Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Homeless amidst six empty public houses

July 13,2011
    A young woman with three children expecting her fourth went from Brabant Lake to Stanley Mission in the hopes of marriage and home. Four months later her former boy
friend is in jail awaiting trial for beating her and the children. She wants to come home to Brabant . The house where she lived in Brabant  was her father’s home, then hers. Mr. Vaughn Skogstad , still chairman of La Ronge Housing Authority, says that she has to pay $1000 of damages. She doesn’t have a thousand dollars and probably won’t for a long time. We don’t have a thousand dollars. So what are these damages? Crayon marks and holes in the wall. Cost: soap, my home made stuff is great against crayon marks, and rags.$00.0
Polyfilla $6.99. We don’t add paint of which we have plenty because in the acting socialist state of northern Saskatchewan painting walls soft shades of  pink, blue or green is forbidden. But she can’t get in to fix her house, although much of the damage which was done when it was not in her name.  We or others can’t get in to help her.  We have to come up with a thousand dollars or she has to go back to Stanley where the children and she live in terror.  And how do we know that Mr. Skogstad will not pocket that thousand just as we wonder if he pocketed $5000 of phoney arrears that we paid two years ago, and the extra $200 a month he was making another family pay beyond their schedule? We don’t know and neither does anyone else. There are no real controls in the housing authority scam
    For twelve years we have been documented the irregularities, corruption, terror, of La Ronge Housing. We also mention occasionally that Vaughn Skogstad was the former campaign manager for the NDP  and used his position to make sure that tenants complied with his political enforcement. But Mr. Skogstad has tenure as if all the public houses in the north are his private property. If they were he would have long since been in serious trouble as a very corrupt and dangerous slum landlord.
    A motion was put forward at the Local Advisory Meeting that he should be fired. The administrator stated that he should be asked to come to the meeting in June. She said “ You can’t fire someone without talking to him first.” There are those of us who have talked to him for a long long time, in his office, in court, in conference rooms, over the phone, in our homes.   He never came to the meeting. A lot of the public was waiting.  I thought of promising that I would not attend.  I had no intention of being there but since I had a right whether or not I was going to exercise it, I didn’t make any such  promise. I certainly wouldn’t be needed.
       There are six empty public houses in little Brabant and one not- used private home. The mines may want to buy two houses. Meanwhile a mother and three children are homeless. Every policy and act of La Ronge Housing Authority is designed to control people. It is not about providing homes but keeping houses that can be used as  rewards and punishment for a few people’s political and personal wishes. The North needs homes but not public housing. There are a few simple steps to turn an empty public house into a home. Such as let this woman and her children into her home without a thousand dollar bribe money.Gay