province estimates there could be as many as 150 in Nanaimo.There is currently no zoning for rooming houses in Nanaimo and many of them are unsafe and don't comply with fire regulations.Rooming houses are defined as those where renters occupy a single room and share cooking facilities, bathroom and common areas.Nanaimo social planner John Horn said many of the rooming houses are in the downtown core. Most are large, turn-of-the-century homes, cut up into different sections without building permits.The city says because rooming houses have gone unregulated for so long, some of the living conditions people are faced with are deplorable. Many of the people living in rooming houses are on social assistance.Saroya predicts most property owners will sell or decommission their units, instead of spending thousands on upgrades."If they spend $50,000, how are they going to charge $375 per month?" Saroya said."The owner will sell it and get rid of it," he said. "Who is it going to affect? The tenant."It's going to have a big-time effect. I don't know how (the city) is going to tackle that."Saroya said the city should encourage affordable housing development by waiving property taxes for up to five years."I think it's a good idea to give them a really good break," he said.MTropea@nanaimodailynews.com250-729-4255
This article in today's paper bothers me on so many levels that I don't even know where to begin. First of all, the Council is cracking down on these derelict rooming houses NOW because in order to put in their wet housing project, all the i's must be dotted and t's crossed. Rooming houses must be legal if the city is going to pay people to get high in your neighbourhood. Hence the regulating of said rooming houses. Second of all, if it weren't for their thinly veiled motives(I am still waiting for an answer to my letter in this regards, Mayor and Council, City Social Planner), should ANY housing be unregulated? Just because someone is poor doesn't mean they should live in the condition that some of these rooming houses are in...and the neighbours should not be subjected to their deplorable conditions, either, without any power of recourse against the slumlords. Third, the landlord/property owner they are quoting? You all remember who that is, don't you? He owns this and this, as well as several other "notorious" properties in the southend. And as if this even touches on the fourth, the fifth or sixth things that irritate me about this article....but you all know how I can go on and on and on....and on....and on....
So this is the letter I wrote to the reporter....
Most of this neighbourhood will stand on the street and applaud the day Paul Saroya sells his holdings and gets out. It couldn't happen soon enough.
His quotes make him sound like a decent sort of person, though he has preyed on his tenants for years, as well as on Nanaimo. He is no friend of the poor, no friend of the homeowners here, and no friend to Nanaimo.
He has been threatening in manner, in actions and in with his words in more than one occurance with neighbours here, and with his own tenants.
His properties are disgracefully unkempt and, in all likelihood, dangerously unsafe.
We have to use the Nuisance ByLaws on more than one of his properties in order to have Mr. Saroya even maintain the most minimal of standards. He doesn't provide outside rubbish bins so his tenants' garbage just collects on the side of building, feeding rats, raccoons, feral cats and other pests and spreading over the street in the wind.
The front stairs on one of his rooming house properties are falling apart, with nothing left of the railings or hand support and he does nothing to address it.
He was nearly thrown in jail by the City for his refusal to install fire safety measures in that same building.
Many of his properties are, or have been recently, crackhouses. Everyone in this neighbourhood has had the displeasure of dealing with open drug dealing, open drug use, fights, threats, etc. from his properties at one time or another...mostly all the time.
If setting a minimal decent standard of living is what it takes to rid the neighbourhood of the likes of Paul Saroya, then I say, let the people live in decent standards. Is that so wrong?
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
Talk to you all later?
Anyone here in Nanaimo going here this weekend? Maybe we'll see you there?!?
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
I've heard it in the chillest land,
Saturday, February 16, 2008
I am just so angry that repeatedly every agency, whether it be city or social or health related, privately or publicly funded or paid by our tax dollars, lies to us.
Blatant lies to our faces or glaring omissions of facts.
Or simply ignore our questions(VIHA, City Social Planner, I mean you, in particular). Do not respond to correspondence. Leave us out of the planning of services that will directly and PROFOUNDLY affect US...since none of you actually live in the places you assault.
The new by-laws from Mayor and Council that allow social services to go in without a zoning meeting means that now we have NO SAY whatsoever. None. Kiss your voice goodbye. And guess where VIHA wants their new drop-in centre, needle exchange, crackpipe hand out station? And guess where the 7-10 Club plans to go? And the projected 10-unit wet housing from our city social planner? And guess where Mayor and Council is going to let them go?!?
All within two blocks of the Salvation Army Walmart Style Super Centre....cuz that's about the only place the new zoning bylaws affect. Go figure. We found out all of this about the same week that the city offered us curbs. Smoke and mirrors. Smoke and mirrors.
Despite spending our tax dollars on several different studies(tens of thousands of city tax dollars per study, mind you) that have repeatedly all said one thing...that concentrating social services DOES NOT WORK, it seems that is what they are bound and determined to do it anyway. You know, cuz it has worked so well in places like Skid Row and Vancouver's Downtown Lower Eastside. Huge, glaring examples, time and time again, city after city, of what not to do disregarded in favour of the same old non-working plan. There is not one original idea, not one plan that sees beyond the next five minutes, not one agency that is empathetic to the suffering of hard-working, tax-paying, home-owning people in the south end who are overwhelmed with the bad choices of the SOCIAL SERVICE INDUSTRY here in Nanaimo....time and again. VIHA has taken no responsibility for the dismal running of the drop-in centre that has been pushed out of three seperate leases in two years.
Now, they just plan on buying a place(and even though they said in the paper just yesterday that they don't have the money for it YET, they did in fact make an offer to purchase a place so we count another lie down in their column, whether blatant or by ommission can be your call).
And, after the city has dumped 80+ million and counting of your tax dollars, Nanaimo, into "revitalizing" the downtown core, to the detriment of nearly every other tax related service(roads, lifeguards, maintennance, etc), every single high impact(and countless low impact) social services will be right there, too. Congratulations. Oh, and then, let's raise your property taxes.
The southend now rivals the northend in tax rates and property assessments and yet the northend does not have to deal with any needle exchanges, drop-in centres, wet housing, crack-pipes handout stations, yaddayadda....why is that?
Thursday, February 14, 2008
And introduce your heart to mine and be my Valentine?
Summertime, we could run and play like summertime
With storybooks and nursery rhymes, so be my Valentine.
Candy heart, if anyone could you could have a candy heart.
You're the sweetest of all sweethearts.
Won't you give your heart to me?
Can't you see I love you valentine?
Won't you be my Valentine?
And won't you share your space with mine and be my Valentine?
Candy heart, if anyone could...
(Valentine, Willie Nelson)
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
I did it. I couldn't resist. Must have present!!! From Texas. From CindyDianne So, here's the deal...
Everyone who has a blog is welcome to participate.
The first three people to leave a comment on my blog will receive a gift from me in the next 365 days. The only condition is that those people will have to do the same on their blogs.
Pay it Forward!
The gifts will be silly and I promise to have them sent out within the month. Forget that 365 days thing...it'll be in the next month, k?
On an entirely different note, since changing my template, I cannot link to things while posting now. Why is that? Anyone? It is most irritating. You know I love to link, right? I mean c'mon, this template thing was supposed to be better..but when I load a picture, I don't see it, only html, until I publish...I don't KNOW what my post looks like til I publish AND no links? So, anyone able to help me with that?
Monday, February 11, 2008
Friday, February 08, 2008
But wait...what? What is that?
NO!!! DON'T LOOK OVER THERE!!!!
Is that a ten unit wet housing that may be going in across the street from two properties that combined have been crack houses how many times? That's where the City Social Planner has been eyeing to put in the wet house? No matter how many studies the city has paid for that have recommended spreading out social services? No matter that study after study after study warns against acts that lead to the 'ghetto-ization" of any one part of the community? Really? Huh. Go figure.
NO! Don't look over there, don't look.... No, don't look behind that curtain...don't look behind....ah damn.
So VIHA is looking to open a big box service kinda like the No Hope Centre, er, sorry, the New Hope Centre...where they will provide a drop-in centre and yet another needle exchange....and more...with money pilfered from other programs that are already running under efficiency...Instead of running three programs well, they would rather run six programs badly. The drop-in centre has been closed three time here in two years...why is that? Could it be all the problems it caused to this neighbourhood all three times? Helping pave the way towards the open air drug market that we endured until just a few months ago? Could it be because properties it was housed in received damage and theft? Could it be because they just can't run this damn program?
And just where do you think it will be? This next time? Hmmmn?
Hey, but look over here at these curbs and grass and trees you might get if we find the money for them...that we already had once and spent somewhere else...just look at that, will you? Ah, c'mon, look over here, dammit.
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Of your silent reverie
You're in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort there Let me be empty
And weightless and maybe
I'll find some peace tonight
Its easier to believe in this sweet madness oh
This glorious sadness that brings me to my knees
( Angel Sarah McLachlan)
As a U.S. citizen I am mightily sickened by the news today. Some 40 tornadoes touched down in one day, killing at least 50 men, women and children in five states, leaving countless families homeless, parents jobless, students without schools, lives wounded, bereft, grieving, in shock... and every news station had Super Tuesday as the lead story. Isn't that a crying shame?
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Monday, February 04, 2008
Update*** Later in the day, suffering long - lasting hiccups...I am exhausted which makes me more emotional than normal but still...just watched the Passionate Eye about J. K. Rowling. They brought her back to to the single flat she lived in while writing and trying to sell the first Harry Potter...She cried when she saw the full series of her own books on the new occupant's bookshelves. I imagine that there is nothing nearly so emotional as that going to happen in my life...and that's alright. It really could be cuz I am friggin' exhausted from hiccups. And considering all the overly emotional shit that HAS happened in my life? Just as well. Maybe I should go get a shot or something. Honestly. This is exhausting. Hic. Hic. Hic.....damnit.Know what I mean?
Saturday, February 02, 2008
Just made it(for the hundredth time?) tonight for a small dinner party....and I have never gotten so many compliments. Yeah, deservedly, I admit it. It is GOOD stuff.
So, wherever it came from....THANK YOU! I wish I could remember who it came from specifically.
Friday, February 01, 2008
City: Vancouver, BC
Event: k d lang
Centre for the Performing Arts
w/ special guest Dustin O'Halloran
sale Saturday, Feb. 23rd, 10:00a
Anyone wanna come, too?